Muslim Medical Heritage

Discover the dynamism and interest that existed in the medical tradition in the medieval Middle East, giving practitioners a deeper cultural awareness, enriching their practice.

Islamic civilisation’s medical heritage has evolved from the 7th to the 21st centuries into a complex discipline. This CPD course offers medical practitioners the opportunity to enhance their practice with an understanding of the Muslim medical tradition and its cultural and historical significance.

Medicine in Islamic heritage has transcended the confines of country and creed, as physicians from diverse religious, linguistic, and ethnic backgrounds have shared in its scientific discourse. Islamic medicine has also had a profound impact on surrounding cultures, notably European medicine as it developed from the 12th century onwards. It survives today, in modified form, in many Muslim countries, and among Muslim communities across the world.

Students of this course will achieve:

  • a basic understanding of the theory of medicine in the medieval Islamic world
  • an appreciation of the different approaches to health and disease in the medieval Islamic world
  • added insights into common questions of medical theory and practice – past and present
  • a heightened awareness for the epistemological underpinnings of medicine through historical learning.

Topics covered

  • Introduction
  • Translation movement
  • Humoral pathology
  • Anatomy
  • Prophylactic medicine
  • Soul and body
  • Pharmacology
  • Surgery
  • Gynaecology
  • Paediatrics
  • Ophthalmology
  • Plague and contagion
  • The new chemical medicine
  • Ethics
  • The Islamic hospital
  • Al-Rāzī, the clinician
  • Avicenna, the compiler
  • Medicine and literature
  • Medicine and philosophy
  • Medicine and religious scholarship.

Teaching and learning

This course is delivered online and includes 10 hours of material, divided into 20 topics, each consisting of two 15-minute units. Quizzes included in each unit are designed to test the student’s learning.

The course is designed to take three months to complete.

Important update for 2022:

All students of the University of Manchester are now required to complete an extra step of 2-factor authentication when logging into certain University systems and services (including Blackboard, the University’s virtual learning environment). In most cases this will require verification via a smartphone or tablet, although alternative methods of verification will also available if needed.

For more information please visit the IT Services - 2-factor authentication page.

How to apply

This course is available online via the online store.

For help and advice with your enrolment please contact