This degree explores science in its varied and complex forms and we train you to study science and scientists as part of modern society. We combine science policy, ethics, and governance, science communication, and sociology of modern science and technology. UCL is unique in the UK in offering this BSc.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 4 (2016 entry)*
- Total intake
- 30 (2018 entry)*
- No specific subjects.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) 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 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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.
Modules in science policy and governance are local and global in scope. They engage with ethics, historical decision-making processes, governance of emerging technologies, and future directions in science, medicine, and technology.
Modules in science communication focus on the complex interactions between scientists and the public. We consider the methods of science journalism, including radio and television and online environments.
Practical modules in public engagement and evaluation build hands-on skills with communication and conversation. You will also develop the skills of evaluating the effectiveness of science communication: what works and what doesn't?
Modules in sociology of modern science and technology engage with classic sociological theory and practical field methods to study science as a human activity, shaped by modern society.
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 programme aims to produce graduates ready to talk about science and interpret its influences in modern society without committing to a life at the laboratory bench. Science involves many more people than scientists themselves, and this degree seeks to build policymakers, communicators, and other observers who can contribute informed views to ongoing debates about science’s direction and impact. This might involve contributing to debates on science funding or ethics; weighing the value of different social priorities; or consulting on the impact of new technologies and new discoveries.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Fundamentals of Science Communication
History of Modern Science
History of Science: Antiquity to Enlightenment
Investigating History and Philosophy of Science
Investigating Science and Society
Philosophy of Science I
There are no optional modules in year one.
Core or compulsory module(s)
There are no compulsory modules in year two.
Students select options from a wide range of modules 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 Empire
Science and Ethics
Science and Religion
Science in Popular Culture
Sociology of Science and Technology
Science and Empire
Applied Medicine and Society
Our intermediate- 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.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Advanced Philosophy of Medicine
Communication of Scientific Ideas
Disease in History
Governing Emerging Technologies
History of Astronomy and Cosmology
History of Medicine
Nature, Technology and the Environment
Philosophy of Information
Philosophy of Natural Science
Science and Film Production
Science in the Age of Newton
Science, Art and Philosophy
Science, Politics, and the State in Russia and the Soviet Union
Sleep and Dreaming
Globalisation in Theory and Practice
Science Communication in Digital Environments
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Zoos in Science and Culture
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. Tutors also include industry professionals. Our teaching methods adapt to specific needs of students. Many modules include small-group discussions and active participation. The departmental student-to-tutor ratio is approximately 4:1.
Coursework ranges from short position pieces to significant research papers. In addition to essays, we sometimes assess using posters, blogs, and multimedia projects. Practical work includes mock parliamentary reports, radio programmes, presentations, and web projects. Group work sometimes is used, as are unseen examinations.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Science and Society BSc.
The programme is designed to enable you 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.
Our graduates go on to develop successful careers in the areas of science policy, think tanks, charities, science communication, journalism, education, museums, finance and law. Many also go on to pursue further study.
First destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:
- Self-Employed Illustrator, Self-Employed Illustrator
- Full-time student, Emerging Economies and International Development MSc at King's College London
- Full-time student, Science Communication MSc at Imperial College London
- Full-time student, MSc in Global Governance and Ethics at UCL
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 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for 2018 entry will appear here as soon as they are available.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £20,820 (2017/18)
The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website.
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 and technology. 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 2018
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 for an interview, but will be contacted by telephone or email or Skype to discuss your application and your interests - 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.