History and Philosophy of Science MSc

Options: PG Diploma, PG Certificate

Survey nearly 3,000 years of scientific ideas and communities. Probe the inner workings of science’s methods and theories. Combine the two for an integrated, interdisciplinary understanding. This programme offers breadth across a wide range of historical and philosophical themes. It also encourages intensive investigation and specialisation.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year
  • Part-time 2 years

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £8,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £4,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £16,750
  • Overseas Part-time: £8,500

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 July 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

The programme provides broad-based training in history of science, philosophy of science, and “integrated history and philosophy of science,” a speciality we helped to create. The historical coverage is broad, from antiquity to the present. The philosophical coverage is broad, too, from causality and the philosophy of medicine to the metaphysics of chemistry and computer science.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

There is no UK academic department quite like UCL Science & Technology Studies. The department combines award-winning teaching with award-winning public engagement.

We are research active over an enormous range of topics. Our teaching builds on research not only in our subject specialties but also in the fundamentals of teaching and learning.

Our programme makes unique use of London’s attractions and resources. We have close links with the Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Library, and UCL Museums & Collections. We also use the city as a classroom, with custom-made walking tours, site visits, and special excursions.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of one core module (20 credits), three optional modules (60 credits), two ancillary modules (40 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is available

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered.

Core Module

  • Introduction to Science and Technology Studies


  • Students must take three optional modules from a prescribed list:
  • Science in the 19th Century
  • Material Culture and Science in the 18th Century
  • Early Modern Science
  • Medieval Science and Medicine in Global Perspective
  • Science in Antiquity
  • Causality, Mechanism, and Classification in Science
  • Knowledge, Evidence, and Explanation in Science
  • Models and Facts in Science
  • Science, Art, and Philosophy
  • Special Topics Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science
  • One optional module from our sister MSc programme, Science, Technology, and Society,
  • may be substituted here provided it contributes to a coherent programme of study.
  • Ancillary Modules
  • Students must take two ancillary modules. These might be other options from
  • our own degrees, e.g. Science in the 20th Century and Beyond, and Curating the History
  • of Science or they might be selected from any other programme at UCL.
  • Module descriptions can be found on the STS website


All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials and research supervision. Students will undertake three modules in each of the first two terms. Each module normally requires attendance at one two-hour seminar per week during terms one and two. Student performance is assessed through coursework such as long and short essays, advocacy work, and project work.

Further details available on subject website:


UCL Science & Technology Studies offers up to four partial bursaries. All those admitted to the programmeare eligible, details of the application process can be found on the STS MSc Website.

For more advice please visit the STS MSc website

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Aristotle Scholarship

Based on academic merit.

Wellcome Trust Scholarship

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level:

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 July 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students with first degrees in a variety of subjects including natural sciences, social sciences, history, philosophy, other humanities, engineering and medicine. It can serve as a foundation for PhD research, or as preparation for a career in teaching, mass media, science and technology, policy, museums or scientific societies.


Our programme provides essential training for students wishing to pursue PhD-level study in related fields. It also provides appropriate training for those pursuing careers in education, museum and archival curatorship, or governance and policy-making.


During the course of this programme, students will develop a wide range of transferable skills, including writing, research, critical thinking, and working in collaboration with others. Most graduates of this programme go on to follow careers that engage with the substance of the degree, including the museums sector, or in academia. For these students, this programme provides an excellent venue to develop the specialist skills and personal connections neccessary to succeed. These include basic curatorial skills, developing personal contacts in London museums, and developing personal and intellectual connections to key thinkers in the field.

Next steps


Dr Brendan Clarke

T: +44 (0)20 7679 1328


Science & Technology Studies

Register your interest

Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts. Register your interest

Make an application



View videos about UCL and its global impact on our YouTube channels: Study UCL and UCLTV.

Student View

"UCL is global community: in my department students come from all over the world. The friends I have made at UCL have enriched my life and will stay with me even when I leave here. I have a strong sense of belonging and also of possession: UCL is my university."

Shana Vijayan

Degree: PhD

Student View

"Science and Technology Studies (STS) is a meeting point of different disciplines influencing our daily life and UCL’s multi-disciplinary approach to the STS allowed me to have a greater perspective."

Erman Sozudorgru

Degree: Science, Technology, Medicine and Society MSc