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Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: A Social Science Approach

Develop as a health professional as you delve into social science research and learn how to fight antimicrobial resistance.

3,338 enrolled on this course

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Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance: A Social Science Approach

3,338 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Accreditation available

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Advanced level

Find out more about how to join this course

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 three-week course, you’ll 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.

Gain a societal view on antimicrobial and antibiotic prescribing

You’ll better understand the social factors behind antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and apply social science methods to manage AMR.

Learn how to apply social science research methods

Next, you’ll learn the techniques to help you apply social science research methods in AMR.

You’ll learn about priorities in AMR research, qualitative methodology, and the realist review to help you inform recommendations for developing and/or improving antimicrobial stewardship.

Delve into specific methods using case studies

You’ll explore examples of using different social science research methods across primary and secondary care, in different countries facing different challenges.

This practical knowledge will help you gain a solid introduction to ethnography, using sociograms to map communication and gain novel insights into the current delivery of AMS activities.

By the end of the course, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to identify potential research questions or quality improvement intervention ideas for your specific setting that can be investigated in future studies using social science methods.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is social science and why do we need a social science perspective for tackling AMR?
  • Insights on implementing AMS to tackle AMR across different settings
  • Introduction to realist review
  • Introduction to ethnography
  • Introduction to implementation science

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 join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

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

"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."

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 is committed to addressing the growing threat of drug resistant infections around the world.

Imperial College London

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

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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