Science and Technology Studies MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Research degrees are offered under two subject headings: History and Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies. Students may specialise in the history, philosophy or sociology of science, science communication and public engagement, the sociology of science and technology, science technology policy research, or a suitable combination of those fields.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£5,690
£2,845
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£23,420
£11,720
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

Entry requirements

A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

UCL Science & Technology Studies is the only interdisciplinary department in London covering history, philosophy and social studies of science, science communication and public engagement with science. The department has grown rapidly over the last few years and has continued to develop a vibrant and varied community of researchers. Students are able to take advantage of networking opportunities with prominent London museums and institutions, as well as the proximity of facilities such as the British Library. Many recent PhD graduates have continued to successful academic careers, with others moving on to careers in project management within the EU and NHS. Research standards are extremely high with 42% of history and 46% of philosophy research assessed as `world leading' in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

Capitalising on UCL's location in the heart of Bloomsbury, our programme combines cutting-edge, interdisciplinary research with the academic resources that London offers, from parliament and political think tanks to the BBC, production houses, and advertising houses. We work in close collaboration with national and specialised archives and museums in science, arts, natural history, and maritime history. Consistently rated as outstanding by students at every level, the department recruits widely and internationally and thrives on the variety of perspectives, skills and motivation that students from diverse backgrounds bring to our research community.

The foundation of your career

Science and Technology Studies PhD students graduate with a full spectrum of academic skills, including teaching experience as well as advanced research techniques. As well as providing a firm base for a career path in academia graduates are well equipped for roles as researchers in industry, journalism or for careers in science communication. Recent graduates have gone on to a range of lecturing and research roles at universities including UCL, Westminster and the Open University. Others have taken up project management roles in the NHS and the European Union, and research roles at Demos and in industry.

Employability

Recent graduate students have gone on to pursue academic careers at the postdoctoral level and teaching fellow level in various universities, including the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield and Westminster, and UCL.

Networking

UCL Science & Technology Studies has strong links with London's museums and institutions. Staff and previous students have worked with museums such as the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and National Maritime Museum, and UCL's own Grant and Petrie Museums, as well as key institutions such as the Royal Institute and the Wellcome Trust. Links have included joint events, teaching contributions and research projects.

Teaching and learning

  • History of science: history of physics, of biology, of chemistry and of astronomy
  • Philosophy of science: philosophy of physics, of chemistry and of medicine
  • Science and the media: science communication and scientists’ use of the media; public understanding of science; science and journalism
  • Public engagement with science
  • Sociology of science and science policy: policies for biotechnology and genetics; 20th-century evolutionary studies; ethics and integrity in scientific research.

More information can be found on the department website: Science and Technology Studies MPhil/PhD

Research areas and structure

  • History of science: history of physics, of biology, of chemistry and of astronomy
  • Philosophy of science: philosophy of physics, of chemistry and of medicine
  • Science and the media: science communication and scientists’ use of the media; public understanding of science; science and journalism
  • Public engagement with science
  • Sociology of science and science policy: policies for biotechnology and genetics; 20th-century evolutionary studies; ethics and integrity in scientific research.

Research environment

UCL Science and Technology Studies is the only interdisciplinary department in London covering history, philosophy and social studies of science, science communication and public engagement with science. You will be able to take advantage of networking opportunities with prominent London museums and institutions including the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Institute.

UCL had the largest amount of academic research activity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. 

A PhD at UCL Science and Technology Studies will allow you to pursue original research and make a distinct and significant contribution to your field. We are committed to the quality and relevance of the research supervision we offer and as an MPhil/PhD candidate. Furthermore as a research student, you will be an integral part of our collaborative and thriving research community. Student-run ‘work in progress’ workshops will give you the opportunity to present and discuss your research with peers and academic colleagues. Tailored skills seminars will provide you with a supportive research environment and the critical skills necessary to undertake your research.

Full-time

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 3 years for full-time and 5 years for part-time. 

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 12- 18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis. 

Within three months of joining the programme, you are expected to agree with your supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to your supervisor for their comments and feedback.

In your second year you will be expected to upgrade from an MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The PhD programme is expected to be completed within three years for full-time students, and over five years for part-time students. If you are not ready to submit at the end of the third year, you may be able to go onto CRS.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £23,420 £11,720

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

There are no programme-specific costs.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UK/EU research students in the area of either history of science or philosophy of science are eligible for AHRC studentships. The department has 1+3 and +3 recognition status from the ESRC for UK/EU studentships in the area of science and technology studies.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

Research degrees may start in September or January. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021