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Advice re history of medicine and history skills, please

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    I'd be very grateful for any thoughts anyone might have about my situation. As my username suggests, I'm a vet, and I've been qualified over 20 years, working as a GP vet all that time. I qualified from Cambridge. Cambridge vets also obtain an undergraduate degree along the way, as well as the veterinary degree. I got a First in Anthropology, so I have good academic credentials, but they are Very Old.

    For a long time, I've been wanting to go back into the academic world; there is a particular area of veterinary/animal history which I have always been interested in, and which I think would be a feasible area for research. However, as there is no such thing as a department of veterinary history, I would have to carve out my own route to get there. After talking it over with another mature vet who's doing a (different type of) PhD, I've realised that, while eventually doing a self-funded PhD is not impossible, I don't currently have the right skills to undertake historical research, and I don't really know whether I am deluding myself to think that I would be capable of it, logistically or intellectually, after all these years in the real world, as it were.

    I thought that a good first step, therefore, would be to do some sort of training in history or historical research, and so far I've found a couple of options that look feasible. Whatever I do needs to be part time, as I need to carry on working, and needs to be accessible from south-east England.

    a) I could do an MA in History from the Open University - this looks like a broad course, but the requirements suggest that someone who doesn't already have a history BA should do a preliminary module in history first, which obviously would add to the time and cost.
    b) Instead, or beforehand, I could do an undergraduate module in the history of medicine from the OU - that course looks fun but might be aimed more at those with no prior medical knowledge, and I don't know if it would give me the research skills I need; also, it wouldn't on its own give me a qualification and so wouldn't update my CV for the next stage.
    c) I could do a Masters in the History of Medicine somewhere - Warwick and UCL both offer part-time options that look good on paper and are not too far away - but although the courses would be interesting in their own right, only some of the material would transfer to the veterinary world.
    d) I could do a broader Masters in History - lots of options for that.

    If anyone either has done a History of Medicine Masters and could give me an idea of what it was like, or could give me feedback on whether my plan sounds credible, I'd be very grateful - thanks in advance for any advice. If I go out and get an MA in a relevant area, will that present me as a credible candidate for a (probably) self-funded research proposal afterwards? Thank you!


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