King's College London, University of London: Global Health and Social Medicine

InstitutionKing's College London, University of London
Department Global Health and Social Medicine
Telephone +44 (0) 207 848 7000
Study type Research


Research in the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine (established January 2012) focuses on the social, political, economic, legal and ethical factors shaping developments in biomedicine, disease and healthcare and their implications.

We have research priorities in the following areas:

social determinants of national and global inequalities in health, including from life-course and international comparative perspectives;

philosophical and ethical aspects of global health pertaining to theories of social justice;

social, ethical and political implications of developments in psychiatry, neuroscience and brain research, and the changing territory of mental health;

political economy, sociology and history of pharmaceutical regulation, innovation and pharmaceuticalization, especially drug safety and efficacy;

politics of cost-effectiveness of pharmaceuticals and drug pricing regulation;

social, ethical, and regulatory aspects of personalised and data-driven medicine, of bio-information use in forensics and policing, and of innovation and translation in genomics, stem cells and neuroscience;

the ethical and social implications of conducting research with human participants, and of making treatment decisions at the end of life (determination of death in transplantation medicine);

movements for 'people's health' in developing countries and the implications of transformations to new models of community healthcare;

social, economic and policy consequences of ageing populations in developed and developing worlds;

family care and support in later life, with a particular focus on international comparative work;

life course influences on health and wellbeing at older ages, including life-long disorders;

social and ethical consequences of the capitalisation of healthcare and the roles of solidarity, justice and priority-setting in biomedicine and health care;

social and ethical implications of emerging biotechnologies, bio-politics and the global bio-economy;

medical anthropology and science and technology studies pertaining to knowledge, expertise, morality, safety and security;

medical anthropology, history, and public health of Sub-Saharan Africa;

socio-political and cultural dimensions of global health research, policy and innovation in developing countries, including disease control interventions such as outbreak response and preparedness;

social and political history of biosciences in the global south.

Course study environment
The supervisory relationship is central to doctoral studies in the Department. Admission to the doctoral research programme is highly selective and is dependent upon a good match being found between student interests and supervisor capabilities. Each student is allocated a principal supervisor from within the Department, experienced in the relevant research area and responsible for all aspects of supervision. A second supervisor is allocated, who may be a member of the Department, or a specialist from another Department in the School. Research students are integrated within a community of research students, research fellows, visiting researchers and senior visiting academics from across the world, and have access to a range of formal and informal study groups and activities organised by this research community. Students also have access to graduate seminars, workshops, seminars and conferences, often in association with other departments in social sciences, arts and humanities and the Helath Schools within King's.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Master of Philosophy - MPhil

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