UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies is an interdisciplinary centre for the integrated study of science's history, philosophy, sociology, communication and policy, located in the heart of London. Founded in 1921. Award winning for teaching and research, plus for our public engagement programme. Rated as outstanding by students at every level.

At UCL, the academic mission is paramount. Our ambition is to achieve the highest standards in our teaching and research.

Join us for BSc, MSc, and PhD study.

Staff books include:

Agar 2013 Constant Touch 2nd edition spacerAthena Swan Bronze Award

Factsheet: Writing Sample

HPSC3004 is a year-long project. Students are expected to be engaged actively in their research throughout the year. In the second half of Term 1, students will be expected to submit a writing sample from their project. This will be assessed. This factsheet describes what needs to be done.

HPSC3004 Moodle page (link).

The writing sample contributes 20% to your final course mark.

sample from your project

The writing sample will be due near the end of Term 1. The specific date will be posted on the 3004 Moodle site. The length is 1000 words.

The aim of the writing sample is to demonstrate your progress in the project.

Your writing sample might be part of a draft chapter, literature review, or methodological section. It must include a bibliography (not included in the word count). A disarticulated collection of notes will not receive a passing mark. It should not be a summary of the dissertation of the whole. It should not be a general survey of the overall topic; instead, the expectation is that you'll dig in and demonstrate a serious commitment to the project, and serious progress since your research plan.

criteria for assessment

This will be assessed by your supervisor and other members of staff. 

The principal criteria for assessment will relate to the degree of development in your project, the depth of your analysis, and the overall progression of the work. This writing is not expected to be highly polished or kept in your final dissertation. However, it is expected to demonstrate substantial effort and an awareness of the research as a programme. Substance will be rewarded over style.

Note that material from the writing sample will normally be included in the final dissertation. Your ideas will have moved on, so this should be incorporated in revised form, rather than merely copying the whole 1000 words in unaltered form. The repetition of smaller sections of text will not be regarded as self-plagiarism.


Because the dissertation is a year-long project, and students are expected to work on it continuously, extensions for submitting this writing sample normally will be granted only under exceptional circumstances. Time management is part of the expectation for this project.

Page last modified on 02 dec 15 10:55 by Christina Ogunwumiju

UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies (STS)
0207 679 1328 office | +44 207 679 1328 international
sts@ucl.ac.uk | www.ucl.ac.uk/sts | @stsucl
postal address:  Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT | United Kingdom
street address: 22 Gordon Square, London, WC1E 6BT | maps