UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.

Join us for BSc, MSc, and PhD study.

Staff books include:

Agar - Constant Touch 1st edition


BBC's Steph McGovern talks about her STS degree

Listen to more interviews with former students about careers with STS degrees.



Headline: STS scored higher in all areas compared with RAE2008.

How did STS do in REF2014?

It is true – but terribly cheeky – to claim we are the top-rated department of our kind in the UK. (It’s cheeky because we are the only department of our kind in the UK, as no department covers the range that we do.) A serious review of the REF2014 requires drilling down into the finer points of the results.

STS researchers were assigned to REF units of assessment (UoAs) based on the specialised nature of their publications. We contributed to four of UCL’s units of assessment: History (30), Philosophy (32), Geography (17), and Communication (36). All showed increases in the overall GPA, the key metric. Staff were not scored individually, so we only know STS contributed to the overall strong performance of each unit.

UOA subject overall GPA RAE2008 overall GPA REF2014 4* staff (%) 3* staff (%) 2* staff (%) 1* staff (%)
17 Geography 2.85 3.19 41 40 16 3
30 History 2.95 3.22 42 40 16 2
32 Philosophy 3.15 3.20 46 29 24 1
36 Communication 2.75 2.86 29 39 21 11

STS has impact

STS contributed one REF impact case, Professor Brian Balmer’s influence on policy development, contributing to the history of chemical and biological weapons control.

We also had four impact cases in development to add to UoA History and one impact case to add to UoA Philosophy. These are not used, but we are proud of their contributions, and we have many things underdevelopment for REF2020.

UCL REF2014 overall results

UCL provides extensive coverage of its REF2014 return (link).

UCAS admissions


UCAS Applications for entry in 2015

We are currently accepting applications, via UCAS, for entry in Sept 2015

  • BSc History and Philosophy of Science. UCAS Code: V550
  • BSc Science and Society. UCAS Code: L391

On our degrees, students investigate what scientists do, their role in our society, history and culture, and the policies and debates shaping our modern scientific and technological world. 

Our graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers including: broadcasting, local government, law, education, environmental protection, science policy research, museums and science centres, as well as academic research and teaching.

Find out more via the links below


The 2014-15 session is underway, but you can apply for the 2015-16 session now. Vitality and fresh perspectives.

Two degrees

History and Philosophy 
of Science 
Develop breadth and depth with our experts in history of science, philosophy of science, and "integrated HPS," an interdisciplinary speciality we helped create. (more)
Science, Technology, 
and Society 
Study contemporary science and technology using a variety of disciplines: science policy and governance, science communication and engagement, and sociology of science. This is done against historical and philosophical backdrops. (more)

Full-time and Part-time options

Masters degree 
This is a 1-year, full-time programme involving a core introductory module, 5 specialist options, 2 electives from any UCL programme, and a dissertation.
Masters degree 
Same as the full-time degree, but pursued over 2 calendar years.
Postgraduate Diploma 
(PG Dip)
This involves completing 6 modules over one year. No dissertation. Ideal for external qualifications, such as for secondary school teachers. No part-time option.
Postgraduate Certificate
(PG Cert or PGC)
This involves completing 3 modules over the year. Ideal for skills training, refreshment, and continuing professional development (CPD). No part-time option.

Find STS modules

Our catalogue of modules is now available: 

  • 2014-15 HPSC module catalogue (download

We use the prefix "HPSC" for all modules in Science and Technology Studies. 

For more information, you have three routes. Start with: 

  • syllabus for every module (link)
  • timetables (link)
  • directory of tutors (link)

STS Head of Department, Professor Joe Cain, sums up the catalogue with a smile, "This is an exciting list. We've plenty of long-time favourites. Plus, we have many new modules, some offered by staff new to the department. There's something here for everyone." 

Last year, STS took a close look at our curriculum to ensure our modules we're forward-looking, research-led, and careers-focused. Keep an look out for our new modules.

From our undergraduate catalogue

Term 1

HPSC1001    History of Science: Antiquity to Enlightenment

HPSC1003    Philosophy of Science 1

HPSC1007    Investigating Science and Society

HPSC1010    Revealing Science

HPSC2001    Policy Issues in the Life Sciences

HPSC2002    Science and the Media

HPSC2003    Philosophy of Science 2

HPSC2012    Science and Religion

HPSC2028    Thinking about Technology (** - new)

HPSC3020    Philosophy of Natural Sciences

HPSC3028    Philosophy of Medicine

HPSC3029    History of Medicine

HPSC3032    Investigating Contemporary Science

HPSC3036    Governing Emerging Technologies

HPSC3046    Science and Film Production  (** - new)

HPSC3050    Science in Nineteenth-Century London  (** - new)

Term 2

HPSC1004    Science Policy

HPSC1008    Science Communication and Public Engagement

HPSC1011    History of Modern Science

HPSC1012    Investigating History and Philosophy of Science

HPSC2006    Science and Ethics

HPSC2023    Sociology of Science and Technology

HPSC2026    Science and Empire  (** - new)

HPSC3003    Communication of Scientific Ideas

HPSC3015    History of Astronomy and Cosmology

HPSC3033    Science Communication in Digital Environments

HPSC3034    Science, Art and Philosophy

HPSC3040    Science, Politics and the State in Russia and the Soviet Union

HPSC3041    Disease in History

HPSC3045    Philosophy of Information  (** - new)

HPSC3049    Sleep and Dreaming  (** - new)

HPSC3053    Globalization in Theory and Practice  (** - new)

Page last modified on 12 mar 15 10:42 by Christina Ogunwumiju

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
0207 679 1328 office | +44 207 679 1328 international
sts@ucl.ac.uk | www.ucl.ac.uk/sts | @stsucl
postal address:  Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom
street address: 22 Gordon Square, London, WC1E 6BT | maps