History and Philosophy of Science MSc
This programme offers breadth across a wide range of historical and philosophical themes. It also encourages intensive investigation and specialisation: a survey of nearly 3,000 years of scientific ideas and communities, and an exploration of the inner workings of science's methods and theories.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £10,410 (FT) £5,240 (PT)
- £21,440 (FT) £10,740 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A minimum of a second-class Bachelor'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
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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.
Select your country:
About this degree
The programme provides broad-based training in the history of science, the philosophy of science, and an “integrated history and philosophy of science”. The historical coverage is broad, from antiquity to the present, while the philosophical coverage spans causality and the philosophy of medicine as well as the metaphysics of chemistry and computer science.
MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), three ancillary modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
The Postgraduate Diploma programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and three ancillary modules (45 credits), available in full time mode
The Postgraduate Certificate programme consists of one core module (15 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), available in full time mode
- Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
Students choose four options from the following:
- Science in the 19th Century
- Material Culture and Science in the 18th Century
- Early Modern Science
- Medieval Science and Medicine in Global Perspective
- Science in Antiquity
- Causality, Mechanism, and Classification in Science
- Knowledge, Evidence, and Explanation in Science
- Science, Art, and Philosophy
- Special Topics Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science
- One optional module from our sister MSc programme, Science, Technology, and Society, may be substituted provided it contributes to a coherent programme of study.
- Module descriptions can be found on the STS website
In addition, students choose three ancillary modules which may be options from our degrees, or selected from any other programme at UCL.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials and research supervision. Student performance is assessed through coursework such as long and short essays, advocacy work and project work.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline: 1 July 2018
- £10,000 (1 year)
- Based on academic merit
- Deadline is 11 May 2018
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Our programme provides essential training for students wishing to pursue PhD level study in related fields. It also provides appropriate training for those pursuing careers in education, museum and archival curatorship, or governance and policy-making.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Art Gallery Curator, Dia Projects
- PhD in History of Medicine, UCL
During the course of this programme, students will develop a wide range of transferable skills, including writing, research, critical thinking, and working in collaboration with others. Most graduates of this programme go on to follow careers that engage with the substance of the degree, including in the museums sector, or in academia. For these students, this programme provides an excellent opportunity to develop the specialist skills and personal connections necessary to succeed. These include basic curatorial skills, developing personal contacts in London museums, and developing personal and intellectual connections with key thinkers in the field.
Careers data is 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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
There is no UK academic department quite like UCL Science & Technology Studies. The department combines award-winning teaching with award-winning public engagement.
We are research-active over an enormous range of topics. Our teaching builds on research not only in our subject specialties but also in the fundamentals of teaching and learning.
Our programme makes unique use of London’s attractions and resources. We have close links with the Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Library, and UCL Culture. We also use the city as a classroom, with custom-made walking tours, site visits, and special excursions.
Department: Science & Technology Studies
Student / staff numbers
› 18 staff
including 3 postdocs
› 38 taught students
› 37 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
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: Science & Technology Studies
82%: History subjects; 75%: Philosophy subjects rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
The programme is suitable for students with first degrees in a variety of subjects including natural sciences, social sciences, history, philosophy, other humanities, engineering and medicine. It can serve as a foundation for PhD research, or as preparation for a career in teaching, mass media, science and technology, policy, museums or scientific societies.
- All applicants
- 1 July 2018
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now