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:

Gregory - Harvey's Heart

HPSC1010 Revealing Science

A-bomb test

This page provides information for the module. The tutors are Dr Simon Lock and Dr Brendan Clarke. Foundation course in STS

Custom made

HPSC1010 is designed especially for students enrolled in:

  • Natural Sciences BSc and MSci degrees
  • Human Sciences BSc

It also is open to students in other degree programmes across UCL. Qualifications in science are not required. No prerequisites.

Course evaluations for 2010-11, with Dr Cain as module tutor.

Moodle - students enrolled in this module will use Moodle

2012-13 timetable

Term 1
Double check: UCL common timetable (link)

We will meet twice a week. The lecture is at 10am on Mondays, Seminars are between 2-4pm on Tuesdays. You only attend one seminar and will be assigned a group and time at the start of the course. Attendance at the lecture and seminar is compulsory. Use the online timetable link above for details of locations.

Course description

An engaging introduction to history, philosophy, and social studies of science, including key concepts in science and technology studies, public engagement with science, and science policy. Using science at UCL as its canvas, the focus of this module is to encourage students to develop their skills as independent, interdisciplinary and publicly engaged scholars. This course is intended as a foundation and sampler for later courses in science and technology studies.

Lecture Topics in 2012-13 will include:

  •   What is Science and Technology Studies?
  •   Revealing Science at UCL
  •   Horrible Histories
  •   Science and Ethics
  •   Scientific Expertise
  •   Science and Society I: Controversies
  •   Science and Society II: Technological Determinism
  •   Science in Public
  •   Fictional and Cultural Representations of Science

No prerequisites; no readings required prior to the start of this course. HPSC 1010 is offered annually.

HPSC 1010 is a foundation course in UCL's Natural Sciences programme, one of six such courses. Also, this course is open to students in all UCL degree programmes.

This course is mandatory for BSc degrees:
V550, V551 and P990 in STS, and
Natural Sciences streams in HPSS

It also is open to students in other degree programmes.

Course aims and objectives

Through investigating how science really works, historically, philosophically, and sociologically, this module aims to:

  • Enrol students in the intellectual community at UCL
  • Develop investigative research, engagement and presentation skills
  • Introduce foundational concepts in HPS and STS, sufficient to prepare for next-level studies in these fields

Intended learning outcomes for this module operate at several levels. By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • describe some key developments in modern science and technology at UCL
  • critically discuss foundational concepts in HPS and STS and relate them to examples of science at UCL
  • use on-line tools to produce materials suitable for public engagement
  • develop an appreciation of the role of collaboration in research
  • demonstrate level-appropriate research, filtering, and organising skills
  • demonstrate level-appropriate critical reading and writing skills


This course has no exam and is 100% coursework. The assessment takes a variety of forms: an annotated bibliography; a research essay, a public webpage and a piece of science fiction writing.

Required text for the course

No textbook is set;
readings are set throughout the course
Moodle - students enrolled in this module will use Moodle


No prerequisites, This course introduces the varied disciplines and research methods of science and technology studies. It's intended as a foundation for later HPSC courses. Students outside STS are very welcome.

Looking for a different ancillary course?

HPSC course listing

Page last modified on 11 sep 12 10:27 by Simon J Lock

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
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