• BSAC logo
  • Imperial College London logo

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: A Social Science Approach

Are you a health professional new to social science research? Find out how you can fight antimicrobial resistance on this course.

2,051 enrolled on this course

Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: A Social Science Approach
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study2 hours
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $64Find out more
  • AccreditationAvailableMore info

Learn the key aspects of successful antimicrobial stewardship

Antimicrobial resistance is a complex problem in today’s medicine that requires a unique approach. On this course, you will build your knowledge of how a social science perspective can fight the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

You will gain insights into antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in different contexts and how to apply a social science research approach. You will also be introduced to different fields of study and social science theory.


  • Week 1

    Why antibiotic prescribing is a social act

    • Welcome to week 1

      Welcome to the course.

    • Antimicrobial stewardship and the urgent need to tackle AMR globally

      AMS locally and AMR globally.

    • How can we apply social science methods to tackle AMR?

      What is involved in social science and how can it be useful in AMS.

    • Examples of antimicrobial stewardship models in different countries and settings

      Find out how AMS programs look around the globe.

    • End of week 1

      A conclusion to week 1 of this course.

  • Week 2

    Applying Social Science research methods in AMR

    • Welcome to week 2

      Welcome to week 2 of the course

    • Case 1: Role of realist review and AMR

      Everything you need to know about realist reviews and how they are used in AMS

    • Case 2: Using ethnography to investigate differences between antibiotic prescribing in surgical and medical specialities

      An overview of how we can research social determinants involved in antibiotic prescribing

    • Case 3: Practical application of ethnography

      How to conduct an ethnography study and what tools you can use to help

    • End of Week 2

      Summary of week 2

  • Week 3

    Implementing change in AMS

    • Welcome to week 3

      An introduction to the final week of the course.

    • How can implementation Science be applied to AMS interventions?

      An introduction to the use of implementation science and CFIR in AMS interventions.

    • Importance of stakeholders

      An overview of the role that patients and the public might play in designing AMS interventions.

    • End of week 3

      Summary of week 3

    • End of course

      A final summary of the course, including a quiz and a survey

Who is this accredited by?

Royal College of Pathologists
Royal College of Pathologists:

The Royal College of Pathologists is a professional membership organisation with charitable status, concerned with all matters relating to the science and practice of pathology.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of what social science is
  • Explore examples of using different social science research methods for tackling antimicrobial resistance in primary and secondary care, and in high-income and lower-middle income countries
  • Explore the application of a realist review to inform recommendations for developing and/or improving antimicrobial stewardship
  • Identify examples of using ethnography to gain novel insights into current delivery of antimicrobial stewardship activities
  • Describe how implementation science can help to improve implementation of antimicrobial stewardship activities
  • Identify potential research questions or improvement project ideas for your practice setting that can be investigated in future studies using social science methods

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for health professionals, junior researchers and doctoral students new to social science with an interest in antimicrobial stewardship.

What do people say about this course?

I feel much more confident about the range of approaches available to me as I take the lead on a new project[...]I think these approaches will generate data that can be understood across disciplines.

Previous learner on this course

Who will you learn with?

Post-doctoral Researcher, Clinical Pharmacist

Lead Pharmacist Medication Safety and Anti-infectives Research at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust; Imperial NIHR PSTRC; NIHR HPRU in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance

Professor of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London with a longstanding clinical and research career in infectious diseases & particular interests in antibiotic use & antimicrobial resistance.

Dr. Julia E. Szymczak, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a medical sociologist and ethnographer who examines antimicrobial use as a social phenomenon.

Who developed the course?


Founded in 1971, the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy exists to facilitate the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London is a world top ten university with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research.

Learner reviews

Join this course

Start this couse for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks



Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$189.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.

Available until 1 April 2021 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: