Required Courses


1. Seminar on Medical Humanities

This course aims to present and analyze an array of academic findings in the field of medical humanities. The key issues presented by the faculty members, research students, and the invited speakers are the main content for discussion. The course is designed to facilitate inter-disciplinary collaboration on the various subjects investigated in our institute.


1. Engage interdisciplinary dialogue
2. Establish academic forum
3. Introduce research topics

2. Research Ethics

This course aims to help students understand the basic principles, main subject areas, and common controversies in the field of research ethics. The course includes both class discussion and online participation. In 3 of the 9 weeks, students will be required to take online courses on research ethics provided by the Center for Research Ethics Education.


This course strives to develop students’ ability to avoid ethical disputes when designing and implementing research projects in different disciplines. In particular,
this course aims to help students understand how to properly protect research subjects and themselves, and ensure more efficient implementation of the research

3. Methodology and Research Design

The research reports we read in journals or hear about in the news reflect the outcomes of a research process which involves a series of critical decisions. Researchers must limit their topics, pose relevant questions, define their concepts, formulate testable hypotheses, develop means of measuring variables, design samples, and decide how to collect information. This class will teach students the basics of how to do rigorous social science research.

The purpose of this course is threefold:

  1. To provide students with an in depth introduction to the development of research frameworks and designs;
  2. To provide the knowledge necessary to be an informed consumer of research, both popular and scholarly
  3. To encourage the development of the skills required to conduct good research.

The course begins with discussion of the nature of scientific research (including both product and process) and the dilemmas inherent in efforts to describe social reality. We then explore practical issues related to posing research questions and selecting methods of data collection, such as variables, units of analysis, hypotheses, and causality. We examine measurement and sampling in general. We provide an overview of the techniques particular to major data and analysis methods: surveys, experiments, and fieldwork. Types of fieldwork for preliminary formation of research  questions are: participant observation, in depth interviewing, use of existing sources, and focus group discussion. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are explored.

4. Society, Technology and Medicine

This MA level course offers an introduction to the discipline of Science, Technology and Society (STS) specifically focusing on medicine, health, wellbeing, and inequalities within these. In particular we will explore:

1) the major theoretical approaches for understanding and explaining scientific knowledge and technological change;
2) the implications of these approaches for analysis, including the political analysis of science and technology;
3) the implications of these approaches for understanding the politics, inequalities, and biases that surround techonological and scientific developments and how these impact our interpretations of knowledge and our everyday lives.

5. Ecology, Health and Community

This course takes an ecological and interdisciplinary perspective which emphasizes a systemic and relational understanding to reflect upon the keyword “health” which plays an important role in medicine. The critical analysis of academic articles, lectures, and workshops are organized to facilitate students’ understanding of health issues in certain social and cultural context. The course also considers community health issues located on different spatial scales.


1. To understand the concept of socio-ecological systems so as to enter a framework of interdisciplinary study
2. To analyze how to use a socio-ecological analysis to study health issues
3. To explore various case studies that add to our analysis of how health is
 understood and experienced in various contexts

6. Humanity, Society and Medical Education

Professions and professional knowledge have great impact on modern society. Although sociologists used to include the sociology of profession in the field of sociology of work and occupation, the field of sociology of professional development was recently constructed. This course focuses on the field of the medical profession and medical professionalism.

This course aims to enable students to understand the sociological literature on professional expertise, knowledge and its research approaches. In addition, through reading, lectures, and discussions of professional development and the medical profession, students are equipped with the skills to develop a research framework and select a particular specialized occupation to analyze in further depth.

7. Social Medicine

Social medicine perceives human well-being to be a bioculturally constructed issue. From Rudolf Virchow’s perspective health conditions represent not only the biological phenomenon of the dialectic between physical normality and abnormality, but also the consequence of historical dialectic. Thus, it is necessary to adopt applied science, dialecticism and materialism to explore the sociocultural context of disease aggregation, especially in regards to the social processes and forces related to health inequality in human society. Also, the application of social medicine is an important aspect in the understanding of healthy life conditions and the promotion of human wellbeing. This course is based upon Rudolf Virchow’s theoretical framework of social medicine and divided into two sections. The first section focuses on the theories and concepts of social medicine, health inequalities in human societies, the development of Latin American Social Medicine (LASM), and the application of social medicine. The second section focuses on various case studies, including health inequalities, gender issues in the doctor-patient relationship and health policies and health insurance systems.

This course is divided into two sections. The aims of the first section are to help students understand:

1. The theoretical framework and concepts of social medicine
2. The issues related to syndemics
3. The development of Latin American Social medicine
4. The application of social medicine in human societies

The second section of this course focuses on studying social medicine through case discussions related to health inequalities, gender issues in the doctor-patient relationship and health policies and health insurance in the context of Taiwanese society.