This programme develops that aspect of LSE's mission that involves linking the social sciences with developments in the life sciences and biomedicine that are likely to have a fundamental impact upon identities, families, economies and national and international policies over the next decades. The MSc is linked to the new BIOS centre for the study of Bioscience, Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Society, established in 2002-03. BIOS is a major new initiative at LSE; an interdisciplinary research centre on social, legal, ethical, political and economic aspects of the life sciences and biomedicine, with a global reach and a long term perspective, involving researchers across the social sciences, building innovative relations with life scientists and clinicians and with policy makers.
The aim of the programme is to provide the foundations for students to understand the likely implications of these developments for different societies, for national governments and for geopolitics, for economics and bioeconomics, for local and global justice and equity, for human life and personhood, and for the social and human sciences, over the twenty first century. The MSc seeks to develop the intellectual skills and knowledge base for those who would do advanced research in this important area, and also to equip those who would work in this growing policy area with the intellectual skills necessary to confront debates over issues from the regulation of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to the problematic status of dual use facilities in bio weapon control.
Students take compulsory courses in Key issues in Bioscience, Biomedicine and Society; Key Methods in the Social Study of Bioscience and Biomedicine, and write a 10,000-15,000 word dissertation. Options are also chosen from a list to the value of two units.