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Prospective Undergraduates

Science and technology pervade all aspects of modern life. Think of the impact of vaccines, mobile phones, jet travel or the internet on how we interact with one another and understand own place in society.

How have theories of natural selection, advances in quantum physics or new medical theories and technologies changed the way we see ourselves? How have the politics of climate change influenced the science of climate change?

Scholars in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies tackle all of these issues. We aim to answer the big questions around how societies both influence and are influenced by science, medicine and technology.

There is no undergraduate degree programme in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. However, we do offer a range of undergraduate courses focussing on on various aspects of the historical and social dimensions of science and technology. These courses are open to all students and will complement studies in many disciplines.

Controversies in Medicine, Technology & Environment

This course introduces students to important social science perspectives for understanding publicly visible controversies in science, technology and the environment.

Data, Design & the City

From open government data to urban sensors, smart home meters, and self-quantification devices, today’s cities produce an immense amount of data. This course provides students with the opportunity to harness this data by working with hands-on, participatory tools to tackle a complex socio-technical issue of modern life.

Energy Policy & Sustainability

This course provides students with an understanding of contemporary societal and policy debates around key energy technologies in the context of the transition towards more sustainable and lower carbon energy systems.

Gender, Science and Technology

In this course, we examine the gendered history of Western science and engineering, study the gender politics of technoscience, and explore how those politics affect us every day.

History of Medicine

This course provides a general introduction to the history of medicine in Western society from the Ancient Greeks to the present.

History of Science

In this course we discover the development of scientific thought from Ancient Civilizations into the Twenty First Century, paying attention to astronomy, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, geology, space and computer science.

Internet and Society

This course covers key themes, historical and contemporary, that have informed and challenged our understanding and assumptions about the interaction between the internet and society.

Investigating Energy Consumption & Policy

This course introduces key debates in contemporary energy consumption, equipping students with analytical tools to critically evaluate energy policy in the UK and abroad.

Investigating Science in Society

This course considers the social nature of science and scientific knowledge, as well as the relationship between science and wider society. It studies science internally and externally using a variety of readings, including historical and sociological case studies from physics, biology and chemistry.

Knowledge, Expertise & Policy

This course aims to allow students to understand how experts relate to political power and policy-making in contemporary societies.

Science and Society 1a

This course offers a rounded introduction to the connections between science and society.

Science, Nature and Environment

This course considers the ways that science and technology shape the relationship between humans and the environment.

Sociology of Medicine

This course explores the complex ways that medicine, as professional practice, system of knowledge and form of power, is shaped by and in turn shapes society.

Technology in Society

This course provides an introduction to one of the fastest-growing and most vibrant areas of academic inquiry: the Social Study of Science and Technology.

The Responsible Researcher

This course will equip students with the skills and confidence to engage with broader issues surrounding their research.

Science, Technology & Innovation Studies (STIS) graduates go on to a wide variety of careers in academia, science communication, policy and government, social research and analysis, and in non-governmental organisations.

Our undergraduate courses also provide a great introduction to the broad sector of research covered within our subject area, acting as taster courses for those interested in pursuing a postgraduate qualification with us.

Job Options

The list below provides an idea of some potential career paths available from a Science, Technology & Innovation Studies degree:

• Cultural Consultant
• Environmental Consultant
• Environmental Journalist
• Food Scientist
• Lobbyist
• Market Researcher
• Media Correspondent
• Public Policy Analyst
• Scientific Engagement Officer 
• Scientific Researcher
• Scientific Writer
• Social Researcher

Students who have taken some of our undergraduate courses may choose to progress onto one of our MSc by Research, PhD, Taught Masters or Distance Learning programmes where we have a thriving and cosmopolitan community of graduate students. Current postgraduate programmes include:

MSc Science and Technology in Society

Science, technology and innovation are central to contemporary society, solving and creating challenges in equal measure. This interdisciplinary programme examines the social, political and cultural dimensions of science, technology and innovation.

MSc Management of Bioeconomy, Innovation and Governance

This programme responds to the rapid growth in the global bioeconomy by providing the core knowledge and skills needed to compete in a rapidly evolving, highly skilled workforce.

MSc by Research in Science and Technology Studies

The MSc(R) is aimed at students who intend to go on to pursue a research career, within or outside academia, in this interdisciplinary field. It is the normal point of access to a PhD in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere.

PhD in Science and Technology Studies

Usually undertaken full-time over three years, or part-time over six years, the PhD in Science and Technology Studies is a research degree in which students make an original contribution to our knowledge by pursuing an extended and focused piece of research on a topic of interest to them. 

Postgraduate Certificate in Making Use of Digital Research

This Postgraduate Certificate is aimed at commissioners, coordinators and users of digital research in business, policy-making and the third sector, including digital marketing and analytical services officers. The PGCert comprises a suite of courses that together provide the critical understanding and skills needed to make best use of digital research findings, with a particular focus on social media research, web 2.0 data and their synergies with publicly available ‘open’ administrative datasets.