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.

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Factsheet: Research Project

This factsheet describes procedures and regulations for the written research paper for the project.

HPSC3026 Moodle page (link).

essential information

The research paper contributes 75% to the module result.

due date

An electronic copy must be uploaded to Turnitin from the Moodle site by midnight on the second day of Term 3. Instructions are provided on the course Moodle site. A printed copy must be received in the departmental office by 4.30pm on the following day.

The due date is chosen deliberately so the first day of Term 3 may be used to sort through any last problems. Do not plan to finish the work at the last minute. Also, do not request an extension unless truly exceptional circumstances apply.


The maximum length is 10,000 words. Penalties apply for exceeding the word limit.

Appendices are permitted when supplementary material is required, e.g., data sets, sample questionnaires, sample interviews, BLANK consent forms, or archival resources. Appendices must not be used to stretch the main exposition; examiners are under no obligation to read appendices when so used. Footnotes and endnotes are included in the word count. Abstract, front matter, bibliography, and other ancillary material are not included.

format regulations

As a default guide, dissertations should be printed single-spaced, 12-point font with 2.5cm margins throughout. In all cases, ensure the final product is a package that is easy to read and easy to follow. Continuous pagination throughout is required. Page numbers must relate to a table of contents at the start of your dissertation.

The research project must be uploaded to Turnitin via the Moodle site. The electronic submission must be prepared for anonymous marking, so please ensure that your name does not appear anywhere on the document, including in the file name. (Your superviser will naturally know who you are, but second markers, dissertation coordinator, and external examiners can check your work anonymously.)

Printed copies of research papers must be bound, and they should contain your name, for deposit in the Welcome Library.

A cover page must be provided, including the following information:

  • full title of the dissertation
  • [PRINTED COPY ONLY] your name and current UCL e-mail address
  • [dates of the current academic session]
  • these details: ”HPSC3026: Research Project, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London”

The research paper should contain the following sections (in this sequence): 

  1. title page
  2. abstract, maximum 300 words - not included in your word count
  3. table of contents - optional
  4. [chapters]
  5. [appendices]
  6. [bibliography]

Please obtain your supervisor’s approval for variations to this sequence.

Your system for citations and notations must be approved by your supervisor. If no other guides seem useful, refer to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. (Reference copies are available in the UCL library.) Whatever the system, a complete, single, separate list of references (i.e., a bibliography) must be provided in your dissertation. This list must be orderly and uniform in format. It must include all items cited in the text and must omit items not used.

marking process

The research paper will be marked by the supervisor and other STS examiners as well as by examiners external to UCL. Students will receive written feedback from examiners.

All examiners will be asked to use a standard rubric as the starting point for assessing research papers. This rubric will be circulated during the session. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain clear guidance from their supervisor regarding specific criteria for assessment regarding their particular project.

STS offers several student awards, intending to honour outstanding performance in the degree. We offer the STS dissertation prize for the best final mark on the written dissertation or research paper (not the course overall). In the case of a numerical tie, the award normally goes to the candidate with the higher mark in the presentation component of the course.

Page last modified on 05 dec 15 17:01 by Phyllis Kirstin Illari

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
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