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Medicine, Health and Public Policy MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert



The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy addresses the nature and policy implications of key developments in the fields of health and medicine from social scientific and ethical perspectives. It examines the political, economic, cultural and ethical dimensions of contemporary trends in medicine, the biosciences and health, in changing social and regulatory contexts, and at national and international levels.

Key benefits

  • 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.

  • Covers a broad range of substantive topics and offers a wide selection of specialist options addressing key social and ethical concerns related to, for example, psychiatry and mental health; ageing; war and trauma; pharmaceuticals, genomics, and biotechnology and clinical research; pandemics and biosecurity; and the political economy of health.

  • Offers advanced training in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as critical policy research methods, allowing students to acquire the skills needed to undertake cutting-edge, social scientific analyses of diverse health-related issues.

  • 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.

  • Equips students with a set of skills and understandings necessary for future careers in the fields of policymaking and regulation, in health-related governmental and non-governmental agencies, and in university teaching and research.

  • 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, with access to policy-makers, private sector organizations, government agencies and other research and academic institutions relevant to health, and to London’s key cultural activities.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK180-190/ECTS90-95

Course intake No set number.

Course leaders Dr Courtney Davis

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200


Course contact form Postgraduate admissions enquiry form

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine


Entry requirements & how to apply

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

A relevant UK honours degree of 2:1 standard or overseas equivalent. If an applicant possesses an undergraduate degree below 2:1 standard, subsequent postgraduate qualifications may be taken into account. Also desirable is evidence of active engagement in relevant activities and an attentive concern for the relationships between medicine, science and society demonstrated by reading and otherwise following current national and international issues.

Application procedure

Your application will be assessed by the Admissions Tutor. You may be invited to be interviewed. We may interview non-UK candidates by telephone and may ask applicants to write an essay. We will only assess complete applications with supporting uploaded documents. Please see our website for more details. We aim to process applications within three weeks; during holiday periods applications may take longer to process.

Personal statement and supporting information

Your personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page. You should explain why you are interested in the MSc Medicine, Science & Society; you could include, for example, details of your motivation and your relevant knowledge, experience or skills. We look for candidates who have a strong academic background, demonstrate a focused interest in the programme and are committed to advanced interdisciplinary study.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is 02 September for 2016 entry. Note that funding deadlines may be earlier. Applications will be considered subject to availability of places, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. International applications must be received by 29 July to allow sufficient time for visa processing.


Course detail


Advances in biomedicine and neuroscience, coupled with rapid technological innovation, are said to be fundamentally changing the ways in which disease is understood, defined and treated. At the same time social, political, economic and regulatory transformations, at both national and global levels, are reconfiguring relationships between governments, citizens and private actors, with profound consequences for the production and distribution of health and disease around the world. These developments have important implications for public policy, particularly with respect to questions of justice and equity.

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy addresses the nature and policy implications of developments in health and medicine from social scientific and ethical perspectives. It is designed for graduates who wish to develop specialist understanding of the complex interconnections between (1) changing social, economic and political contexts, (2) advances in the biosciences and technological innovation, and (3) the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Drawing on concepts, theories and methods from the social sciences and from philosophy and ethics, students are encouraged to combine rigorous theoretical analysis with concrete, problem-based and policy-relevant research addressing key issues and controversies relevant to recent developments in health and medicine.

Students will have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, which may include: inequalities in health and access to healthcare; the dynamics and policy implications of ageing societies; the securitization of public health; the impact of war and conflict on health and well-being; transnational trends in medical research, pharmaceutical regulation and health technology assessment; ethical issues in clinical research; the implications of recent scientific advances in genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience for ideas of personhood and identity, and for the organisation and funding of healthcare; patient advocacy, health movements and citizen participation in health policy making; the commodification of the body; the role of psychiatry in the cultural construction of normality and abnormality; and the marketization and privatization of medical care.

The programme reflects King's commitment to world-leading interdisciplinary scholarship on health and medicine, and to the use of engaged, academic research as a means of contributing to understanding of, and responses to, pressing social and global issues.

Course purpose

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy is ideal for health professionals, graduates in relevant disciplines, policy makers, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, and anyone wishing to develop advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the complex relationships between medicine, science and society. Teaching focuses on cutting-edge research within socio-ethical studies of health, medicine and public policy, and provides a firm grounding in the knowledge, analytical techniques and research methods used within advanced social research. In doing so, it equips students with a set of skills and understandings that are necessary for future careers in the fields of policymaking and regulation, in health-related governmental and non-governmental agencies, and in university teaching and research. 

Further literature Medicine, Health & Public Policy

Course format and assessment

Teaching involves a combination of lectures, seminars and workshopsthat place an emphasis on group dialogue, presentations and debate. Assessment includes a mix of examinations, written work and oral presentations.

Extra information

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy is a unique and innovative programme that offers advanced interdisciplinary training in social scientific research on contemporary forms of medicine and bioscience, and the social, political and ethical issues associated with them. It attracts students from around the globe who have a diverse range of academic backgrounds, and provides them with the opportunity to learn advanced skills in research and analysisfrom some of the world’s leading social science experts. Students acquire broad knowledge of health-related social research,as well as specialist understandings that result from the pursuit of in-depth research on topics of their own choosing. More details can be found on our website, here.



Career prospects

Students may go on to pursue careers in academia, in the fields of policymaking, research, and regulation in the public and private sectors, in government agencies, think-tanks and in national and international NGOs. We collaborate closely with the Careers & Employability Office at King's College London to enhance the employability of our students, and we organise targeted careers sessions with guest-speakers from relevant fields.



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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,000 MSc; 3,000PG Cert; 6,000 Pg Dip (2016)

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£17,550 Msc; 5,850 PG Cert; 11,700 PG Dip (2016)

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£1,500 PG Cert; 3,000 Pg Dip (2016)

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£2,925 PG Cert; 5,850 Pg Dip (2016)

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The deposit is £1,000 – Home/EU and £2,000 – Overseas (2016/17)

If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2016, payment is due by 30th April 2016.

If you receive an offer between 1st April 2016 and 30th June 2016, payment is due within one month of receipt of the offer.

If you receive an offer between 1st July 2016 and 31st July 2016, payment is due within two weeks of receipt of the offer.

If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2016, payment is due within one week of receipt of the offer.

Please visit  our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Funding for postgraduate study is limited, and students are normally self-funded. Our experienced staff will gladly assist you in identifying possible funding opportunities. You may also be able to find additional financial support via the Graduate School funding database. Find out more about funding online 


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