Department Name School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Institution Name Birkbeck College, University of London

Departmental Information

Department Profile The School of History, Classics and Archaeology has a high profile for both its teaching and research. History at Birkbeck has a long and distinguished tradition as an international centre of excellence, and a distinctive intellectual character. The School has a strong research culture, reflected in the award of the highest possible rating of 5*(A) in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise; it was one of the History departments upgraded to the new "best 5*" rating in 2003. The School of History, Classics and Archaeology performed exceptionally well in the 2009 Research Assessment exercise. Initial analysis indicates that we are in the top 5 nationally. 90% of the research activities of our staff were deemed to be of international significance. Of these 35% were judged internationally excellent and 35% world-leading. The school caters for all levels of study. From Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes, to Research degrees and ancient language courses.
Faculty Teaching Staff Joanna Bourke; Surekha Davies; David Feldman; Vanessa Harding; John Henderson; Michael Hunter; Carmen Mangion; Alessandro Pastore (Visiting Professor); Julie Peakman; Tim Reynolds; Hilary Sapire; Chandak Sengoopta; Helen Tilley
Areas of Expertise 14th -17th centuries: London, social history, death; Italian Renaissance and Early Modern European History: cultural, social and medical history; history of epidemic diseases; Early modern intellectual history, cultural history and history of science, especially British: "heritage" and its history; Poverty and Health Care in nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland; Medicine, the body, social history in Britain; Lithic Technology and Prehistoric Archaeology; 20th-century South Africa, particularly urban politics and culture and the history of psychiatry and racial thought; History of Modern Medicine and Science; The history of environmental, medical, racial, and anthropological research in colonial Africa; History of Science and its context in the Early Modern period; Robert Boyle and others associated with the early Royal Society; The ‘Decline of Magic’; Social History of Medicine and Health in C19th and C20th; Imperial and colonial medicine; History of psychology and psychiatry; Gender and medicine; Philosophical issues arising from science
Special Resources The School has close links with a number of major cultural institutions in the London area, notably the Wiener Library and Institute for Contemporary History. The School is housed in the Extension Building of the College’s main Malet Street premises, within very easy reach of the College Library, the University of London Library, and the Institute of Historical Research, and a few minutes’ walk from the new British Library and other academic institutions.

Course & Degrees

Undergraduate Courses BA History; BA History and Archaeology
Undergraduate Units The Age of Science: The Transformation of European Life, 1850-1939´; The Age of Plague: disease, medicine and society in Western Europe, 1348-1665;
Taught Postgraduate Courses MA in Early Modern History; MA History of ideas; MA in History of Britain; MA Historical Research (with Pathway in Cultural History); MA/MSc Medicine, science and society with optional subject such as: ‘Death, Disease and the Early Modern City’; ‘The ‘Decline of Magic’: Magical Ideas in English Society, 1650-1750’; ‘Technology, Modernity and the Nation: Britain and Germany 1800–1930’; ‘Sex, Medicine and the Body in the Long Eighteenth Century’; ‘Darwin, Darwinism and the Modern World’; ‘Medicine Industry and Society in the 20th Century’; ‘Degeneration: Science, Culture and Social Prophecy, 1850-1945’; ‘Degeneration: Science, Culture and Social Prophecy, 1850-1945’; ‘Alternative Medicine in the 19th and 20th Centuries’, ‘Death, Disease and Early Modern City’; ‘Disease and Society in Africa in the 19th and 20th Centuries’; ‘Medicines, Industry and Society in the 20th Century’, ‘Practitioners and Patients’; ‘The Changing Shape of Knowledge, 1550-1750’
Postgraduate Units  
Research Degrees PhD

Contact Details

Contact Name Catharine Edwards (Head of School)
Postal Address

School of History, Classics and Archaeology,
University of London,
Malet Street,
London WC1E 7HX,

Phone +44 (0)20 7631 6267
Fax + 44 (0) 20 7631 6552 (Daniel Binney – Administrative Assistant)
Email [email protected]