What are the Medical Humanities?

The Medical Humanities complement, contextualize and critique purely biomedical, technological or other reductive accounts of what it means to experience illness, encounter disease or transact a therapeutic relationship. In addressing how we comprehend health, sickness, disease and “the embodied life”, such concerns are examined from a range of professional and patient perspectives.

Who we are

The Medical Humanities Research Centre (MHRC) is based in the School of Critical Studies, but functions across the College of Arts and the College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences and in close liaison with the College of Social Sciences.

The MHRC is directed by Dr Gavin Miller.

The MHRC is advised by a committee drawn from various Schools and subject areas across the University. The current members are: Professor Sally Wyke (Institute of Health and Wellbeing), Professor Sam Cohn (History), Dr David Bain (Philosophy), Professor Jeremy Smith (Critical Studies; ex officio), Dr Sheila Dickson (German), Professor Malcolm Nicolson (Centre for the History of Medicine), Professor Marek Dominiczak (Medical Humanities Unit), Ms Barbara Gulliver (Art in Hospital), Dr Sabine Wieber (History of Art), Dr Ross White (Mental Health & Wellbeing), Professor David Clark (Interdisciplinary Studies), Dr Cheryl McGeachan (Geographical and Earth Sciences), Ms Moira Rankin (Archive Services), Dr Megan Coyer (English Literature), and Dr Carolyn Jess-Cooke (English Literature/Creative Writing).

As an international centre for medical research Glasgow has long played a significant role in the emergence of Medical Humanities; breakthrough publications by Sir Kenneth Calman (our current Chancellor) and Prof. Emeritus R. S. Downie remain foundational studies. A wide range of Medical Humanities research, including some major externally funded projects, is currently being undertaken across Glasgow University.

Externally Funded Research and Activities

The MHRC has a strong track record in attracting externally funded projects in the medical humanities. The MHRC also assists in the development of applications by other Schools of the University. We are keen to foster further externally funded medical humanities research, including postdoctoral and doctoral awards. Please email the Director, Dr Gavin Miller, in this regard.

Research Development

Our Discussion Group is one of a variety of research development activities intended to foster new and collaborative research.

The Glasgow University Medical Humanities Network, supported by the Wellcome Trust, acts as a forum to connect individuals working across a range of disciplines and practices at the University of Glasgow, who are interested in the intersections of medicine, culture, and the arts and humanities. New projects and researchers are very welcome - visit the site or contact arts-medhums@glasgow.ac.uk for more information.

Visiting Fellows

The MHRC regularly hosts Visiting Fellows, who pursue their research as Affiliated Scholars in the School of Critical Studies, or elsewhere in the College of Arts. If you are interested in becoming a Visiting Fellow, please email the Director, Dr Gavin Miller.


The MHRC supports and encourages teaching in the medical humanities, including Student Selected Components for medical students, an Intercalated BSc in the Medical Humanities, and undergraduate courses.

Postgraduate research

The MHRC currently hosts a number of PhD research students in the School of Critical Studies. If you are interested in pursuing postgraduate study in the medical humanites, please email either the Director, Dr Gavin Miller, in this regard. You should also consult the College of Arts pages on postgraduate study for further information on applications and timing.

Mailing list

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