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Global Health & Social Medicine

Organisational unit: Department

Contact information

40 Aldwych
Bush House, North East Wing
United Kingdom

Organisation profile


Health and illness: more than medical matters

Illness is a human experience, yet it is not always treated equally. This is because illness is shaped by social, political and economic conditions. Cultural beliefs and values also play their part, as well as systems of language and meaning.

Inequalities in medicine and health are increasingly global issues. Presented through research, policy and practice, these inequalities have a profound effect on individual human lives, and social and political relations worldwide.

The Department of Global Health & Social Medicine (GHSM, formerly known as the Department of Social Science, Health & Medicine) is a unique interdisciplinary department founded in 2012. We are ranked within the top 10 sociology departments in the UK.

Our mission is to address the changing landscape of health and medicine from a social science perspective. We explore the complex social determinants of health, illness and ageing, and the ways in which advances in biomedicine and biotechnology are changing expectations on life and health and the nature of medical practice. 


What we offer

Bringing together social scientists, biomedical researchers and clinicians, we offer a portfolio of research-led teaching at postgraduate and doctoral levels and a flagship undergraduate programme.

We equip students with the skills required for a wide range of careers across disciplines in the health services; government and NGOs (from public health to environmental protection and urban planning); and the commercial medical and health sectors. 

We undertake the highest quality research on social science, which is both transdisciplinary and transnational. Our work also engages creative interactions between individuals and groups across King’s College London and beyond.

Grounded in a knowledge of history, law and philosophy, our internationally-recognised expertise, consultancy work, and contributions to policy development are utilised by a myriad of organisations. These include community groups, transnational organisations and more.

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