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Kings College London Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :08 Aug 
International :08 Aug 
EU :08 Aug 

PgDip Bioethics & Society

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

1 Year
 Start month

 Tuition fee

11700 GBP
6000 GBP
6000 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7
TOEFL-IBT (min)100

World University Ranking

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About this course

Advances in biomedicine, neuroscience, and public health raise some of the most difficult ethical and societal questions today. The Bioethics & Society programme 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 could make an impact. 

Key benefits

  • The only UK programme based in a social science department
  • Taught at King's College London, one of the top-20 schools in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • 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 or 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 SSHM 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
  • Possibility to complete a PG Diploma (coursework only) or PG Certificate (selected coursework).


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Eligibility Criteria

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 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.

English language requirements:

IELTS: 7.0


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Course Modules

Required Modules

Core Modules (must be taken and passed)

  • 7SSHM616 Critical Bioethics (30 credits, term 1): offers students a critical introduction to the theoretical frameworks used in contemporary bioethics and to a wide range of approaches from philosophy and the social sciences.
  • 7SSHM602 Dissertation in Bioethics and Society (60 credits, MA only): offers students the opportunity to investigate in depth a bioethical topic of their choice by carrying out an independent, small-scale research project.

Compulsory Modules (must be taken)

  • 7SSHM617 Case Studies in Bioethics & Society (30 credits, term 2): uses a case-study based approach to enable students to understand how bioethical controversies and proposed solutions emerge in unique social, political and regulatory contexts.
  • 7SSHM620 Foundations of Social Science, Health & Medicine (30 credits, term 1): this module is designed to introduce students to the basic theories and concepts at the interface of social science, health & medicine. It is designed to create a mini-canon that all SSHM students will master before branching out into their respective programme-specific and specialist modules. It is a shared module with the MSc in Global Health & Social Justice and the MSc in Medicine, Science & Society.

One of EITHER 7SSHM502 Designing Quantitative Research for Social Science & Health, OR 7SSHM503 Designing Qualititative Research for Social Science & Health (Term 2, 15 credits) OR Critical Research Policy (15 credits, term 2)

Students taking the Postgraduate Diploma route take these modules in addition to the Core modules

Students taking the Postgraduate Certificate route take 7SSHM616 & 7SSHM617 only.

Optional Modules

Students can select 15-35 credits of optional modules from within the department or from other departments within King's College. Listed below are some of the modules offered within the department, a full list can be found here.

Students registered for the PG Diploma can select 15-20 credits of optional modules.

*Please note that not all modules may be running in a given year, please refer to the Department Module List for further information.

  • Critical Global Health - 7SSHM605
  • Global Health Ethics - 7SSHM606
  • Designing Qualitative Research for Social Science, Health & Medicine - 7SSHM503
  • Designing Quantitative Research for Social Science, Health & Medicine - 7SSHM502
  • Internships - 7SSHM614
  • Pharmaceuticals & Society - 7SSHM612
  • Quantitative Data Analysis - 7SSHM504
  • Ageing in a Global Context - 7SSHM505
  • Researching Vulnerable Populations - 7SSHM506
  • Data Manipulation & Management - 7SSHM507
  • Politics of Health and Medicine - 7SSHM600
  • Population, Ageing & Policy - 7SSHM500
  • Critical Policy Research for Health & Medicine - 7SSHM618
  • Ethics at the End of Life - 7FFLG904
  • Topics in Medical Ethics I - 7FFLG905
  • Topics in Medical Ethics II - 7FFLG906

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Application procedure

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 MA 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 MA 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

The deadline for applications is 02 September for 2016 entry. Note that funding deadlines may be earlier. Applications will be considered subject to availability of places, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. International applications must be received by 29 July to allow sufficient time for visa processing.

Check further details on University website

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