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Global Health and Social Medicine Research MPhil / PhD

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Global Health and 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 Social Science, Health and 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.


Key information

Duration MPhil: two years FT, four years PT. PhD: three years FT, four-six years PT. Research degree registration normally only allowed in September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

DepartmentDepartment of Global Health & Social Medicine



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Course detail


Research in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine (established January 2012) focuses on the social, political, economic, legal and ethical factors shaping developments in biomedicine, disease and healthcare and their implications.

We have research priorities in the following areas:

  • 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.

Course study environment

The supervisory relationship is central to doctoral studies in the Department. Admission to the doctoral research programme is highly selective and is dependent upon a good match being found between student interests and supervisor capabilities. Each student is allocated a principal supervisor from within the Department, experienced in the relevant research area and responsible for all aspects of supervision. A second supervisor is allocated, who may be a member of the Department, or a specialist from another Department in the School. Research students are integrated within a community of research students, research fellows, visiting researchers and senior visiting academics from across the world, and have access to a range of formal and informal study groups and activities organised by this research community. Students also have access to graduate seminars, workshops, seminars and conferences, often in association with other departments in social sciences, arts and humanities and the Helath Schools within King's.

Postgraduate training

The Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine participates in the research training programme offered in the ESRC funded King's Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC) and all incoming research students are allocated a programme of doctoral training to suit their specific needs which will be followed in the first year of study. KISS-DTC runs placement and knowledge-exchange programmes with organisations across the public and private sectors, and provides advanced doctoral training and summer school courses run collaboratively with other institutions. In addition, students on our doctoral programme audit parts of our MSc in Medicine, Science & Society, to provide background and skills in areas relevant to their research topic.

Head of group/division

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Contact email

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Master's degree in a relavent subject and/or practical experience in the field of study.

Application procedure

The application process

If you are interested in undertaking doctoral study in our Department, in the first instance you should submit an online application via the portal. Applying online makes the process easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.

King's does not normally accept paper copies of the postgraduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online postgraduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

You will need a fully worked draft research proposal of approximately 1,000 – 1,500 words to accompany your application, along with a personal statement.

Personal statement and supporting information

The personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page. This should explain why you are interested in a particular subject, and could include, for example, details of your motivation and aptitude, your relevant experience and skills, and any other information that would be useful for us in assessing your application. In general terms, we look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in their chosen subject area, which should be relevent to the work of the Department and our staff, and who demonstrate the potential to conduct original research.

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below for 2017/18 entry. Prior to these dates all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After these dates applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

  • Sept 2017 entry -  Application deadline: 20th July 2017 for Overseas students and 3rd September 2017 for Home/ EU students

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2017/18

Full time tuition fees: £4,800 per year

Part time tuition fees: £2,400 per year

Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


International Tuition Fees 2017/18

Full time tuition fees:  £17,850 per year               

Part time tuition fees: £10,500 per year

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 03 March 2017.