Field Trips Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Bethlem Museum of The Mind Trip

Philosophy 2016


On February 1st 2016 third year students of the HPSS Departments' Philosophy programme went on a trip to Bethlem Museum of The Mind, located on site at Bethlem Royal Hospital. This was part of the 'Self, Mind and Madness' course which looks at the philosophy of mind, cognitive neuroscience, schizoanalysis and psychology.


The trip provided the students with an opportunity to take a closer look into the history of mental health treatments, and into the minds of the patients who were treated there. The students visited the museums gallery, displaying information about the past forms of treatment, thought provoking art composed by the patients of Bethlem, examples of isolation rooms, patient transcripts and more. Then students went on to explore the archives of the past patients and were given a presentation on the history of Bethlem Hospital and the way it operates today. The trip was a fantastic opportunity for students to see primary sources of the past and present treatment of mental health from the oldest psychiatric Hospital in the UK. 

 "The trip to The Museum of Mind was fascinating, particularly the opportunity to examine some of the archives and learn more about the men and women admitted to the Bethlem Hospital in the 1870's. The museum was excellent, and I found the displays concerning consent to treatment versus sectioning under the Mental Health Act very thought provoking. The Philosophy part of my Creative Writing degree remains the most challenging and stimulating element!" – Anne


"Bethlem is such a wonderful resource. Getting hands on access to this primary source material is truly awesome." – ICB

"Nothing captures a time like its artifacts. Really stimulating." – Tom


"Physical access to knowledge has really aided my understanding of concepts –                What a brilliant opportunity." – Amber

"I enjoyed having access to the actual records of patients." – James