Medicine through Time: Disease and Vaccination

Session details


Delivery: Online Virtual Classroom

Curriculum Links: Science (infectious disease), history of medicine

Key Stage 3: Suitable for Year 9

Length of session: 50 minutes

Maximum group size: Single class


In this online session students will:


  • Learn about germ theory and the causes of infectious diseases
  • Find out how scientists developed vaccines and improved public health
  • Discover amazing medical instruments from the Museum’s collection


This interactive session explores the development of germ theory and causes of diseases such as typhoid and cholera in the 1800s CE.

We will:

  • watch a short animation film about typhoid in Oxford in the 19th-century and analyse data from an epidemiological case study
  • explore medical instruments from the Museum’s collection and trace the early history of vaccination and developments in public health.

The students will apply their knowledge of disease to our 21st-century experience of the COVID-19 and learn how researchers in Oxford developed the first effective COVID vaccine.

The session includes breakout activities and opportunities to discover more about objects from the Museum’s collection.

Learn more about Online Virtual Classrooms