AANA18106U Medical Anthropology, advanced course (MED)

Volume 2024/2025

The course serves as a part of the specialised track in the Anthropology of Health.

Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH 

- Master Programme in Social Data Science

- Master Programme in Psychology

- Master Programmes in Sociology


The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities

How does technology change the ways in which we experience disease, our
bodies, and well-being? How do science and different technologies shape
what it means to be human? What kinds of facts and imaginaries of life are
produced around medical innovation and technologies? And how are existing
inequalities and injustices embedded in and/or challenged by these new
technologies? In this course, we will examine changing contours of human
life, including experiences of health and illness and conceptions of health in
relation to the development, production, and use of new or emerging
technology. Moreover, we will explore how the political economy of health is
influenced by the complex relationships between government policies,
economic structures, and scientific practices. Government regulations,
subsidies, and market dynamics can shape the development, pricing, and
accessibility of healthcare.

The intersection of political and economic interests can impact healthcare
priorities, research funding, and the broader health landscape. We will
furthermore explore how biomedical developments, rather than simply
offering solutions to given problems, might also reshape our bodily
experiences and relations with the world while engendering novel ethical and
cultural problems for us to deal with.

In this course, we will engage in extensive reading, casework, and discussion
of literature in and around medical anthropology and Science and
Technology. The format, with teacher introductions, interactive class
activities, oral and written assignments, will require active student

The aim of the course is to develop students’ knowledge of the sub-field of
medical anthropology to help prepare for a health-related Masters thesis.

Learning Outcome

At the end of the course students are expected to

  • be able to demonstrate how biomedical knowledge and technology are shaped in specific sociocultural and politico-economic contexts and further reshape our experiences of health and illness


At the end of the course students are expected to:

  • be able to identify a relevant anthropological research problem related to medical anthropology
  • be able to locate and analyze empirical material by applying analytical perspectives from the course literature (using anthropological concepts and theories) in order to make an anthropological argument


At the end of the course students must be able to

  • be able to utilize concepts and methods of medical anthropology and Science and Technology Studies in analyzing a concrete, empirical case

BSc students and MSc students: 500 pages obligatory literature.

The teacher will publish 200-300 pages of supplementary literature.

Course literature will be available through Absalon.


The course will be based on a combination of lectures and interactive seminars where students contribute actively through group work,discussions, readings and oral and written presentations. Students are expected to engage actively in oral presentations, discussions, group work and exercises.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 100
  • Exam
  • 64
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Portfolio, .
Type of assessment details
Length: Portfolio exam can be written individually or in groups of max. 4 students. Portfolio exams consist of 2-7 submissions. For MA students, there is a submission more than for BA students, i.e. if the BA student has to submit five submissions, the MA students must submit six submissions. The number of submissions is set by the lecturer. The total length of all of the submissions must be max. 30,000 keystrokes for one BA student and max. 37,500 keystrokes for one MA student. For groups of two students, max. 40,000 keystrokes BA students and max. 47,500 for MA students. For groups of three students, max. 45,000 keystrokes for BA students and max. 52,500 for MA students. For groups of four students, max. 50,000 keystrokes for BA students and 57,500 for MA students. In the case of group assignments, the contribution of each individual student must be clearly marked in the assignment. For groups with both BA and MA students, the same number of submissions is required as for MA students. The assignments are assessed jointly with a single grade.
All aids allowed

Policy on the Use of Generative AI Software and Large Language Models in Exams

The Department of Anthropology allows the use of generative AI software and large language models (AI/LLMs), such as ChatGPT, in written exams, provided that the use of AI/LLMs is disclosed and specified (i.e., how it was used and for what purpose) in an appendix that does not count towards the page limit of the exam.


If AI/LLMs are used as source, the same requirements apply for using quotation marks and source referencing as with all other sources. Otherwise, it will be a case of plagiarism.

Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

1st re-exam: An essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

2nd re-exam: A new essay must be submitted. The new assignment must be submitted by the deadline for the re-exam.

Essay length: 

One BA student: 21.600-26.400 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 6,750 and Max. 8,250 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

One MA student: 27,000-33,000 keystrokes. For group responses, Min. 8,450 and Max. 10,300 extra keystrokes per extra group member.

For groups with both BA and MA students:
A MA and a BA student: 31,900-38,975 (BA: 14.175-17.325 KA: 17.725-21.650)
A MA and two BA students: 38,050 – 46,475 (BA: 11,700-14.300 KA: 14.650-17.875)
A MA and three BA students: 44,525-54,375 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)
Two MA and one BA student: 41,000-50,050 (BA: 11,700-14.300 KA: 14.650-17.875)
Two MA and two BA students: 47,150-57,550 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)
Three MA and one BA student: 49,775-60,725 (BA: 10.475-12,800 MA: 13.100-15.975)

For groups writing together it must be clearly indicated which parts of the assignment each of the students has written.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome