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Bioethics & Society MSc

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Advances in biomedicine, neuroscience, and public health raise some of the most difficult ethical and societal questions today. The Bioethics & Society course allows you to study these questions drawing on concepts, theories, and methods from philosophy and the social sciences. This will enable you to understand how bioethics influences the world, and how you can make an impact in the world.

The course information sheet is a printable version of the information on this web page, which you can download here.

Key benefits

  • The only UK course based in a social science department.
  • Taught at King’s College London, one of the top-25 schools in the world (QS World University Rankings 2016).
  • Taught in the heart of London, at King’s College Strand Campus.
  • Offers a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to bioethics that draws from key concepts, theories, methods and findings from philosophy and the social sciences.
  • Lectures and seminars are given by internationally recognized faculty who consult for the World Health Organization, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, and the U.K. Parliament Office of Science & Technology, among others.
  • Collaborates with other departments at King’s to serve students’ individual needs and interests and create exciting career streams of optional modules.
  • Offers a rigorous methods training in qualitative and quantitative research methods and critical policy research.
  • Provides skilled supervision to develop competence in executing a small-scale independent dissertation research project.
  • Offers a rich programme of guest lectures and seminars, including the KCL / UCL Joint Bioethics Colloquium, and the GHSM Seminar Series.
  • Offers individualised career support to build a strong CV, helping students to identify opportunities to present their work, do internships, and secure funding.
  • Collaborates closely with King’s College Careers & Employability Office to enhance the employability of our students with targeted sessions.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value 180 - 200

Course intake Contact for details: Dr Silvia Camporesi and Dr Gry Wester

Course leaders Dr Silvia Camporesi & Dr Gry Wester 

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2979
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

Department Department of Global Health & Social Medicine



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Course detail


The course is taught in the heart of London, with immediate access to King’s hospitals and laboratories, and close to government, health policy think-tanks, patient advocacy groups, medical and scientific societies, and the private health sector. We offer a unique ‘real-world’ approach to bioethics, allowing students to understand the social and political contexts in which bioethical controversies arise and proposed solutions are developed. In the course of their studies, students are equipped with essential knowledge and skills to make a contribution to resolving bioethical problems. In addition, internship opportunities enable students to gather practical insights and to build professional networks.

Course purpose

The course is ideal for health professionals, graduates of a relevant discipline, policy makers and shapers, and anyone wishing to develop a more rigorous understanding of the ethical and societal issues in biomedicine, neuroscience, and health policy today. Our Masters degree lays the foundation for future careers; for example, in government, national and international NGOs, teaching, or research in bioethics or social sciences. The course will also enhance existing careers in clinical practice, biomedical research, public health, and health policy.

Course format and assessment


We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 15 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 135 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide three 2-hour workshops and six half-hour supervisory sessions to complement your 591 hours of independent study.


The department assesses students on a combination of essays, written examinations, oral presentations and the dissertation. The nature of assessment varies by module.

Extra information

For more information contact the Admissions' Tutors, Dr Silvia Camporesi: or Dr Gry Wester:


Year 1

Courses are divided into modules, and students on this course take modules totalling 180 credits.

King's College London reviews the modules offered on a regular basis to provide up-to-date, innovative and relevant courses of study. Therefore, modules offered may change. We suggest you keep an eye on the course finder on our website for updates.

You may opt to take an additional Internship module which will increase your total credits to 200 for the degree.

Required Modules

You are required to take the following modules:

You are also required to take one of the following modules:

Optional Modules
In addition, you are required to take 45 credits from a range of optional modules. It is strongly suggested you take at least one 15 credit ethics module. Optional modules may typically include:

Part-time students will be expected to take Critical Bioethics, one research methods module and one optional module in year 1, with the remaining required and optional modules taken in year 2.

Entry requirements & how to apply

Bioethics & Society Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements   2:1 A relevant UK honours degree of 2:1 standard. If an applicant possesses an undergraduate degree below 2:1 standard, subsequent postgraduate qualifications may be taken into account. Also desirable is evidence of active engagement in relevant activities and an attentive concern for the pressing ethical questions in contemporary medicine, bioscience and health policy, demonstrated by reading and otherwise following current national and international issues.

We may consider candidates with a lower second class degree or with professional qualifications from a recognised institution if they can show relevant work experience and/or relevant professional qualifications, can demonstrate that they are highly motivated and have referees from their university or employment strongly supporting their admission onto a masters level programme.

International requirements    Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band B  Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements. 


Application procedure

Applications must be made online using King’s online application portal and a non-refundable application fee of £55 applies.

Your application will be assessed by the Admissions Tutor.

You will need to write a personal statement, upload two letters of reference, and your original transcripts. In your personal statement you should explain why you are interested in the MSc in Bioethics & Society and could include, for example, details of your motivation and your relevant knowledge, experience or skills. We look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in the programme and are committed to advanced interdisciplinary study at postgraduate level.

We aim to process all complete applications within four weeks; during February and March and over holiday periods, applications may take longer to process.


Personal statement and supporting information

Your personal statement should be approximately 800-1000 words . You should explain why you are interested in the MSc in Bioethics & Society and could include, for example, details of your motivation and your relevant knowledge, experience or skills. We look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in the programme and are committed to advanced interdisciplinary study at postgraduate level.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Our first application deadline was the 30th March 2018.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full.  For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 27th July 2018 or from UK/ EU nationals after 31st August 2018.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time UK fees: £9,900 per year (2018/19)
  • Full time overseas fees: £19,320 per year (2018/19)
  • Part time UK fees: £4,950 per year (2018/19)
  • Part time overseas fees: £9,660 per year (2018/19)

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee.

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

• If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2018, payment is due by 27th April 2018.
• If you receive an offer between 1st April 2018 and 30th June 2018, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
• If you receive an offer between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2018, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
• If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2018, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

If you are a current King’s student in receipt of the King's Living Bursary you are not required to pay a deposit to secure your place on the programme. Please note, this will not change the total fees payable for your chosen programme.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Graduates from this course have gone onto the following destinations:
  • healthcare consultant
  • internal medicine physician
  • research worker
  • specialist registrar (old-age psychiatry)

Career destinations

Students who complete the Bioethics & Society course to a high standard are expected to have numerous career paths open to them. For example, in government, national and international NGOs concerned with medicine and health, as ethics consultants in hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, and in think-tanks. Students can also continue on to a PhD in bioethics or social sciences. The programme also enhances existing careers in clinical practice, biomedical research, public health, or health policy. We collaborate closely with the Careers & Employability Office at King's College London to enhance the employability of our students, and we organise targeted Careers sessions with guest-speakers from relevant fields.

Read more about what our students do after they graduate here.



Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

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Page last modified on 02 February 2018.