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Gaining work experience during your studies is probably the single most important thing you can do to add employability value to your degree. Interning allows you understand more about a sector, build your industry connections and develop skills essential to your future plans. Internship opportunities may come up through the department’s contacts but you can also access support through King’s Careers and Employability.

King’s Internships programmes source part time and full time paid internship opportunities open only to current King’s students and recent alumni. King’s Global internships arrange overseas work placement during the summer in countries including South Africa, China, USA and Columbia. You can make an appointment with Careers and Employability to discuss ways of sourcing an opportunity proactively.

Why I study Global Health & Social Medicine at King's

Meet Rachael and hear about why she studies Global Health & Social Medicine at King's, including her focus on racial inequalities, healthcare in conflict and post-conflict zones and her year abroad in USA at Johns Hopkins.

Reflections on an internship in Rio de Janeiro

In August 2017, two students in Global Health & Social Medicine, Elisabeth and Hannah, were given the opportunity to explore mental health provision in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, funded by bursaries from the King's Global Engagement program (Latin America).

Just before commencing our final year in Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s, we were given the incredible opportunity to embark on an internship to observe how primary mental healthcare is organised, delivered and managed in the northern area of Rio de Janeiro.--- Getting a first-hand experience to observe, learn and discuss how Brazil’s universal healthcare system was a unique and incredibly rewarding experience.--- In addition to getting an in depth understanding of innovative mental health care provision in primary settings through shadowing psychiatrists out in clinics, we also participated in academic seminars. This internship was an extraordinary experience that allowed us to apply studied knowledge in a specific context.

Elisabeth and Hannah, undergraduate students in Global Health & Social Medicine

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

Transferable skills

Transferable skills that will be acquired are communication and literacy as well as listening and questioning; working in groups and discussing complex content; debating/thinking on your feet; conducting rapid research; writing reports; problem solving and time management; individual study.

Additional key skills include: Critical engagement with complex concepts concerning social science studies of health, illness and biomedicine; explanation and analysis of processes and relationships that underpin social, cultural and political aspects of health, illness and medicine; and interdisciplinary and critical thinking.

These skills are valued by employers in all sectors; accountancy requires candidates who can analyse discuss complex data and information just as much as the World Health Organisation does.

Student in the Maughan Library

Careers and employability with a Global Health and Social Medicine BA/BSc

This is the ideal degree for students wanting to make a difference to improving health and wellbeing, locally and globally.

Potential careers include public health policymakers, developers of international health care delivery systems.The NHS graduate management training scheme, for example, offers fast track training to develop a career in the operational and strategic challenges of running the NHS today.

A student at work, looking at a laptop

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 the degree course.

Careers in these areas are built over time and 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. 

The course will also prepare 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 utilized evaluating 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 P.R, patent attorney, science/sociology.

Policy makers within the civil service work in all departments making the government of the day’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 like the UN 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 is regular visitor to King’s. In the private sector public affairs consultancies seek to influence policy makers through lobbying, partnerships and campaigns, many have sector specialism in healthcare.

Discover the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine

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