Bioethics & Society alumni series: Featuring Shayda Kashef (class of 2017), now public engagement research assistant in public health at King’s

Shayda Kashef 2019.jpeg
Shayda Kashef

Shayda Kashef (class of 2017), was one of the students of the very first cohort of the Bioethics & Society programme, as she started studying with us as a part-time student  in September 2014:

“When I finished my undergraduate degree in Philosophy at King’s College London (2013), I knew I wanted to return to higher education for postgraduate study, but I wasn’t entirely sure which programme to apply for.

I knew what I wanted: I wanted a programme that applied the knowledge from my undergraduate degree (philosophy) to real-world and current events; I wanted something related to health, equity and justice; I wanted something to push me out of my moral comfort zone; and I wanted a pathway for me to graduate with the skills to be able to change the world. A short order, no?

Fortunately, the year I started looking for the right programme was the year the right programme for me was launched at King’s College London: in 2014 the Bioethics & Society programme, based in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy (SSPP), enrolled its first cohort.

Despite the feeling of being a sort of ‘guinea pig’, our programme organisers and director did a fantastic job of delivering timely, exciting and challenging material that so animated our course discussions that our cohort essentially solidified into a real group of friends and budding scholars.

The programme administration was also streamlined and seamless, which was a huge relief, because as postgraduate taught students, we had enough to worry about! The delivery of the programme was a true testament to the care and consideration that went into its inception. And at the end of the year, despite our numbers (19 students), we unanimously voted to award the now Director of the Programme and Senior Lecturer, Silvia Camporesi, the Teaching Excellence Award 2015, for her much appreciated enthusiasm for the programme and the unwavering support she provided (and no doubt continues to provide) to every single one of her students.

The interdisciplinary nature of the bioethics field equipped us with the skills to understand the intricate relationship between medicine and social and moral theory, under the motto that ‘health is more than a medical matter’. The fact that the programme was housed in SSPP Faculty as opposed to a faculty of law or medicine allowed us to contextualise bioethical theory into social policies, without limiting the scope strictly to medicine or law. The SSPP Faculty also gave us access to range of scholars to engage with, which granted us a well-rounded understanding of the bioethical scholarship. Currently, as a public engagement research assistant in public health in the Department of Population Health Sciences at King’s College London, I use the skills I obtained during my Master’s to dissect social theories and critically examine research while unpacking any social, ethical and clinical implications.

Choosing to do a Master’s in Bioethics & Society was easily one of the best decisions I have ever made. I felt incredibly valued and supported as a Bioethics & Society postgraduate student at King’s College London, and continue to feel supported with the skills gained from the programme and by the incredible staff I have the privilege of knowing”.

Shayda is currently working as a public engagement research assistant in public health in the Department of Population Health Sciences at King’s College London. You can follow Shayda on twitter here:


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