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Kings College London Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :02 Sep 
International :29 Jul 
EU :02 Sep 

PhD Social Science, Health & Medicine Research

 Course Level
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

17000 GBP
4600 GBP
4600 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

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About this course

Social Science, Health and Medicine welcomes applications to join our lively and mutually-supportive community of doctoral students. Working on and across our key research themes, the growing community is co-located in our research lab with visiting researchers, research fellows and professors. Students benefit from our active participation in the King's Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC), which provides leadership in relevant cross-cutting themes. Within Social Science, Health and Medicine, we also offer a thriving programme of workshops, reading groups and other events.

Recently released data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) shows that King’s is equal top in England (with Queen Mary, University of London) for its PhD completion rates with 86.8 per cent of its full time research degree starters qualifying with a research degree within seven years, against a national average in England of 72.9 per cent.

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Eligibility Criteria

Master's degree in a relavent subject and/or practical experience in the field of study.

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 7.0
  • TOEFL-IBT: 100

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Course Modules


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.

Postgraduate training

The Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine participates in the research training programme offered in the ESRC funded King's Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC) and all incoming research students are allocated a programme of doctoral training to suit their specific needs which will be followed in the first year of study. KISS-DTC runs placement and knowledge-exchange programmes with organisations across the public and private sectors, and provides advanced doctoral training and summer school courses run collaboratively with other institutions. In addition, students on our doctoral programme audit parts of our MSc in Medicine, Science & Society, to provide background and skills in areas relevant to their research topic.

Head of group/division

Professor Nikolas Rose

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7429
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200 

Contact email

[email protected]

Course website


Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Application procedure

The application process

If you are interested in undertaking doctoral study in our Department, in the first instance you should submit an online application via the portal. Applying online makes the process easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.

King's does not normally accept paper copies of the postgraduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online postgraduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

You will need a fully worked draft research proposal of approximately 1,000 – 1,500 words to accompany your application, along with a personal statement.

Personal statement and supporting information

The personal statement should be approximately three to four paragraphs, and no more than one page. This should explain why you are interested in a particular subject, and could include, for example, details of your motivation and aptitude, your relevant experience and skills, and any other information that would be useful for us in assessing your application. In general terms, we look for candidates who demonstrate a strong interest in their chosen subject area, which should be relevent to the work of the Department and our staff, and who demonstrate the potential to conduct original research.

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

For September 2016 entry the closing date is 29th July 2016 for overseas applicants and 2nd September 2016 for Home/EU applicants.

Please note decisions are considered on a rolling basis and programmes close once all places are filled which maybe before the stated deadline dates above.  Therefore we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.  Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.  

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