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PHC Approach

Medical Humanities

Medicine and the Arts

The Medicine and the Arts Masters Course is a 24-credit elective Masters level course registered in the Faculty of Humanities and offered to students in the Faculties of Health Sciences and Humanities. It is convened jointly by Dr Susan Levine from the Dept of Social Anthropology and Prof Steve Reid from the Primary Health Care Directorate. Eleven interdisciplinary seminars guide students through the life cycle from birth to death as seen from the perspectives of artists, medical doctors, and social scientists.

Each seminar highlights the multiple ways in which health and the body is conceptualized. Students have the opportunity to review the literature, to share points of connection and difference, to imagine new possibilities and in the process, to develop the interdisciplinary space between arts, social sciences and medicine. The seminars are held in varied locations including Solms Delta, the Ramesar Laboratory, Mowbray Maternity Hospital, the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, the Little Theatre, the Heart Museum, the Book Lounge, Site C in Khayelitsha, and the Pathology Museum each of which contribute to the discussion connecting the issues. The aim is to provide students with a holistic approach to medicine and the humanities with a focus on stimulating new ways of thinking about health.

The seminars run in the first semester from February to May on Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6pm in order to allow those with other commitments to participate. It is a single course run over one semester (not a whole Masters degree) and there are 3 assignments.

The Medicine and the Arts MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) will get underway in 2015 in keeping with UCT’s mission to bring free online courses to everyone in order to share knowledge generated from our leading academics and researchers, and to showcase the university’s rich array of intellectual and teaching resources. The MOOCs will require no entry requirements, will have interactive online forums which will enable peer-to-peer discussions, and will include video lectures and course materials. MOOCs are a form of distance education aimed at increasing the reach of UCT’s first-class teaching.