This free online course will explore the intersection of medicine, medical anthropology and the creative arts. Through each of its six weeks, we’ll visit a new aspect of human life and consider it from the perspectives of people working in health sciences, social sciences and the arts.
Explore the emerging field of medical humanities
The course will introduce you to the emerging field of medical humanities and the concept of whole person care, via these six themes:
The Heart of the Matter: A Matter of the Heart
Children’s Voices and Healing
Mind, Art and Play
Reproduction and Innovation
At the Edge: Madness and Medicine
Death and the Corpse
Together, we’ll question our propensity to separate the body from the mind in healthcare, consider what defines humanity, and share points of connection and difference between art and medicine.
Learn with specialists from diverse fields
Contributors to the course will include a psychologist, psychiatrist, heart surgeon, pathologist, oncologist, sociologist, poet and visual artist. They will pose critical questions about how we deal with health, healing and being human.
Each has been filmed on location in Cape Town, including at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, the Heart of Cape Town Museum, and the Pathology Learning Centre.
Develop and discuss your own ideas
The course will encourage you to discuss your ideas with learners all over the world, and reflect on the ways in which bodies, health, social life, culture and the imagination intersect in your local setting. Together, we’ll ask:
How is it that academic disciplines have become so rigid in their focus that they sometimes struggle to talk meaningfully to general audiences and other specialists?
And what potential can we unlock by combining different fields of expertise and the silos of knowledge that otherwise separate them?
By the end of the course, you’ll understand multiple, complex perspectives on health, illness and healing, and be able to create alternative responses to important health challenges.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
This is exactly the kind of course that I've been looking for quite some time, and I'm glad to have found it with the help of the learning platform-'Futurelearn'. Since I'm doing a different degree altogether, I took this course out of pure interest and in understanding about the healthcare systems, and I should say quite honestly that it didn't disappoint- not at all, and it was a wonderful experience. The course added fresh new perspectives and citations from various disciplines, which ultimately emphasized on moving from the 'modernized' way of viewing the healthcare to a post-modern approach- wherein we integrate what each and every discipline offers us in a holistic manner. That being said, I loved the assignment settings, and the forums were very interactive and engaging. The instructors have done a very neat job of organizing the ideas and I'm glad that I came across such an insightful course.
It was a heart-expanding experience of learning while walking.
I have no doubt that I come out of the experience equipped with a broader perspective than I had with the beginning of the course. Perspective that makes me a better professional, but no less importantly, a better person.
The learning experience only strengthened my sense of mission to convey the message to the various layers of human society in which I live.
Mainly distribute it among professionals in the field of medicine in general, including those dealing with mental health ..
I did this course totally out of personal interest and I absolutely loved it. The Future learn platform was really easy to navigate and user-friendly. The subject matter was diverse and totally interesting, with short mini lectures and reading material. I did all the reading but I did not do the assignments as I had too little time, but I do not think that should put anybody off. The online community was also wonderful and interesting. It is quite something to realize you are studying with people from all over the world. Highly recommended.
A hugely enriching course - diverse in ingredients and giving both day jobs (including one as actor-reader stroke recovery and rehab wards) new dimensions... and, most helpfully, more and renewed value to the essential sensitivity / visceral nature - and silence - of a healthy creative practice - which itself can sometimes feel drowned in an ocean of digital technology and mass media noise.
'Particularly appreciated the light touch / inclusive tone with which the material was delivered A super stimulating multi-layering of ideas and information. Thank you!
This is an absolutely brilliant course! Each week you look at a topic within the healthcare system through a different perspective related to the arts, i.e. literature, sociology, anthropology, artistic performance. This broad overview really allows you to generate different perspectives and viewpoints. You will be challenged, you will change your views when you do this course.
I found this course insightful, careful, powerful, filled with creativity and knowledge and very, very helpful. Each week was a new take on Medicine and the Arts with a variety of presenters from diverse specialities. I found the whole process of viewing the videos, commenting, engaging in a global perspective and the cross cultural communication inspiring. I look forward to doing more in this vein.
I really found the course very insightful. It was well presented and suitable for people of any background and level of education who are interested in the subject. I have gained knowledge as well as many creative ideas which I can use in my work as music therapist every day.
This was my first FutureLearn course and i thoroughly enjoyed it. The course material was presented in a variety of ways that allowed me to keep interested and not become bored with either just reading or listening all of the time. The site is easy to navigate showing very clearly the stages of the course, separated into weeks and then into tasks for that week so you can't lose track of where you are. I didn't fully understand all of the course dialogue but it is a new subject so i wouldn't expect to. Despite initially being out of my comfort zone having to write a few mini assignments i'm glad that i made the effort to and completed the course fully. My initial interest in the course was due to me exploring using art to express suppressed emotion and i wanted to learn more about the process. I found aspects of the course quite healing personally and i would recommend it!
This was a heart-felt and enlightening course that took me on a journey of learning about a interdisciplinary approach to medicine and the arts. It was thoughtful, well planned and the content and speakers were excellent. The format of learning with a mixture of videos, articles, commentary, assignments and interactions with other learners was really engaging and I was quite sad when the 6 weeks was over! I learnt a huge amount that I will take into my work as a coach and into life generally. The lead educators Susan and Steve held the space for us as learners and invited us to really think in ways I had not before. Really liked the back-drop of South Africa and learning about how medicine and the arts is applied there. It seems like a very natural place for this topic to evolve from. I would highly recommend this course.
Heart transplant surgery, the experiences of children with chronic illnesses, reproduction and a consideration of death, these are just some of the areas covered in the six weeks of Humanising Healthcare. This is an absorbing, challenging course, presented in an engaging manner.
The source material is rich and diverse.
Peer assessed assignments are optional, but help the learner to a greater understanding of the subject matter. The forums are another means of giving and providing feedback and sharing ideas and opinions with people, but also for support.
I am already finding ways of using what I have learned from the course and highly recommend it to anyone who believes that art and science belong together.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. It seamlessly joined the practice of medicine to the humanities. It was particularly interesting to hear from children who are hospitalised for some time with TB and to learn of their hopes and fears. All too often we hear from everyone except the child who is the patient. It was interesting to learn about new innovations in healthcare allied with the humanities.
The only week I found difficult was the last which centered on death and the corpse.
I didn't love the assignments, but found they helped cement what we had learned that week.
I would recommend this course to others. I have a medical background, which helped me access some of the ideas.
I recommend this course from Cape Town University highly. The lead educators, a medical anthropologist and a general practitioner, were joined by other professionals of many disciplines from forensics to poetry, to show how medical care can be humanised through a less biomedical, and more cultural and social approach. Thus the meaning of life events, from human creativity and reproduction, to illness and death, was explored in depth. This sparked so many ideas in my mind I will go forward in my own life enriched.
An excellent course with dedicated presenters and participants. The subject matter is what attracted me, and it was worth my while. I learned a great deal, though as the presenters made clear, it couldn't cover everything. I don't know if they will be interested in creating another course by moving beyond the Arts to the Humanities in general (Philosophy, History, Psychology, Geography, etc.), but if they do I would be very interested in taking that course.
It was a great experience. I have improved my knowledge in Applied Arts area in this specific field of Medicine Humanities. All teacher were very good skilled profesionals in different areas as Medicine, Social Sciences, Music, Poetry and Photography. They engaged a lot with their issues and they managed to keep the students motivated all along the course. I'm so glad for had completed this course. Thank you UCT team.
A fantastic quality course I really enjoyed participating in. The providers were wonderful, and the speakers they brought together were from diverse fields and completely inspiring. There was so much interesting discussion to be found from other participants in the comments section of almost every stage of the course. This was my first MOOC, I'm hooked!
The quality of presentation for this course and the obvious care taken to offer thought-provoking and action-inspiring interdisciplinary examples to illustrate its themes was truly impressive to me. I plan to go back over the course now to deepen my exploration and apply it to my own work wherever I see the opportunity.
fabulous course which exceeded my expectations of learning. A unique view into medicine and art was invaluable. The use of videos, assignments, interactions with other learners and general feel of the course, due to the excellent mentors has been inspirational. I highly recommend it
Excellent course. Well run, well researched materials, varied learning opportunities. Excellent participatory opportunities. A challenging course, including thinking about sick children and death. Great creative use of the arts.