BSc Human Sciences (BCL0)
What are Human Sciences?
“It has been one of the most destructive modern prejudices that art and science are different and somehow incompatible interests”. Jacob Bronowski
Human Sciences is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree program that aims to provide a framework for students whose interests may span both the sciences and humanities. It provides a general scheme within which to arrange scientific knowledge about our lives. To achieve such a general view, one must have some knowledge of the various disciplines that study humankind in their own particular ways. Anatomy and physiology provide the basic information about the biological springs of human action. Psychology deals with the overt behaviour of humans and animals and the study of the brain. Anthropology tells about human origins and differences between people in relation to the way they live, while human genetics looks at the inheritance and measurement of human genetic variability. Human geography studies, among other things, the influences affecting human distribution and subsistence, while social geographical and biological sciences together analyse the growth and composition of the populations of the world.
Each of these is a vast subject in its own right and the human scientist accepts that they may not know all the details, but by sharing knowledge they hope to explain aspects of human life in much more complete ways than the individual disciplines. Besides knowing general principles, Human Scientists must have a detailed knowledge of some special parts of the field. Thus the degree programme aims to provide both wide, scientific knowledge of the life of humans and a detailed understanding of the evidence in some areas. People trained in this way will be well equipped both for academic life and for careers in trade, industry or administration.
- Degree benefits
Human Sciences BSc
You will benefit from being exposed to a variety of disciplinary approaches in the contributing departments and access to outstanding departmental resources.
The programme offers a wide choice of individual module combinations from life sciences, social and historical sciences and physical sciences.
This degree programme has strong pastoral and academic support. The Human Sciences Tutor and your Personal Tutor will be available for consultation on structuring your programme.
A student committee organises academic and social events for Human Sciences students, such as a guest speaker series.
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: Division of Biosciences.
- Interdisciplinary programme: see contributing departments
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
- Degree structure
- In your first year you mostly follow a common syllabus, taking courses in human structure and function (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and genetics) and in human interactions (anthropology and psychology). You also receive an introduction to numerical, statistical and computing methods. Students may also choose between courses in Human Ecology and Science in the Spotlight.
- In year two you take the compulsory course, The Human Sciences in Society, in which students work in a group to explore a topic of their choice within the social sciences. In year three your compulsory course is the Human Sciences Seminar Project, wherein you design and carry out a small research project, which you write up as a dissertation.
- You choose your remaining courses in years two and three from the extensive range of options in biomedical, biological, environmental, social, historical or philosophical areas.
Human Sciences BSc
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).
In your first year you will mostly follow a common syllabus, taking modules in human structure and function (anatomy, physiology, cell biology, molecular biology, and genetics) and in human interactions (anthropology and psychology). Students may also choose between the modules Human Ecology, Revealing Science, and a module in a modern foreign language.
In year two you will take the compulsory module, The Human Sciences in Society, in which you will work in a group to explore a topic of your group's choice within the social sciences. You will also undertake Statistical Methods in Computing.
In year three your compulsory module will be the Human Sciences Seminar Project, wherein you design and carry out a small research project, which you will then write up as a dissertation.
You will choose your remaining modules in years two and three from the extensive range of options in biomedical, biological, environmental, social, historical or philosophical subjects.
You will have the opportunity to study abroad in year three, returing to complete year three modules in your final year.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Introduction to Biological Anthropology
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Human Anatomy
Introduction to Human Sciences
Introduction to Psychology for Biologists
Human Ecology: Geographical Perspectives
Modern Foreign Language
to the value of 0.5 credits.
Core or compulsory module(s)
The Human Sciences in Society
Introductory Statistical Methods and Computing
You will select 3.0 credits from a wide choice of optional modules. Popular examples include:
Human Anatomy and Embryology
Drugs and the Mind
Human Behavioural Ecology
Primate Behavioural Ecology
Core or compulsory module(s)
Human Sciences Seminar Project
You will select 3.0 credits from a wide choice of optional modules. Examples include:
Ethics of Biomedical Research Clocks, Sleep and Biological Time
Disease in History
Evolution and Human Behaviour
Policy Issues in the Life Sciences
The first year is taught through lectures, small-group tutorials, workshops, practicals and laboratory sessions. Your second-year core module will involve lectures, group work and debates. The optional modules taken in other departments will be taught in a variety of ways according to the nature of the module and the usual practice of the department concerned.
Assessments include essays, web-based examinations, written examinations, practical reports, briefing papers and debating performance. The third-year dissertation is assessed solely on the basis of the written report. However, you will be required to make a short presentation of your topic in the second term.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Human Sciences BSc.
Human Sciences BSc
- Science subject required, preferably Biology.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. 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 total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including science (preferably Biology at grade 6), with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including a science subject (preferably Biology).
AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher), including a science subject (preferably Biology) at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA, including a science subject. Preferably to include Biology.
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.
Fees & Funding
Human Sciences BSc
Fees and funding
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2018/19)
- Overseas students
- £24,040 (2018/19)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL 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.
Human Sciences BSc
Human Sciences BSc
The programme aims to provide wide and scientific knowledge of the life of humans. Graduates of the programme will be scientifically literate, numerate and easily able to communicate across a wide range of disciplines.
The Human Sciences BSc teaches a broad range of knowledge across many different subject areas. It is therefore no surprise that our graduates have entered a variety of careers: journalism, nutrition, science communication, management, accountancy, teaching and the finance industry.
A number of graduates pursue further studies, including Master's degrees in various fields. Graduates have also gone on to study for qualifications in law and medicine (though the degree is not necessarily intended as a preliminary to them).
First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:
- MSc Technology Entrepreneurship, University College London (UCL)
- Accounts Assistant, Batra Group
- Business Banker, Barclays
- Analyst Developer, Deloitte
- Project Manager, Invest Lithuania
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.
Offer-Holders' Open Days:
Open days will include UCL and subject talks, a research talk given by a lecturer at UCL, refreshments and tours with current UCL students and an opportunity to talk to members of staff who will answer any questions you may have. The offer holders will get the invitation to attend these open days individually. Please note, attendance at the open day does not form part of our admissions selection process and is optional.
UCL Open Days:
If you are yet to apply for our programme and would like to visit UCL, you can attend the annual UCL Open Day.
Requesting meeting with programme tutor:
Please email to email@example.com to request an appointment to visit UCL and talk to the admissions/programme tutor. Please provide as much notice as possible and your maximum availabilities so that it is easy and quicker for us to arrange a meeting for you.
1. How will I be taught?
Teaching in the first year is by lectures, small-group tutorials, workshops, practicals and laboratory sessions. Your second-year core course will involve lectures, group work and debates. The optional courses taken in other departments will be taught in a variety of ways according to the nature of the course and the usual practice of the department concerned.
2. How will I be assessed?
Assessments include essays, exercises using UCL's web-based Virtual Learning Environment, written examinations, practical reports, briefing papers and debating performance. The third-year dissertation is assessed solely on the written report; however you will be required to make a short presentation of your topic in the second term.
3. Is it possible to take modules in other departments?
It is possible to choose modules in other departments. You will receive advice from your personal and degree programme tutors on which modules are best for your chosen degree path.
4. What support is available during the Human Sciences degree?
All kinds of support are available to students, whether it academic, financial, welfare or career advice. You will also have a personal tutor and a dedicated teaching administrator throughout each year of your degree who will provide guidance.
5. Is there a recommended reading list?
No, there is no specific reading lists for students before they arrive at UCL.
6. What careers are suitable for Human Sciences graduates?
The Human Sciences BSc teaches a broad base of knowledge across many different subject areas. It is therefore no surprise that graduates have entered a variety of careers: journalism, nutrition, science communication, management, accountancy, teaching and the finance industry, to mention a few.
A number of graduates pursue further studies, including Master's degrees in various fields, and, although the degree is not intended as a preliminary to them, qualifications in law and medicine.
7. How many places have you on offer?
The Human Sciences degree has approximately 45 places available each year.
8. How competitive are places for the Human Sciences course?
Competition for places is very strong, but all applications received before the deadline will be assessed by the same set of entry criteria. Only the best will be shortlisted so it is vital your personal statement and references are strong and demonstrate your strengths and character.
9. What work experience must I include on my application?
is no absolute requirement for Human Sciences but any related
work experience included in your personal statement will be seen as very
10. I would like to visit UCL and talk to the admissions tutor, when can I do that?
Information on our annual Open Day can be found on the UCL website. The UCL study information centre can provide information and a self-guided tour brochure. It may be possible to arrange an appointment if you are unable to attend the open day. Please contact the Admissions Office for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of the
admission cycle we invite all short-listed UK students to an open day including
a tour, meeting students and discussions with the admissions tutor.
11. I did not get the required grades to be admitted to your course, will you reconsider my application if I resit my examinations?
Re-sit applications are considered on an individual basis.
12. I am applying to four medical schools and my personal statement reflects this. Do I need to supply a separate statement to cover my fifth choice for Human Sciences?
Unfortunately we are unable to accept personal statements from Medical Applicants for Human Sciences. This is because the topics covered in Human Sciences are far removed from Medicine studies.
13. Can I transfer to Medicine?
Unfortunately you are unable to transfer to
Medicine during the course. If you finish the BSc degree and achieve a
2:1 or higher, you are normally eligible to apply for graduate-entry
Medicine programmes around the UK
(please check individual institutions for this).
Tel: +44(0)207 679 7169