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About Global Health & Social Medicine

Why Global Health & Social Medicine? Because health and illness are more than medical matters

Illness is a human experience, shaped by social, political and economic conditions, by cultural beliefs and values, and by systems of language and meaning. At the same time, from research to policy and practice, inequalities in medicine and health are increasingly global matters, with profound effects on individual human lives and on social and political relations worldwide.

Global Health & Social Medicine (formerly known as the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine) at King’s is a unique interdisciplinary department founded in 2012. GHSM is already ranked within the top 10 of sociology departments in the UK.  Its mission is to address the changing landscape of health and medicine from a social science perspective. We explore 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 nature of medical practice.

What we offer

Bringing together social scientists, biomedical researchers and clinicians, we offer a portfolio of research-led teaching at postgraduate and doctoral levels and a flagship undergraduate programme. We undertake the highest quality research on social science, which is both transdisciplinary and transnational; inspiring creative interactions between individuals and groups across King’s College London and beyond.

Grounded in a knowledge of history, law and philosophy, our internationally recognised expertise, consultancy work, and our contributions to policy development are utilised by myriad organizations, from community groups to transnational organizations.  We equip students with the skills required for a wide range of careers across disciplines: in the health services; in government and NGOs (from public health to environmental protection and urban planning); and in the commercial medical and health sectors.

  • GHSM's research outputs were rated number 2 in the UK.
  • 100% of the impact of its research is judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our resources

Based in the heart of London, with unique access to national and international centres of influence, King’s College London has the largest concentration of health and medical resources in Europe. Hosting visiting experts from across the world, we have extensive global reach, with a particular focus on India, China and Brazil.

Global Health & Social Medicine is home to the Institute of Gerontology, one of the foremost gerontological research and teaching centres worldwide. It is a centre of expertise in multi-disciplinary research into ageing, working with colleagues across King’s and in other institutions.  Our research is organised into the following themes:

How to get involved 

Join our undergraduate, postgraduate or Doctoral programmes.  We welcome all enquiries about the Department and our programmes and facilities – please check our website on a regular basis to keep in touch with us as we develop.


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