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Postgraduate Research Programmes

Global Health & Social Medicine welcomes applications to join our lively and mutually-supportive community of doctoral students. Working on and across our key research themes, the growing community is co-located in our research lab with visiting researchers, research fellows and professors. Students benefit from our active participation in the King's Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC), which provides leadership in relevant cross-cutting themes. Within Global Health & Social Medicine, we also offer a thriving programme of workshops, reading groups and other events.

Recently released data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) shows that King’s is equal top in England (with Queen Mary, University of London) for its PhD completion rates with 86.8 per cent of its full time research degree starters qualifying with a research degree within seven years, against a national average in England of 72.9 per cent.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates. Current research priorities include:

  • social determinants of national and global inequalities in health, including from life-course and international comparative perspectives;
  • philosophical and ethical aspects of global health pertaining to theories of social justice;
  • social, ethical and political implications of developments in psychiatry, neuroscience and brain research, and the changing territory of mental health;
  • political economy, sociology and history of pharmaceutical regulation, innovation and pharmaceuticalization, especially drug safety and efficacy;
  • politics of cost-effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and drug pricing regulation;
  • social, ethical, and regulatory aspects of personalised and data-driven medicine, of bio-information use in forensics and policing, and of innovation and translation in genomics, stem cells and neuroscience;
  • the ethical and social implications of conducting research with human participants, and of making treatment decisions at the end of life (determination of death in transplantation medicine);
  • movements for 'people's health' in developing countries and the implications of transformations to new models of community healthcare;
  • social, economic and policy consequences of ageing populations in developed and developing worlds;
  • family care and support in later life, with a particular focus on international comparative work;
  • life course influences on health and wellbeing at older ages, including life-long disorders;
  • social and ethical consequences of the capitalisation of healthcare and the roles of solidarity, justice and priority-setting in biomedicine and health care;
  • social and ethical implications of emerging biotechnologies, bio-politics and the global bio-economy;
  • medical anthropology and science and technology studies pertaining to knowledge, expertise, morality, safety and security;
  • medical anthropology, history, and public health of Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • socio-political and cultural dimensions of global health research, policy and innovation in developing countries, including disease control interventions such as outbreak response and preparedness;
  • social and political history of biosciences in the global south.

Successful applicants will be enrolled on our PhD programme in Global Health & Social Medicine. However, applicants should note that upon successful completion of their PhD, they may exit/graduate with a PhD in any appropriate social science discipline agreed with their supervisors, such as Anthropology, Bioethics, Global Health & Social Medicine, Philosophy, Political Science, Science & Technology Studies, Social Epidemiology, Social Policy, Sociology, and so on.

You can find further details about the programmes via the below links:

MPhil / PhD Global Health & Social Medicine.

MPhil / PhD Gerontology



The Application Process

If you are interested in undertaking doctoral study in our Department, we have developed a two stage application process:

1)  If you would like to apply please send your research proposal (between a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 1500 words) and a 2 -3 page CV (including academic grades obtained) for consideration to the Admissions Tutor, Dr Carlo Caduff by email: In your email, identify potential supervisors in our Department with a research specialism in the area that you wish to focus on in your doctoral studies.

To identify a potential supervisor in our Department, with a research specialism in the area that you wish to focus on in your doctoral studies, you can refer to our academic profiles for assistance. 

 2)  If the Admissions Tutor encourages you to apply, you should immediately submit an online application via the application portal 'King's Apply'. Applying online makes the process easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.

 The full application process with further guidance is available here.




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