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Science and Technology Studies MPhil/PhD

Research degrees are offered under two subject headings: History and Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies. Students may specialise in the history of science, the philosophy of science, science communication and public engagement, the sociology of science, science communication and public engagement, the sociology of science and technology, science technology policy research, or a suitable combination of those fields.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
£20,820 (FT) £10,430 (PT)

Application dates

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


UCL Science & Technology Studies is the only interdisciplinary department in London covering history, philosophy and social studies of science, science communication and public engagement with science. The department has grown rapidly over the last few years and has continued to develop a vibrant and varied community of researchers. Students are able to take advantage of networking opportunities with prominent London museums and institutions, as well as the proximity of facilities such as the British Library. Many recent PhD graduates have continued to successful academic careers, with others moving on to careers in project management within the EU and NHS. Research standards are extremely high with 42% of history and 46% of philosophy research assessed as ‘world leading’ in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Research areas

  • History of science: history of physics, of biology, of chemistry and of astronomy
  • Philosophy of science: philosophy of physics, of chemistry and of medicine
  • Science and the media: science communication and scientists’ use of the media; public understanding of science; science and journalism
  • Public engagement with science
  • Sociology of science and science policy: policies for biotechnology and genetics; 20th-century evolutionary studies; ethics and integrity in scientific research.
More information can be found on the department website: Science and Technology Studies MPhil/PhD


UK/EU research students in the area of either history of science or philosophy of science are eligible for AHRC studentships. The department has 1+3 and +3 recognition status from the ESRC for UK/EU studentships in the area of science and technology studies.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Recent graduate students have gone on to pursue academic careers at the postdoctoral level and teaching fellow level in various universities, including the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Westminster, and UCL.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • ICT and Future Planning, Ministry of Science
  • Senior Statutory and Policy Officer, Whizz-Kidz
  • Philosophy Lecturer, National University of Distance Education


Science and Technology Studies PhD students graduate with a full spectrum of academic skills, including teaching experience as well as advanced research techniques. As well as providing a firm base for a career path in academia graduates are well equipped for roles as researchers in industry, journalism or for careers in science communication. Recent graduates have gone on to a range of lecturing and research roles at universities including UCL, Westminster and the Open University. Others have taken up project management roles in the NHS and the European Union, and research roles at Demos and in industry.


UCL Science & Technology Studies has strong links with London's museums and institutions. Staff and previous students have worked with museums such as the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and National Maritime Museum, and UCL's own Grant and Petrie Museums, as well as key institutions such as the Royal Institute and the Wellcome Trust. Links have included joint events, teaching contributions and research projects.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Capitalising on UCL's location in the heart of Bloomsbury, our programme combines cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research with the academic resources that London offers, from parliament and political think tanks to the BBC, production houses, and advertising houses. We work in close collaboration with national and specialised archives and museums in science, arts, natural history, and maritime history. Consistently rated as outstanding by students at every level, the department recruits widely and internationally and thrives on the variety of perspectives, skills and motivation that students from diverse backgrounds bring to our research community.

Department: Science & Technology Studies

Student / staff numbers › 18 staff including 7 postdocs › 45 taught students › 34 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Science & Technology Studies

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"Being in a department where students are undertaking research in a variety of topics means that the conversation is always thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating. I gained a great deal from spontaneous conversations that came about just by sitting in our PhD common room."

Shana Vijayan

Science and Technology Studies PhD

Application and next steps


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.

Application deadlines

Research degrees may start in September or January. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

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Contact information


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