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PhD research

We welcome applicants looking to join our lively and mutually-supportive community of doctoral students. Working on and across our key research themes, our growing community includes 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.

Duration Expected to be three years FT, six years PT. Most candidates begin the programme in September; January entry may be considered.

MPhil/PhD Gerontology Research at King's College London.

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

MPhil/PhD Social Science, Health & Medicine Research in the Department for Social Science, Health and Medicine at King's College London.

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The application process

1. Email your research proposal (between a minimum 1,000 to maximum 1500 words) and a 2-3 page CV (including academic grades obtained) to our Admissions Tutor, Dr Carlo Caduff ( for consideration.

In your email, identify potential supervisors in our department with expertise in the area you wish to focus on in your doctoral studies. Find out more about our research expertise

2. If our Admissions Tutor encourages you to apply, you will need to 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.

Why study with us?

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.

Students in conversation

Current research priorities

  • 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 pharmaceuticalisation, 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 and Sociology.


Postgraduate research funding

Find out more about the funding opportunities available to students on postgraduate research courses at King's.

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