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Medicine, Health and Public Policy MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert

Course Description

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy addresses the nature and policy implications of key developments in the fields of health and medicine from social scientific and ethical perspectives. It examines the political, economic, cultural and ethical dimensions of contemporary trends in medicine, the biosciences and health, in changing social and regulatory contexts, and at national and international levels.

Key benefits

- Taught within a world-leading Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine, by internationally recognised experts who have trained across a range of disciplines – from sociology, anthropology, geography, gerontology, socio-legal studies and political science to psychology, bioethics, philosophy, biology and medicine.

- Covers a broad range of substantive topics and offers a wide selection of specialist options addressing key social and ethical concerns related to, for example, psychiatry and mental health; ageing; war and trauma; pharmaceuticals, genomics, and biotechnology and clinical research; pandemics and biosecurity; and the political economy of health.

- Offers advanced training in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, as well as critical policy research methods, allowing students to acquire the skills needed to undertake cutting-edge, social scientific analyses of diverse health-related issues.

- Provides opportunities to join a thriving research community, to participate with active researchers in a range of extra-curricular events such as reading groups and roundtable discussions, and to attend a rich programme of seminars and lectures by world renowned visiting speakers.

- Equips students with a set of skills and understandings necessary for future careers in the fields of policymaking and regulation, in health-related governmental and non-governmental agencies, and in university teaching and research.

- Provides internship opportunities and career support to enhance students’ employability

- Taught in the heart of London, at the Strand Campus on the banks of the Thames, with access to policy-makers, private sector organizations, government agencies and other research and academic institutions relevant to health, and to London’s key cultural activities.

Visit the website: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught-courses/medicine-health-and-public-policy-msc-pg-dip-pg-cert.aspx

Course detail

- Description -

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy addresses the nature and policy implications of developments in health and medicine from social scientific and ethical perspectives. It is designed for graduates who wish to develop specialist understanding of the complex interconnections between (1) changing social, economic and political contexts, (2) advances in the biosciences and technological innovation, and (3) the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities. Drawing on concepts, theories and methods from the social sciences and from philosophy and ethics, students are encouraged to combine rigorous theoretical analysis with concrete, problem-based and policy-relevant research addressing key issues and controversies relevant to recent developments in health and medicine.

Students will have the opportunity to study a wide range of topics, which may include: inequalities in health and access to healthcare; the dynamics and policy implications of ageing societies; the securitization of public health; the impact of war and conflict on health and well-being; transnational trends in medical research, pharmaceutical regulation and health technology assessment; ethical issues in clinical research; the implications of recent scientific advances in genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience for ideas of personhood and identity, and for the organisation and funding of healthcare; patient advocacy, health movements and citizen participation in health policy making; the commodification of the body; the role of psychiatry in the cultural construction of normality and abnormality; and the marketization and privatization of medical care.

- Course purpose -

The MSc in Medicine, Health and Public Policy is ideal for health professionals, graduates in relevant disciplines, policy makers, those who work in governmental and non-governmental organisations, and anyone wishing to develop advanced, interdisciplinary understanding of the complex relationships between medicine, science and society. Teaching focuses on cutting-edge research within socio-ethical studies of health, medicine and public policy, and provides a firm grounding in the knowledge, analytical techniques and research methods used within advanced social research. In doing so, it equips students with a set of skills and understandings that are necessary for future careers in the fields of policymaking and regulation, in health-related governmental and non-governmental agencies, and in university teaching and research.

- Course format and assessment -

Teaching involves a combination of lectures, seminars and workshopsthat place an emphasis on group dialogue, presentations and debate. Assessment includes a mix of examinations, written work and oral presentations.

Career prospects

Students may go on to pursue careers in academia, in the fields of policymaking, research, and regulation in the public and private sectors, in government agencies, think-tanks and in national and international NGOs. 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.

How to apply: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/taught-courses.aspx

About Postgraduate Study at King’s College London:

To study for a postgraduate degree at King’s College London is to study at the city’s most central university and at one of the top 20 universities worldwide (2015/16 QS World Rankings). Graduates will benefit from close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life, while the excellent reputation of our MA and MRes programmes ensures our postgraduate alumni are highly sought after by some of the world’s most prestigious employers. We provide graduates with skills that are highly valued in business, government, academia and the professions.

Scholarships & Funding:

All current PGT offer-holders and new PGT applicants are welcome to apply for the scholarships. For more information and to learn how to apply visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources

Free language tuition with the Modern Language Centre:

If you are studying for any postgraduate taught degree at King’s you can take a module from a choice of over 25 languages without any additional cost. Visit: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/mlc

Visit the Medicine, Health and Public Policy MSc/PG Dip/PG Cert page on the King’s College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Salma Chalak

1660.jpg MSc Medicine, Science & Society

My previous higher education was in Biology. It became obvious to me as I was pursuing my education in that field that I didn’t enjoy laboratory work and I became gradually less interested in the ‘scientific side’ of scientific discoveries and more interested in their social fate after their scientific closure. I also became confident I didn’t want to pursue a career in biology but wanted, instead, to move to the social and ethical side of scientific inquiry because that is an area which appeals to me and interests me greatly.

I applied for the Medicine, Science and Society MSc programme at King’s College because its topic and focus fall perfectly in my area of interest and because it represented a great opportunity for me to further my knowledge in the field which will hopefully allow me to pursue a research career in it in the future.

My previous qualifications and experience in biological research have served me very well so far as we have been studying the effects and social, political and ethical implications of developments in a field I know and am familiar with its procedures, practices and concepts. I have also learnt a lot from the course. I have acquired new skills and perspectives I did not get previously while studying biology. I have learnt to be more critical of science and medicine and scientific evidence and to place them in their wider social and cultural contexts.

The course helped me understand the social limits of the seemingly limitless scientific discoveries and the potential impact of advancements in the medical and scientific field on society as a well as how such advancements and discoveries affect public policy and the perception of society to these fields. I am also learning how to conduct social science research and the different methods used. The teaching staff in the department are very helpful, supportive and approachable.

I recommend this course to anyone hoping to develop their skills in Social Sciences and to understand the relation of science and medicine with society and the potential impacts and effects they have on each other which professionals in the scientific field might tend to overlook.


Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine Bursaries - 6 Awards

One award for one student on each of the following three Masters programmes;MA in Bioethics & Society
MSc in Global Health & Social Justice
MSc Medicine, Science and Society
Two awards for students on the following Institute of Gerontology programmes, MA/MSc Ageing and Society
MSc Gerontology
MA Public Policy and Ageing

Value of Scholarship(s)



All students applying for any of our Full Time programmes to begin in September 2012 are eligible for these bursaries, including UK, EU and Overseas students.

Application Procedure

There is no separate application procedure. All fully completed applications received by midnight on the 31st July will be considered for the bursaries. A fully completed application means a complete online application form together with all supporting documents including personal statements, transcripts, references and IELTS certificates (where appropriate). These must have been uploaded to or received by the Postgraduate Admissions Portal by the due time and date. The successful candidate will be notified no later than 14th August.
You may also wish to consult our Graduate Funding Database for further funding opportunities.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A relevant UK honours degree of 2:1 standard or overseas equivalent. 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 relationships between medicine, science and society demonstrated by reading and otherwise following current national and international issues. Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements: View Website

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Recipient: King’s College London

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