Postgraduate study

Science and Technology in Society MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

This social science programme offers a comprehensive introduction to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies, and is intended for students wishing to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the role of science, technology and innovation in society.

We host one of the leading international centres of interdisciplinary research and teaching in science, technology and innovation studies, which means you’ll be studying as part of a vibrant community of scholars.

Who this programme is for

We welcome students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds with a keen interest in the complex and rapidly evolving relationships between science, technology and society.

Topics

In Semester 1 of the programme you will be introduced to key theories and contemporary academic debates in the field, including;

  • the sociology and social history of science and technology
  • innovation policy and management
  • the role of scientific expertise in policy making
  • science and technology for international development

In Semester 2, and during your dissertation research, you will be able to call on the expertise of our highly regarded academic staff. They will guide you in the application of your knowledge to address key societal issues and challenges. Depending on your interests, this work might relate to:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Life Sciences and Bioeconomy
  • Digital Social Science

This programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, group work and guided independent study.

You will complete three compulsory courses in Semester 1 and three or four option courses in semester 2 and then work on an independently researched dissertation.*

You can also pursue a dissertation through a work-based placement.

(*Revised 30 November 2021 to update information on compulsory courses.)

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2021/22
MSc2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2021/22

Graduates will be expected to:

  • possess a theoretical grounding in the interdisciplinary field of science, technology and innovation studies
  • display the ability to critically employ theories and concepts from science, technology and innovation studies for the analysis of a range of empirical examples
  • understand the methodological and epistemological underpinnings of a range of social science approaches for understanding science, technology and innovation
  • have a critical awareness of current issues in the area of science, technology and innovation studies along with an understanding of how this area intersects with other disciplinary domains
  • be able to communicate their acquired methodological and analytical insights to academic and non-academic audiences alike
  • be capable of translating academic findings from science, technology and innovation studies into practical suggestions for public and policy contexts

This programme is ideally suited if you are looking to enter a career in:

  • policy and government
  • technology management
  • social research and analysis
  • science communication
  • academia
  • non-governmental organisations

You will also develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as critical analysis, communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.

These entry requirements are for the 2022/23 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2023/24 academic year will be published on 3 October 2022.

A UK 2:1 honours degree or its international equivalent.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified*:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: 70 overall with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

(*Revised 17 November 2021 to add accepted PTE Academic qualifications.)

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MSc1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MSc2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD
Programme start date Application deadline
12 September 2022 4 July 2022

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

References are not usually required for applications to this programme.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School of Social & Political Science
  • Chrystal Macmillan Building
  • 15A George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LD