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Careers and Employability

BA/BSc Global Health and Social Medicine

What can I do with this course afterwards?

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. 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 post graduate study or take advantage of the training provided through the competitive graduate recruitment schemes.

The course will also prepare for roles in:

Advocacy - 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.

Research - 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.

Emergency Relief - 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.   

Private Sector / Scientific - non lab based - 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

Government & Policy – 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.


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.


Useful websites:

Government and Policy

NGOs and International Organisations

Health Research Charities

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