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Global Health and Social Medicine BA/BSc

Taught jointly within two of King’s world-leading departments, the Global Health and Social Medicine BA and BSc are the ideal degrees for students seeking to make a difference and improve health and wellbeing, globally, by shaping effective health policies and healthcare delivery systems.

The focus of our BA is on making a difference through social science; while the BSc includes a focus on bioscience. The latter is taught in collaboration with King's world-leading School of Bioscience Education, with the opportunity to specialise in one of three pathways: ageing, neuroscience or pharmacology. Both degrees provide you with the strong foundations you need to pursue careers in global health and social justice. 

The Global Ageing, Health and Policy iBSc course is a multidisciplinary programme covering ageing and older age through the study of demography, social policy, sociology and health science. The course will improve your understanding of ageing populations and the ageing process, including current social and health policy issues, and the implications of ageing for individuals and societies.

Why does it matter?

Health is more than a medical matter, with effective policies and practices for health care and disease prevention being generated far beyond the clinical setting. This programme bridges conventional divides between the biomedical and social sciences, offering unique insights into the economic, political and cultural factors that shape the nature of health and disease, globally, and which produce entrenched inequalities in health care provision.

Students will investigate the social history and contemporary operation of health care systems; the implications of radical new advances in biomedicine, such as genomics, stem cells and neuroscience; the challenges of an ageing society and the threats to health posed by global pandemics, bioterrorism and biosecurity.

UCAS Code Apply direct to King's
Duration One year

Global Ageing, Health & Policy Intercalated BSc course at King's College London

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UCAS Code L510, L512 (with a year abroad)
Duration Three, or four years with a year abroad

Study a BSc Global Health & Social Medicine degree in the Department of Global Health & Social Science at King's College London.

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UCAS Code L511, L513 (with a year abroad)
Duration Three, or four years with a year abroad

Study a BA Global Health & Social Medicine degree in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King's College London.

View course

Why study Global Health & Social Medicine?

Find out more about how you can change the world with our Global Health & Social Medicine BA and BSc.

Where will my degree take me?

Many graduates are drawn to policy research roles in think tanks, such as the King's Fund, or research organisations like The Welcome Trust.

Charities working in the UK are also a strong campaigning influence in the health sector, whilst international development organisations deliver health related projects overseas. Organisations like UNICEF, Save the Children, Tear Fund, Age Concern, Carers UK, Alzheimer's Association and Mind have a clear link to our programmes.

Careers in these areas are built over time and your undergraduate degree might lead to the first step on the ladder in the form of an internship or entry-level role.

You may choose to develop your specialism and skills through postgraduate study or take advantage of the training provided through the competitive graduate recruitment schemes. Other available schemes include the NHS graduate management training scheme, which offers fast track training to develop a career in the operational and strategic challenges of running the NHS today.

The course will also prepare you for roles in:

Advocacy professionals design initiatives to achieve specific goals. This can include incorporating statistics and engaging the media. Being confident and able to influence others through formal and informal channels is crucial. Most large charities and NGOs will have campaigns teams, as will professional bodies.

Researchers working for NGOs are concerned with the immediate and practical impact of research. The ability to translate and communicate research to different audiences is important. The quantitative and qualitative research skills developed through the course can also be utilised to evaluate the impact of healthcare projects, initiatives and policies.

The immediate aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster requires people with very technical skills (e.g. medical professionals, engineers, accountants and field logisticians). Once the initial situation has stabilised, other roles and skills become required that are not as technical (e.g. housing, administration, communications and programme management).

Students often have a passion for science but would prefer a career that is outside of the lab setting. Scientific knowledge will be needed to talk to a wide range of clients and colleagues, and to understand concepts and techniques that are then applied to different situations. Typical areas of work include science communications/journalism/publishing, healthcare public relations, patent attorney and science/sociology.

Policymakers within the civil service work in all departments, making the government's priorities a reality. The Department of Health might appear to be the obvious link, but the Department for International Development, Department for Communities and even the Treasury will cross over into healthcare policy. On the international stage, organisations, such as the United Nations, are an end goal for many graduates and are perhaps seen as the context in which your practice can have maximum impact. The Clinton Health Access Initiative is an example of an international organisation that regularly visits King’s. In the private sector, public affairs consultancies seek to influence policymakers through lobbying, partnerships and campaigns, and many have sector specialism in healthcare.

Hear from Rob about why he studies Global Health & Social Medicine

Meet Rob and hear about why he studies Global Health & Social Medicine at King's, a unique degree which brings together the study of social science and bioscience.

Hear from Hannah about why she studies Global Health & Social Medicine

Meet Hannah and hear about why she studies Global Health & Social Medicine at King's, including her focus on the politics of and access to healthcare, in particular, refugee health.

Explore undergraduate study in Global Health & Social Medicine



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