Masters degrees in Philosophy of Science are concerned with the foundations, methods and implications of science.
Related postgraduate specialisms include the History of Science & Medicine, while entry requirements usually include a relevant undergraduate degree such as Philosophy or Social Science.
Philosophy of Science questions precisely what qualifies as science, how reliable scientific theories are and what science’s ultimate purpose is. These paradigms have changed greatly over the last few centuries, and this field attempts to uncover why and how.
For example, you could investigate whether science can reveal truth about unobservable things (a topic closely related to cosmology), or delve into the moral aspects of scientific reasoning.
Ultimately, you’ll be challenged to decipher if science is a steady, cumulative acquisition of knowledge, or if it’s a product of the concepts and practices which define periods in history.
Careers in this field include traditional roles in academia, publishing and journalism. However, you might also branch into consultation within professions such as clinical practice or jurisprudence.
This programme offers breadth across a wide range of historical and philosophical themes. It also encourages intensive investigation and specialisation: a survey of nearly 3,000 years of scientific ideas and communities, and an exploration of the inner workings of science's methods and theories.
The programme provides broad-based training in the history of science, the philosophy of science, and an “integrated history and philosophy of science”. The historical coverage is broad, from antiquity to the present, while the philosophical coverage spans causality and the philosophy of medicine as well as the metaphysics of chemistry and computer science.
MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), three ancillary modules (45 credits), and a dissertation (60 credits).
The Postgraduate Diploma programme consists of one core module (15 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and three ancillary modules (45 credits), available in full time mode
The Postgraduate Certificate programme consists of one core module (15 credits) and three optional modules (45 credits), available in full time mode
Students choose four options from the following:
In addition, students choose three ancillary modules which may be options from our degrees, or selected from any other programme at UCL.
All MSc students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–12,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of seminars, lectures, tutorials and research supervision. Student performance is assessed through coursework such as long and short essays, advocacy work and project work.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: History and Philosophy of Science MSc
Our programme provides essential training for students wishing to pursue PhD level study in related fields. It also provides appropriate training for those pursuing careers in education, museum and archival curatorship, or governance and policy-making.
Recent career destinations for this degree
During the course of this programme, students will develop a wide range of transferable skills, including writing, research, critical thinking, and working in collaboration with others. Most graduates of this programme go on to follow careers that engage with the substance of the degree, including in the museums sector, or in academia. For these students, this programme provides an excellent opportunity to develop the specialist skills and personal connections necessary to succeed. These include basic curatorial skills, developing personal contacts in London museums, and developing personal and intellectual connections with key thinkers in the field.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
There is no UK academic department quite like UCL Science & Technology Studies. The department combines award-winning teaching with award-winning public engagement.
We are research-active over an enormous range of topics. Our teaching builds on research not only in our subject specialties but also in the fundamentals of teaching and learning.
Our programme makes unique use of London’s attractions and resources. We have close links with the Science Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Library, and UCL Culture. We also use the city as a classroom, with custom-made walking tours, site visits, and special excursions.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Science & Technology Studies
82%: History subjects; 75%: Philosophy subjects rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Philosophy tackles some of the deepest and most complex questions about humanity and its place in the world. This programme will allow you to study the key debates, trends and approaches in different areas of philosophy while improving your skills in research and critical analysis.
Core modules will give you an overview of different topics in analytic philosophy, from philosophy of mind, religion, language and science to epistemology, ethics, aesthetics and metaphysics. You’ll also choose from a variety of modules specialising in the areas and topics that interest you the most.
You’ll be supported by active researchers in a stimulating environment based around our six research centres, with access to excellent library resources covering a broad span of subjects. It’s an excellent opportunity to gain diverse skills for a wide range of careers, as well as further study.
This programme is also available to study part-time over 24 months.
Throughout the course you’ll take two core modules introducing you to different topics, approaches and methods in areas of analytic philosophy. You’ll explore current and historical debates in subfields including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, ethics, metaethics, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science— all while improving your skills in research and critical thinking.
From this foundation, you’ll build specialist knowledge in areas that particularly interest you with your choice of optional modules. You can take an upper-level undergraduate module (with boosted assessment requirements) to fill gaps in your background knowledge, sign up for an independent study, or choose from several MA modules the School has to offer.
You’ll continue to specialise when you complete your dissertation – an independent research project on a topic of your choice that allows you to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve gained. You can choose to swap one of your optional modules to extend your dissertation if you want to go into even more depth.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
You’ll study three compulsory modules including your dissertation, as well as a single optional module. If you choose the standard dissertation (60 credits) rather than the extended dissertation (90 credits), you can take a further optional module.
Most of our modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars, where you can discuss the issues arising from your reading with fellow students and your tutor. You’ll also have one-to-one supervisions while you work on your dissertation. Independent study is also an important element of the programme, allowing you to develop your skills and pursue your own interests more closely.
We use different forms of assessment, including essays, seminar participation and your dissertation.
This programme will equip you with a range of in-depth subject knowledge, but it will allow you to develop high-level skills in research, analysis, interpretation and communication.
All of these qualities are valuable to a range of employers across sectors and industries, and we’re proud of our record in preparing postgraduates for their careers after graduation. They’ve gone into roles such as teaching, consultancy, business management, administration, accountancy, law, journalism and the civil service among others.
Many of our graduates also progress to further study, and ultimately pursue academic careers.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website
Many of the most pressing issues facing New Zealand and the world today—climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and how to respond to new technologies—can't be solved using traditional scientific approaches.
In the age of social media, clickbait headlines and 'fake news', new means of communicating science and engaging different groups and communities are required.
The 180-point Master of Science in Society is a cross-disciplinary programme that combines taught courses, research projects and your choice of final project to give you a practical understanding of the role of science in society.
You'll learn how to engage New Zealanders in conversations about the science that impacts their lives so they can make informed decisions. Find out how you can influence policy change and research priorities.
Develop your understanding of contemporary scientific issues, and draw from a range of diverse fields such as philosophy, history and the creative arts to gain a broader and more nuanced perspective on science.
Gain an insight into the range of perspectives different communities have on scientific and environmental issues, and explore the important role of mātauranga Māori and other indigenous knowledge in science decision-making.
The Master of Science in Society is suited to students who are interested in science but don't want to pursue a traditional postgraduate science research programme. If you're interested in more effective public engagement around key scientific issues like conservation and pest eradication, or you're keen to pursue a career in science policy or advocacy, this degree is a good choice for you.
Learn from award-winning academics and professionals who are leaders in the field of science communication, public engagement with science, natural and social science, the humanities and the arts. You'll also be exposed to a wide range of expertise from across the university and from visiting experts.
The Master of Science in Society has two parts. The first part takes place in Trimester One, is based on-campus and is compulsory for all students.
In Part 1, you'll focus on developing your critical thinking and communication skills in four taught courses. Look at the theory and practice of science communication, and gain a grounding in contemporary scientific issues and theories. Explore perspectives on science from different cultures and from across the humanities and social sciences.
You'll choose from three of four core 400-level courses, and complete an additional approved course worth 15 points.
The field component of SCIS 589, the Science Communication Project, also takes place during Trimester One.
You'll go on to put your learning into practice in Part 2 by completing your science communication project and a research essay. You'll also choose to do a work placement or a research project, or choose other relevant courses from another discipline of your choice, such as Māori Studies, Public Policy or Conservation Biology.
While working on your final projects you'll be supervised by subject experts from within and outside of the university, and will continue to meet regularly with your fellow students in tutorials or seminar sessions.
You can complete Part 2 of your Master's remotely if your placement or research project takes place outside Wellington. You'll need to have sufficient internet access to take part in online seminars, lectures and workshops.
The Master of Science in Society will take you three trimesters (one year) of full-time study, or up to three years if you are studying part time.
If you are studying full time, you can expect a workload of 40–45 hours a week for much of the year.
If you're a part-time student, you can estimate your workload by adding up the number of points you'll be doing. One point is roughly equal to 10–12 hours work.
This course is about analysing the relation of philosophy and science in terms of their historical development, as well as the current situation.
Philosophy and science don't mix. Or do they? What we nowadays call "science" used to be part of "philosophy." It is not a coincidence that Isaac Newton called his physical masterpiece "The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy." And today, the two are still closely connected. Our current worldview is strongly shaped by scientific thought. We look to science for both answers to our theoretical questions and solutions to our practical problems.
The Master's specialisation in Philosophy and Science analyses the relation of philosophy and science in terms of their historical development, as well as the current situation. How did the scientific worldview come about? What are its components? What models have been proposed for the relationship between philosophical and scientific thinking?
This Master's specialisation will give you a better understanding of the evolution, the current status and the implications of the scientific worldview. Professionally, it prepares you for several possible avenues, in fields including science administration, research, journalism, and policy-making.
- The focus on the historical and systematic relationship between philosophy and science is unique in the Netherlands.
- The Philosophy Faculty has close ties with scientists and professors at the other faculties on campus - and philosophy as a subject is an integral part of all the faculties at Radboud University. This makes it easier for our students to combine Philosophy with any discipline when working on their thesis.
- Teaching takes place in a stimulating, collegial setting with small groups.
- The seminars specifically train skills such as critical reading, analytical thinking, policy writing and debating.
- This Master's specialisation is run by the Center for the History of Philosophy and Science (CHPS), the only centre in the world that studies philosophy and science as historically intertwined phenomena.
- This Master's specialisation is aimed at career prospects in, as well outside of, research.
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/philosophyandscience
During the specialisation Philosophy and Science you will learn to think about issues in debates with major thinkers. You will study texts by philosophers of the past and present. What you learn here is applicable to the social, scientific and political situations around us.
After you graduate, you’ll be well situated to analyse texts and extract concepts. You’ll have the ability to think out of the box and to think creatively about possible solutions. You can use those skills in society, in political or social debates and in your work.
Graduates of the Master’s specialisation in Philosophy and Science have many options. You can work within journalism and become a journalist, editor or critic. You can also become a policy advisor for a governmental organisation, or for other cultural and social institutions. You can also work as a philosopher in business, communications advisor or ethical expert. And Dutch students who would like to become teachers within the Netherlands could continue to attain the academic teacher’s degree for the subject of Philosophy (leraar Filosofie).
See the website http://www.ru.nl/masters/philosophyandscience
The Graduate Diploma in Philosophy is a one-year conversion course (two years part-time), designed for those who already have a degree and wish to pursue an interest in philosophy. No formal training in philosophy is required. The programme provides an ideal learning environment if you are interested in progressing to an MA in Philosophy, or simply want the opportunity to learn about philosophy.
The Diploma has two main components:
You can choose from a wide range of modules, which in the past have included:
Students in the Graduate Diploma programme receive an average of eight timetabled contact hours per week over the course of the programme. The contact hours come in the form of lectures, tutorials and seminars, depending on the four modules chosen by the student. In addition, students are offered six hours of one-to-one dissertation supervision with an expert in their chosen research area.
Philosophical development involves not only familiarizing oneself with a body of knowledge but also acquiring skills in critical reasoning and argumentation. Thus, in addition to introducing students to key works in philosophy, the programme offers many opportunities for dialogical interaction. Lecture sessions include time for questions, tutorials consist mainly of structured, critical dialogue in a supportive environment, and seminars provide opportunities for extended discussion. Dissertation supervision meetings give guidance on suitable reading, critical discussion of relevant sources, detailed advice on how to write a 12,000 word piece of research, and intensive critical engagement with the student’s philosophical position and argument.
Timetabled contact is only a part of the learning process; its aim is to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the relevant literature themselves and to pursue independent learning. Lectures and accompanying documents contextualise material and introduce students to topics, positions and debates. At least four hours of additional study per week are recommended for each lecture or seminar, which includes reading and the completion of assignments. Having completed the reading, students engage in discussion in seminars or return to lecture topics in small group tutorials. These help students to refine their understanding of material and to develop the reasoning skills needed to formulate, present, defend and criticise philosophical positions.
Graduate Diploma students also can benefit from a range of other activities in the department, including the department’s postgraduate philosophy society (EIDOS), weekly research seminars and reading groups, and occasional conferences, workshops and Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures. The programme director remains in contact with students throughout the year and is always available to discuss any issues that might arise, whether personal or academic.
Philosophy, science and religion are three endeavours that shape in far-reaching and fundamental ways how we think, what we value, and how we live. Public discourse, professional life, politics and culture revolve around the philosophical, scientific and religious ideas of our age; yet they and their relationship to each other are not well understood.
This programme brings together leaders in the fields of philosophy, science and theology, based both in Edinburgh and across the world.
Students will be brought up to date with the relevant scientific developments – including quantum mechanics, relativity, cosmology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and human origins – the relevant theological issues – including the problem of evil, miracles, theological conceptions of creation, theological conceptions of providence, and eschatology – and the philosophical tools in philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophy of language required to understand the relationship between them.
Students will develop logical acumen and analytical skills, and the ability to express themselves clearly in writing and in conversation with diverse groups of students from around the world. As well as being a leading research institution in philosophy, theology and the sciences, Edinburgh has lead the way in providing high quality, bespoke and intensive online learning at postgraduate level.
The innovative online format of the programme and the flexibility of study it offers make it accessible to those with family or professional commitments, or who live far from Edinburgh.
This MSc/PGDipl/PGCert in Philosophy, Science and Religion is designed to give you a rigorous grounding in contemporary work in the intersection of philosophy, science and religion.
This is an online only programme that will be taught through a combination of short video lectures, web discussion boards, video conferencing and online exercises.
You will have regular access both to faculty and dedicated teaching assistants, including one-to-one interactions. You will also interact with other students on the programme as part of a dedicated virtual learning environment.
You will take options from a wide range of courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and the School of Divinity both jointly and individually, and will be required to write a dissertation.
All students will be required to take two core courses: Philosophy, Science and Religion 1: The Physical World; and Philosophy, Science and Religion 2: Life and Mind.
Courses will include online lectures, tutorials, quizzes, discussion sessions and personal tutor contact.
At the dissertation stage, you will be assigned a supervisor with whom you will meet, through video conferencing, to plan and discuss your research and writing.
The MSc in Philosophy, Science and Religion aims to develop students to:
This course is designed to prepare you for doctoral work in relevant areas of philosophy and/or theology.
However, the skills of analytical but creative thinking, clear writing, and the abilities to manage projects that require significant research and to engage in constructive conversations across disciplinary and cultural boundaries, are all highly sought after by employers in a diverse range of fields.
With a deep and rigorous programme of coursework and research in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method, the MSc Philosophy of Science explores both general questions about the nature of science and specific foundational issues related to the individual sciences.
This programme is primarily designed to be accessible and stimulating for two main audiences: those who have studied science as undergraduates and would now like to study the philosophical foundations and methodology of science in depth, and those who have studied philosophy and would now like to delve deeper into the philosophy of science.
Founded in 1946 by the eminent philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper, LSE’s Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method is the ideal place to explore conceptual, methodological and foundational issues in the sciences. Along with the closely related Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, it enjoys an international reputation for its cutting-edge research, bustling seminar series and distinguished faculty and visitors.
This master's programme prepares you for many different possible destinations, including PhD work in philosophy or related disciplines, and employment in many non-academic fields such as science journalism, science administration and science management.
The Master’s programme in the History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) offers a unique opportunity to study the foundations, practices, and culture of the sciences and humanities from a historical and philosophical perspective. Our two-year research programme addresses the historical development of scientific thought and practice with a broad approach that investigates the interplay of science or the humanitites with cultural, social, and institutional factors. Students will also learn to analyse the structure and concepts of theories such as relativity, quantum mechanics, evolution, and modern genetics.
HPS has twice been judged ´best in category´ by the national Master guide (Keuzegids Masters): in the category ‘Science and Policy’ (Bèta en Beleid, 2012) and in the category ‘Philosophy’ (Wijsbegeerte, 2013).
The curriculum covers courses on selected subjects in:
The general aim of the Master’s programme HPS is to offer you a thorough training in the history and/or philosophy or foundations of the sciences and humanities. You'll learn to develop and research historical or philosophical research questions. You will be educated in developing a professional attitude which enables you to enroll in a PhD programme in the HPS field, or start (on the job training) for a career in science education and communication, in museums, in science policy or science management.