A wide range of optional modules allows you to specialise and develop in-depth knowledge of such fields as health policy, rights and security in a changing world, urban and environmental policy, the policy problems of an ageing population or education policy, as well as offering the opportunity of internships. Please note that this list may be subject to change. Options include:
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
• Formulate appropriate research questions.
• Select the most appropriate research design to address a specific research problem.
• Demonstrate knowledge of common research deigns and methods used in qualitative research (interviews, focus groups and observation).
• Design and administer a brief topic guide and critically discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
• Analyse qualitative data using simple coding
• Demonstrate the ability to design and conduct a small original qualitative research project.
• Demonstrate the ability to structure a written qualitative research report.
Grbich C (1999) Qualitative Research in Health. Sage, Australia
Charmaz K (2006) Constructing Grounded Theory, Sage, London
Gray D (2009) Doing Research in the Real World (2nd edition), Sage, London
On completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Formulate appropriate research questions.
2. Select the most appropriate research design to address a specific research problem.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of common research designs and methods used in quantitative research (survey and experiments).
4. Design and administer a brief questionnaire and critically discuss its strengths and weaknesses.
5. Critically review methods used in published studies in social sciences and in health services research.
1. Gray DE. (2009) Doing research in the real world 2nd edition. London, Sage
2. de Vaus, DA 2002, Surveys in Social Research. 5th Edition, Routledge, London.
3. Bowling, A 1997, Research methods in health: Investigating health and health services, Open University Press, Buckingham.
• Critically discuss the multifaceted theories and concepts used in science studies and medical sociology
• Critically explore key contested social science perspectives on the interrelated fields of medicine and science
• Critically illuminate the complex nature of multidisciplinary research on medicine, science and society
• Critically illustrate core themes through a series of in-depth case studies
• Critically appraise social science perspectives on the multifaceted interface between science and medicine.
• Critically discuss key social science perspectives on the contested interaction between ‘the bench and the bedside’
• Critically explore the complex nature of multidisciplinary research on medicine, science and society
• Critically examine core themes on the social science of the ‘lab-clinic interface’ through a series of in-depth case studies
Topics covered will include:
health transitions and social changes
ageing and the Development Agenda
Global institutions and politics
social policies for ageing societies
human rights in an ageing world
This module will draw on the multi-disciplinary strengths of King's College and across the Department of Political Economy to provide important perspectives on population ageing and the growing numbers of older people around the world.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of demographic processes and how these vary across the world.
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of population ageing and its effects on family support systems, living arrangements and intergenerational relationships.
3. Critically evaluate the key social, political and economic implications of changing demographic processes on contemporary societies across the world.
4. Analyse the policy and practice implications of ageing societies.
5. Demonstrate a critical awareness of global institutions and their impact on the lives of older people.
• Critically explore key contested social science perspectives on research-related, clinical, regulatory, social, economic, and economic dimensions of genomics;
• Critically illuminate the complex nature of multidisciplinary research on medicine, bioscience and society;
• Equip students with the analytic and conceptual skills necessary for a critical and productive engagement with literature in both the life sciences and the social sciences at the interface of genomics and society.
• Evaluate key theoretical approaches to the nature of pharmaceutical development, regulation, marketing and consumption
• Explore the complex nature and interaction of social science and techno-scientific factors explaining the role of pharmaceuticals in society
• Provide an understanding of the types of evidence that need to be brought to bear on risk-benefit decisions about pharmaceuticals across many institutional contexts and especially the role of social science in illuminating the nature of that evidence
• Raise awareness of the international nature of the pharmaceutical-society interaction
• Provide the analytical tools for systematic discussion of the global dimensions of health needs and pharmaceutical provision
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:
1. The fundamental ethical considerations and legal frameworks underpinning health and social science research.
2. The ethical considerations arising throughout the research process: from initial project concept to research governance and dissemination.
3. Consent, capability and autonomy in research participation.
4. The general principles and practices underpinning the interests and protection of vulnerable research participants, including confidentiality and anonymity.
5. The dilemmas and required responses to ‘wearing two hats’ of clinician and researcher.
6. Ethical and practical issues relating to the safety of researchers
Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. (2001) Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5th edition. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Iphofen R. (2009) Ethical decision making in social research: a practical guide. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
Mauthner M, Birch M, Jessop J, Miller T (eds) (2002) Ethics in Qualitative Research. London, Sage
This course is aimed at thinking broadly about the experiences and meanings of science and technology for the global population during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will focus on key themes in twentieth century global history: public health, race, global trade, decolonisation, modernisation, the nuclear age, green revolution and population control. We want to understand the normative and moral aspects of the debates and arguments around the "civilizing mission" under European colonialism through "modernization" during the Cold War under the global leadership of the United States and the Soviet Union, and how this transition of world politics was played out globally with respect to science and technology. We will see that interactions between cultures have often been negotiated through practices concerning the control and regulation of territories and populations. The ideas around civilisation and progress that helped legitimate these practices under colonial rule, continued through the period after World War II, providing the foundations for efforts to develop and modernise the emerging decolonised world. Through close attention to ideas and processes (more than on details of specific cases), we will examine the diversity of the historical actors and the context of their interactions.
The module is interdisciplinary drawing inter alia on science and technology studies, socio-legal studies and political economy. Topics covered will include: the emergence of the idea of a knowledge-based economy, and its function as part of the neoliberal state project (the shift from government to governance); the concept of promissory science and the promotion of biotechnology as a ‘frontier technology’; the formation of public policy through processes of multi-level governance at the local, national and transnational levels; the intersection between public policy and commercial strategy, and the changing relationships between governments, corporations and academic scientists; the globalisation of academic research and corporate R&D; the role of regulation as a both a response to and a shaper of biotechnologies; the importance of intellectual property rights in the bioeconomy, the legalisation of patents on novel life-based technologies and the globalisation of the IP regime favoured by Western pharmaceutical companies through the TRIPS agreement; and the public health consequences of focusing biomedical R&D on emergent biotechnologies
To describe the key actors and institutions as well as discourses and practices that seek to address contemporary health crises.
To introduce students to the key concepts and debates in anthropological, sociological, and historical studies of disasters and emergencies.
To give students the abilities to analyze emergency relief and disaster prevention from a critical point of view.
To provide students with an understanding of the relationship between social, cultural, political, and economic factors that shape the perception of disasters and emergencies.
To provide students with the skills to critically evaluate humanitarian interventions and to identify the role of key stakeholders in shaping them.
Class sessions will involve lectures, guest lectures, student presentations, discussions, film screenings, and review activities. To involve students in their own learning, make seminar topics come alive, to deepen students’ knowledge of a topic, and to develop particular skills, questions which stimulate critical thinking, annotated suggestions for further readings, and lists of related websites will be provided.
• To introduce students to key concepts and debates around war trauma and relevant interventions.
• To approach mental health and wars from an interdisciplinary angle by reviewing the publications of work in the fields of medicine, public health, psychiatry, anthropology, sociology, history and philosophy.
• To develop an understanding of theories of and approaches related to the key concepts related to war, mental health and healing.
• To synthesise, compare, and critically discuss key concepts, academic debates, research approaches and relevant ethnographic studies.