UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies


Natural Sciences BSc (stream options)

STS contributes to UCL's Natural Sciences BSc and MSci degree programmes. This page is provided for those exploring how STS fits into the programme and considering the core streams we contribute.

Degrees Qualification
UCAS U80 CFG0 Natural Sciences BSc
UCAS U80 FGC0 Natural Sciences MSci

Core streams offered by STS

STS contributes two core streams to UCL's Natural Sciences programme. These can only be taken only as a minor stream. They are designed to support the major science-training streams. We aim to make you a better scientist.

Policy, Communication, and Ethics (PCE)  

Policy, Communication, and Ethics explores science policy and the many ways science is discussed and put to work. This includes practical skill development in science policy making and science communication. It also involves developing tools for critical and reflective thinking in research ethics and responsible research.

Moodle site for PCE students (link)

History and Philosophy of Science (HPS)  

History and Philosophy of Science explores the history of science and philosophical issues arising from science, so ranges from Ancient Greek conceptions of religion and natural law, to exploring how we gain empirical knowledge through experimentation, including the ethics of experimentation.  It also involves developing skills in critical and reflective thinking and independent research.

Moodle site for HPS students (link)


STS representative for NatSci students

Professor Brian Balmer
22 Gordon Square, room 1.2
phyllis.illari@ucl.ac.uk | 0207 679 2486 | 

Professor Balmer is the STS Natural Sciences stream representative and can advise on matters relating to the degree programme and the STS streams.


About STS

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (better known as “STS”) is an interdisciplinary community of specialists who study scientists, the work they do, and the ways they interact with everyone else. We combine (1) history and philosophy of science, (2) science communication, public engagement, and evaluation, and (3) science policy, ethics, and governance. We aim to study science, technology, and medicine in every period and region. We place particular emphasis on how all these specialities help us understand what science is doing today and where it might be going in the future.

We helped design the Natural Sciences programme. Our core streams are designed to promote deeper reflection about science itself. How has science evolved over time and across different cultures? How secure are its methods? How do developments in science speak to fundamental questions about our humanity, the nature of reality, and the meaning of life? Who should govern science, and where should we set limits on emerging technologies? How do media representations shape the way we think about science and its contributions?

STS core streams also develop career-enhancing skills designed to add flexibility to your future. Learn from professional communicators and engagers, and build your own portfolio. Learn from policy specialists how experts, the public, and politicians are involved in shaping science. Learn how to use the reflective thinking and research skills we develop to travel more deeply into subjects as varied as ethics, new technology, and museum heritage. Learn how to evaluate effectiveness so you can convince others that there’s a difference between the substantive and the superficial.

For more information on STS modules, visit our module catalogue (link)

STS core streams have no additional subject requirements. Entry into the Natural Sciences programme is sufficient.

  • UCL natural sciences (link)
  • UCL natural sciences current students (link)

Please note: STS core streams are available only as minor streams in the overall degree structure. We have designed our programme to complement, not compete with, major streams in the programme.