Science and Technology Studies


STS offers degrees at each university level: undergraduate, masters, and PhD


Natural Sciences BSc (stream options)

STS contributes to UCL's Natural Sciences BSc and MSci degree programmes.

Natural Sciences (BSc/MSci)

STS contributes to the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science core stream option of the Natural Sciences programme. The stream explores the history of science and philosophical issues arising from science, so ranges from Ancient Greek conceptions of religion and natural law, to exploring how we gain empirical knowledge through experimentation, including the ethics of experimentation.  It also involves developing skills in critical and reflective thinking and independent research.


By the end of the Natural Sciences programme, students with History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science as a core stream should be able to:

History dimension

  • critically discuss and key episodes in the history of science, including a basic understanding of the science
  • recognise and analyse themes that arise in many places in science, such as people’s place in the cosmos, and the relation between science and political arrangements such as empire
  • understand how current science has been shaped by that history, including science policy and governance
  • analyse histories of science, and provide their own reflective interpretations of the history

Philosophy dimension

  • explain some of the key philosophical and methodological problems of science
  • explain and criticise some of the key arguments and theories concerning those problems
  • apply these problems, arguments and theories to case studies in current science, including novel case studies
  • offer their own developed arguments concerning some key problems, applied to current science
  • demonstrate high levels of critical ability, particularly the ability to write extended coherent arguments, and evaluate the arguments of others

Integrated History and Philosophy dimension

  • understand how historical episodes, such as the birth of the experimental philosophy, have shaped philosophical understanding of science, such as the question of how we get empirical knowledge – and of course vice versa
  • demonstrate critical thinking about current science based on an understanding of its history, and the enduring philosophical challenges of scientific knowledge

 Further information, including modules taken as part of the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science stream, can be found here and general information an be found on the Natural Sciences website.

STS representative for NatSci students

Dr Simon Lock
22 Gordon Square

Dr Lock is the STS Natural Sciences stream representative and can advise on matters relating to the Natural Sciences History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science stream.

More about the Department of STS

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (better known as “STS”) is an interdisciplinary community of specialists who study scientists, the work they do, and the ways they interact with everyone else. We combine (1) history and philosophy of science, (2) science communication, public engagement, and evaluation, and (3) science policy, ethics, and governance. We aim to study science, technology, and medicine in every period and region. We place particular emphasis on how all these specialities help us understand what science is doing today and where it might be going in the future.For more information on STS modules, visit our module catalogue.

The History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science stream has no additional subject requirements. Entry into the Natural Sciences programme is sufficient.