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.

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Factsheet: Research Project

This factsheet describes procedures and regulations for the written research paper for the project. Also refer to the HPSC3026 syllabus.

HPSC3026 Moodle page (link).

essential information

The research paper contributes 75% to the module result.

due date

The research paper must be received in the STS departmental office by noon on the second day of Term 3. Instructions are provided on the course Moodle site.

The due date is chosen deliberately so the first day of Term 3 may be used to sort through any last problems, especially printing. Do not plan to finish the work at the last minute. Also, do not request an extension unless truly exceptional circumstances apply. Consult the 3026 syllabus for details on the extension policy.

Your supervisor will appreciate receiving, at a convenient time, a personal copy of your thesis.


The expected length is 10,000 words, to a maximum of 12,000 words. Thereafter, penalties apply.

Appendices are permitted when supplementary material is required, e.g., data sets, sample questionnaires, sample interviews, or archival resources. Appendices must not be used to stretch the main exposition; examiners are under no obligation to read appendices when so used. Footnotes and endnotes are included in the word count. Abstract, front matter, bibliography, and other ancillary material are not included.

format regulations

As a default guide, dissertations should be printed single-spaced, 12-point font with 2.5cm margins throughout. In all cases, ensure the final product is a package that is easy to read and easy to follow. Continuous pagination throughout is required. Ideally, use a header or footer so that your name appears throughout the thesis. Page numbers must relate to a table of contents at the start of your dissertation.

Research papers not need be bound, but keep in mind they will be repeatedly handled. Loose materials are likely to be lost or damaged.

The research paper must be uploaded via the course Moodle site.

A cover page must be provided, including the following information:

  • full title of the dissertation
  • your name and current UCL e-mail address
  • 2012-13 [the current academic session]
  • these details: ”HPSC3026: Research Project, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London”

The research paper should contain the following sections (in this sequence): 

  1. title page
  2. abstract, maximum 300 words - not included in your word count
  3. table of contents - optional
  4. [chapters]
  5. [appendices]
  6. [bibliography]

Please obtain your supervisor’s approval for variations to this sequence.

Your system for citations and notations must be approved by your supervisor. If no other guides seem useful, refer to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. (Reference copies are available in the UCL library.) Whatever the system, a complete, single, separate list of references (i.e., a bibliography) must be provided in your dissertation. This list must be orderly and uniform in format. It must include all items cited in the text and must omit items not used.

marking process

The research paper will be marked by the supervisor and other STS examiners as well as by examiners external to UCL. Students can expect provisional written feedback from the STS examiners normally within two weeks of submission.

All examiners will be asked to use a standard rubric as the starting point for assessing research papers. This rubric will be circulated during the session. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain clear guidance from their supervisor regarding specific criteria for assessment regarding their particular project.

STS offers several student awards, intending to honour outstanding performance in the degree. We offer the STS dissertation prize for the best final mark on the written dissertation or research paper (not the course overall). In the case of a numerical tie, the award normally goes to the candidate with the higher mark in the presentation component of the course.

Page last modified on 29 aug 12 12:09 by Joe Cain

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