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Postgraduate Study

Global Health & Social Justice MSc

Applications for this programme are now open. Apply online.

Who is the programme for?

The growing movement for global health seeks to address inequalities in health, disease, disability and medical care around the world. This innovative graduate programme is designed for students seeking high-level skills in the critical analysis of the drivers of global health inequalities, the politics, practices and ethics of the global health movement.

The MSc in Global Health and Social Justice is ideal for recent graduates and global health professionals, policy makers and influencers, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organizations, and for anyone wishing to develop a more rigorous understanding of the field. It builds core capacity for the critical skills to address global health from the perspective of social justice.

Why does it matter?

The appalling inequities in mortality, disease, disability, and medical care between and within countries as well as global regions result from a complex mix of social, economic and political factors. Medical and health care advances are often extending the healthy lives of the wealthy few, yet millions sicken and die for want of basic health and social facilities, often hampered by ineffective and non-responsive political systems.  The increasing acknowledgement of social determinants of health moves the scope of analysis and action much beyond medicine and healthcare policy.

From the World Health Organization to multiple NGOs, global pharmaceutical companies and the new generation of philanthropists, the global health movement is growing. However, it is challenged by a variety of grass roots movements that start from different premises and advocate very different practices of intervention. Improving global health requires a new generation of individuals who understand the many complex dimensions of health, healthcare, and global institutions and processes as well as reasoning ethically about the many difficult moral dilemmas present.

What is unique about this programme?

  • An emphasis on social/global justice and the development of key critical skills for analysis, research, policy development and the ethical assessment of health and disease inequalities.

  • Taught within a world-leading Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, by internationally recognised experts who have trained across a range of disciplines – from sociology, anthropology, geography, gerontology, socio-legal studies and political science to psychology, bioethics, philosophy, biology and medicine.

  • Provides the opportunity for advanced social science analysis of key issues, such as psychiatry and mental health, ageing, war and trauma, pharmaceuticals, pandemics and biosecurity, and the political economy of health.

  • Provides opportunities to join a thriving research community, to participate with active researchers in a range of extra-curricular events such as reading groups and roundtable discussions, and to attend a rich programme of seminars and lectures by world renowned visiting speakers.

  • Builds on the Department’s close collaboration with the King’s Centre for Global Health and the King’s Regional Institutes, particularly Brazil, China and India.

  • Provides internship opportunities and career support to enhance students’ employability.

  • Taught in the heart of London, at the Strand Campus on the banks of the Thames, providing unrivalled opportunities to engage with the worlds of policymaking, private sector organizations, non-governmental agencies and other academic institutions relevant to global health.


What will my timetable look like?

Timetabling is difficult to predict and may change from year to year. In the past, our modules have typically been taught on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please see here for an overview of our annual schedule.

Full-time MSc students typically take their modules as follows. Please note that some modules may involve additional activities, such as discussion groups, workshops or methods labs.

Term : late September – December

Term 2: January – late March or early April

Term 3: May

  • Work on the MSc dissertation (submission in late August)

Part-time MSc students typically take Critical Global Health, Global Health Ethics and a research methods module in year 1 of their studies, and Foundations of Social Science, Health & Medicine as well as an optional module in year 2. Part-time students begin working on their MSc dissertation in year 1, but conduct most of the work on this in year 2 of their studies.


How do I find out more?

More information is available in the KCL prospectus.

Information on scholarships and funding, including bursaries offered by Social Science, Health & Medicine, can be found here.

For an informal discussion about the programme, contact Dr Sridhar Venkatapuram, Programme Director, at

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