History and Philosophy of Science BSc
This degree investigates the history of science from antiquity to the present and globally. The goal is to better understand science's many methods, fundamental concepts, logic, and ethics. We aim to provide our students with the ability to build a broad perspective on the origins of science and its role in our modern world.
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- UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 29 January 2021
- London, Bloomsbury
- No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.
- 32 (more about contextual offers)
- A score of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF) or BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF - teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 18 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the credits in the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.
AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher).
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAB.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL 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.
Explore the history of science from antiquity to the present and across the world. This includes following changes as scientific knowledge moves between different cultures.
Through our research-led teaching, acquire transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, arguing, well adapted to the 21st century job market.
Investigate how scientific knowledge is intertwined with culture and society, and how historians and sociologists understand the past based on evidence from archives, libraries, museums and oral testimonies.
Investigate science as a way of knowing, including its many methods, fundamental concepts, logic, and ethics, and use science to develop expertise in areas of philosophy from aesthetics to metaphysics.
Learn how to use history and philosophy to access, understand, and challenge positions in contemporary debates about science and technology.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
This degree aims to produce graduates ready to use deep historical and philosophical perspectives to interpret science's influence on modern society.
With our focus on key skills, practical methods, and broader perspectives, we also aim to create versatile thinkers ready to engage with emerging issues.
The real strength of the degree is its flexibility and breadth across a wide range of themes in history and philosophy, underpinned by strong interdisciplinary connections.
Students have the option of study abroad in Year 3 of the degree. They will follow a programme of study developed in consultation with STS mentors, UCL study abroad staff, and academics at the partner institution. Students complete their degree in Year 4.
Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in History and Philosophy of Science.
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.
History of Modern Science
History of Science: from Antiquity to the Enlightenment
STS Perspectives on Big Problems
Investigating Sociology and Politics of Science
Philosophy of Science I
Introduction to History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Science Communication and Public Engagement
There are no optional modules in year one.
History of Science 2
Students select modules from a wide range offered by the department. In year 2 students also have the option of taking up to two modules from other UCL departments. STS options may include the following, but applicants should note that this list is not comprehensive and not all modules are available each year:
Engaging the Public with Science
Evolution in Science and Culture
Medicine and Society
Philosophy of Science II
Policy Issues in the Life Sciences
Science and Ethics
Science and Religion
Science in Popular Culture
Sociology of Science and Technology
Thinking about Technology
Science and Empire
Students select modules from a wide range offered by the department. In year 3 students also have the option of taking one module from another UCL department. STS options may include the following, but applicants should note that this list is not comprehensive and not all modules are available each year:
Philosophy of Medicine
Disease in History
Governing Emerging Technologies
History of Astronomy and Cosmology
Madness and Society
Medicine, History and Society
Nature, Technology and the Environment
Philosophy of Information
Philosophy of Natural Sciences
Science and Film Production
Science in the Age of Newton
Science, Art and Philosophy
Science, Politics, and the State in Russia and the Soviet Union
Sleeping and Dreaming
Science in Nineteenth Century London
Eugenics in Science and Culture
The Social Sciences of Inequality
We consistently excel in student evaluations, obtaining 100% student satisfaction for the STS degrees from the National Student Survey in 2017, 2016, 2014, and 2013. Our teaching methods adapt to specific needs of students. Many modules include small-group discussions and active participation. The student-to-tutor ratio is approximately 10:1.
Coursework ranges from short position pieces to significant research papers. In addition to essays, we assess using posters, blogs, and multimedia projects. Practical work includes mock parliamentary reports, radio programmes, film production, oral presentations, and internet projects. Group work sometimes is used, as are unseen examinations.
Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: History and Philosophy of Science BSc.
The programme is designed to enable you both to gain understanding of the discipline, and to develop intellectual, practical and transferable skills, such as critical thinking; retrieving, researching and analysing material; time and project management; and working effectively both independently and as part of a team.
In this scientific and technological world, this programme provides an excellent foundation for many careers, especially those at the interface of professional science and the wider culture transnationally.
This may include science communication in print or broadcasting, education or museums; and employment in science policy or commercial posts such as in research administration, technology transfer, regulatory agencies, governments or charities. Further study, either within the discipline, or to acquire professional training for example for financial or legal careers, is popular among our graduates.
UCL is committed 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.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK students
- £9,250 (2021/22)
- Overseas students
- £28,500 (2021/22)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
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.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 5 August 2021