University College for Interdisciplinary Learning

From Cholera to AIDS: A Global History of Epidemics

Course Code

UCIL20331 (10 Credits)

UCIL20081 (20 Credits)

Course Details

  • Level: 2
  • Credit load: 10/20

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

School of Medical Sciences


This course unit introduces you to the global history of epidemics, starting from the outbreaks of cholera in the 1830s in Asia, Africa, Europe and America to the twenty-first century history of HIV/AIDS and Ebola. It has three main objectives; first, it highlights that the history of global epidemics enables us to understand the wider and deeper social, economic, political and cultural histories that led to disease and mortalities. Second, by drawing on a heterogeneous body of secondary and primary sources it identifies the local geographic, social and economic contexts of these epidemics. Finally, it will help you to understand and analyse the experiences of communities and individuals living in the time of epidemics.


Summary of Learning Outcomes

  • Analyse the history of epidemics within a global context of movements of people, ideas and commerce
  • Understand the complex historical relations between epidemic disease outbreaks and the particular cultural, social and political context
  • Understand the everyday experiences of those living in the time of epidemics



10 credit unit (HSTM20031)

  1. 1500 word essay (50%)
  2. 2 hour examination (50%)

20 credit unit (HSTM20081)

  1. 1500 word essay (25%)
  2. 2 hour examination (25%)
  3. 3000 word project report (50%)


This course is only open to undergraduate students.

University College course units are available to take on programmes which have 'free choice' options available to them, (i.e. programmes which allow you, as part of the degree programme, to take a number of credits from subject areas outside of your home school). As these courses are credit bearing, you must enrol by following the standard procedure for your school when adding units outside of your home school.

If you are not sure whether you will be able to enrol in University College courses, please contact your School Undergraduate Office to find out whether these options are available for your degree programme.


Professor Pratik Chakrabarti

Teaching and Learning Methods


1 - 12Mon14:00 - 16:00

Contact us

Connect with us

  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon