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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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 24 July 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£12,120 (FT)
£6,085 (PT)
Overseas:
£24,250 (FT)
£12,120 (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 Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

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.

International students

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), five optional modules (75 credits), two ancillary modules (30 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

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in History and Philosophy of Science. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in History and Philosophy of Science. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in History and Philosophy of Science.

Compulsory modules

  • Introduction to Science and Technology Studies
  • Dissertation

Optional modules

Students choose four optional modules from the History and Philosophy of Science. Please note that not every module is taught each year and the modules available vary from year to year. Therefore the list below is not exhaustive but gives an indication of what we teach. Applicants should contact the department for information on what will be offered.

  • Early Modern Science
  • Knowledge, Explanation, and Classification in Science
  • Models and Facts in Science
  • Science and Medicine Across Medieval Worlds
  • Science in the Nineteenth Century
  • Special Topics Seminar in History and Philosophy of Science: Philosophy
  • Science, Art, and Philosophy
  • Science in Antiquity
  • Causality, Mechanism and Evidence in Science

Students also choose one optional module from our sister MSc programme, Science, Technology, and Society. Module descriptions can be found on the STS website.

In addition, students choose two ancillary modules which may be options from our degrees or selected from any other programme at UCL.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Dissertation/research project

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.

Additional costs

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

Accessibility

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

Funding

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

Careers

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.

Employability

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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

We have award-winning tutors, public engagement and fantastic academic programmes. As a department, Science & Technology Studies is respected across UCL for our dedication to teaching and learning. We commit ourselves to creating academic experiences that reward hard work.

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

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information 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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
24 July 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 6 November 2019