This degree investigates the history of science from Antiquity to the present and globally. The goal is to better understand science’s many methods, fundamental concepts, logic, and ethics. Another goal is to build a broad perspective on the origins of science and its role in our modern world.
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2017
- Applications per place
- 2 (2015 entry)*
- Total intake
- 30 (2017 entry)*
- No specific subjects.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A score of 16-17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Edexcel Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF), or Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Diploma (NQF) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with between 28 credits awarded with Merit and a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,M1 - D3,M1,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects
AAB-ABB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher - AB at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher)
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB-ABB.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a twelve-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- Explore the history of science from antiquity to the present and across the world. This includes following changes as scientific knowledge moves between cultures
- Investigate how scientific knowledge is intertwined with culture and society, and how historians and sociologists understand the past based on evidence from archives, libraries, museums and oral testimonies
- Investigate science as a way of knowing, including its many methods, fundamental concepts, logic, and ethics, and use science to develop expertise in areas of philosophy from aesthetics to metaphysics
- Learn how to use history and philosophy to access, understand, and challenge positions in contemporary debates about sience and technology
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
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 and Technology Studies.
- 82%: History subjects; 75%: Philosophy subjects rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
This degree aims to produce graduates ready to use deep historical and philosophical perspectives to interpret science's influence on modern society.
With our focus on key skills, practical methods, and broader perspectives, we also aim to create versatile thinkers ready to engage with emerging issues.
The real strength of the degree is its flexibility and breadth across a wide range of themes in history and philosophy, held together by strong interdisciplinary connections.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Fundamentals of Science Communication
History of Modern Science
History of Science: from Antiquity to the Enlightenment
Investigating History and Philosophy of Science
Investigating Science and Society
Philosophy of Science I
Science Communication and Public Engagement
There are no optional modules in year one.
STS in Practice
Students select modules from a wide range offered by the department and more widely across UCL, including:
Engaging the Public with Science
Evolution in Science and Culture
Philosophy of Science II
Policy Issues in the Life Sciences
Science and Ethics
Science and Religion
Science in Popular Culture
Sociology of Science and Technology
Advanced Philosophy of Medicine
Communication of Scientific Ideas
Disease in History
Governing Emerging Technologies
History of Medicine
Nature, Technology and the Envronment
Philosophy of Information
Science and Film Production
Science, Art and Philosophy
Science in the Age of Newton
Science, Politics, and the State in Russia and the Soviet Union
Sleep and Dreaming
Our final-year optional modules vary from year to year to reflect current practice and the latest academic research. Students may also select options from a wide range of modules offered by the department and throughout UCL.
The department has a reputation for excellence in the classroom. Tutors have won local and international teaching awards and we consistently rank highly in student evaluations. Our teaching methods adapt to specific needs of students. Many courses include small-group discussions and active participation. The student-to-tutor ratio is approximately 4:1.
Coursework ranges from short position pieces to significant research papers. In addition to essays, we assess using posters, blogs, and multimedia projects. Practical work includes mock parliamentary reports, radio programmes, film production, oral presentations, and internet projects. Group work sometimes is used, as are unseen examinations.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: History and Philosophy of Science BSc.
The programme is designed to enable you both to gain understanding of the discipline, and to develop intellectual, practical and transferable skills, such as critical thinking; retrieving, researching and analysing material, time and project management and working effectively both independently and as part of a team.
In this scientific and technological world, this programme provides an excellent foundation for many careers, especially those at the interface of professional science and the wider culture transnationally.
This may include science communication in print or broadcasting, education or museums; and employment in science policy or commercial posts such as in research administration, technology transfer, regulatory agencies, governments or charities. Further study, either within the discipline, or to acquire professional training for example for financial or legal careers, is popular among our graduates.
First destinations of recent graduates (2012-2014) of this programme include:
- Full-time student, MSc in History and Philosophy at the University of Utrecht
- Business Development Executive, SoftwareONE
- Investment and Regulation Graduate Trainee, Deloitte UK
- Investment Banker, Royal Bank of Scotland
- Ship Broker, Howe Robinson Partners, London
*Data 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.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2016/17 academic year.
- UK/EU students
- £9,000 (2016/17)
- Overseas students
- £17,190 (2016/17)
Fees for students entering UCL in September 2017 (i.e. for the 2017/2018 academic year) will be set in the summer of 2016 and published on the UCL Current Students website. Fees advertised by UCL are for the first year of the programme. UK/EU undergraduate fees are capped, but fees for other students may be subject to increase in future years of study by between 3-5%.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
Your application will be assessed on your prior and predicted academic achievement, and we will be seeking evidence of your interest in historical and contemporary issues in science, technology and medicine. You should also be able to demonstrate your ability to construct a reasoned argument and to participate in debate.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2017
After assessing your application, we invite applicants in the UK to visit the department for an open day. This includes introductory talks from staff and tours given by current students. The afternoon meetings with academic staff provide an opportunity to discuss your personal interests and aspirations in relation to your chosen degree.
If you live outside the UK, you are not expected to travel to interview, but will be contacted by telephone, email or Skype to discuss your application - you are, of course, welcome to visit us if this is possible for you.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students