Science and Society

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Course Category: Bachelor and Bachelor of Science

Course Description
Course Description
  • Focus of Study

    This programme aims to produce graduates ready to talk about science and interpret its influences in modern society without committing to a life at the lab bench. Science involves many more people than scientists themselves, and this degree seeks to build policy-makers, communicators, and other observers who can contribute informed views to ongoing debates about sciences direction and impact. This might involve contributing to debates on science funding or ethics; weighing the value of different social priorities; or consulting on the impact of new technologies and new discoveries.

    • Courses in science policy and governance focus on the UK, the EU, and the world. They also focus on ethics, historical decision-making processes, and current discussions about future directions in science, medicine, and technology.
    • Courses in science communication focus on the complex interactions between scientists and the public. We consider the methods of science journalism, including broadcast and online environments among others.
    • Practical courses in public engagement and evaluation build hands-on skills with communication and conversation. You will also develop the skills of evaluating the effectiveness of science communication: what works and what doesn’t?
    • Courses in sociology of modern science and technology combine with classic sociological theory and practical field methods to study science as a human activity, shaped by modern society.

    Course Description

    Study plan

    Year 1

    Compulsory courses

    Fundamentals of Science Communication
    History of Modern Science
    History of Science: Antiquity to Enlightenment
    Investigating Science and Society
    Philosophy of Science I
    Revealing Science
    Science Policy
    Sources in History of Science

    Year Two

    Compulsory courses

    Global Citizenship in Action

    Optional courses

    Students select options from a wide range of courses offered by the department and more widely across UCL, including:

    Philosophy of Science II
    Policy Issues in the Life Sciences
    Science and Empire
    Science and Ethics
    Science in the Media
    Sociology of Science and Technology

    Final Year

    Compulsory courses


    Optional courses

    Disease in History
    Governing Emerging Technologies
    History of Astronomy and Cosmology
    History of Medicine
    Investigating Contemporary Science
    Medical Ethics
    Philosophy of Information
    Philosophy of Medicine
    Philosophy of Natural Science
    Science and Film Production
    Science in Nineteenth Century London
    Science, Art and Philosophy
    Science, Politics, and the State in Russia and the Soviet Union
    Sleep and Dreaming

    * Our final-year optional courses vary from year to year to reflect current practice and the latest academic research.


    The programme is designed to allow you 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 alone 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.

    Our graduates go on to develop successful careers in the areas of science policy, think tanks, charities, science communication, journalism, education, museums, finance and law. Many also go on to pursue further study.