Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s is a unique interdisciplinary department founded in 2012 with a mission to address the changing landscape of health and medicine from a social science perspective. Working closely with colleagues in biomedicine and the life sciences, it explores the complex social determinants of health, illness and ageing, and the ways in which advances in biomedicine and biotechnology are changing expectations about life and health, and the social and ethical challenges of global inequalities in health, illness and medical care.
The Department has been recognised by the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 for the quality of its interdisciplinary research in sociology, anthropology, gerontology and ethics. It achieved the highest proportion of 4* research outputs of any sociology submission to the 2014 REF, where 4* represents world-leading research in terms of originality, significance and rigour. In addition, 100% of its research impact was awarded a 4* or 3* rating.
The MSc in Research Methods for Social Science and Health draws on departmental research first hand, and benefits from close connections with King’s internationally renowned health schools. Taught by a dedicated team of experienced academics, the programme introduces students to epistemology and ethics in the social sciences, and provides foundational training in research design and governance, and in quantitative and qualitative methodology. It offers a variety of options for advanced and more specialized training. The dissertation forms an integral part of the programme, enabling students to put the knowledge and research skills they’ve gained into practice on a topic of their own choosing. Through the programme students develop a critical understanding of research, a variety of methods and their practical application in health and social sciences.
A rich departmental programme of guest speakers, research seminars, workshops, reading groups and visiting researchers enhances students’ learning experience. Alumni consistently comment on how the department has prepared them to embark on new careers or advance their existing positions by providing them with the skills and expertise to evaluate, conduct and commission research.
Prior training in quantitative or qualitative methods is not required. The programme can be studied over one year on a full time basis, or over two years part time. Students can also opt for an abbreviated Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.
The postgraduate programme provides an excellent foundation for understanding, conducting and using social science research in policy, medicine and healthcare. It is designed for researchers, professionals and practitioners seeking to develop their understanding and practical application of research methodologies, especially those from health, policy, NGO and government sectors, and those who manage and/or commission research.
Combination of lectures, tutorial classes, independent study, optional modules, attendance at regular seminars and colloquium, and an extended research project.
Assessment encompasses a mix of both formal and informal assessment methods, including oral presentation, extended essays both formative and summative, unseen examination, and a dissertation.