Science and Technology Studies


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



Whether we are talking about climate change, health or the economy, science is increasingly seen as a source of advice and evidence for policymakers throughout government.

Science in Government

But what is the relationship between science and decision-making? Where does evidence come from and who are the experts? How are ideas converted into law, treaty and regulation and how are they implemented in within governments?

Drawing on real-life case studies, as well as the academic literature from STS and political science, we will look at how science is used in government, in parliament, at a local and international level, taking account of the many actors and processes that shape this work.

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Course Objectives:

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the structure and roles of governments, devolved administrations, parliament, politicians and officials within the UK
  • Demonstrate knowledge of processes shaping policy implementation in the UK, such as the role of Civil servants, politicians, Peers, local government and NGOs
  • Demonstrate knowledge of essential literature on public policymaking, particularly in relation to evidence, expertise and science advice
  • Discuss why evidence based policymaking is challenging and how science can be interpreted differently in different contexts.

UCL Module Catalogue:  Science in Government (HPSC0124)