MA Philosophy and Sociology of Science

Duration Full time 1 year
Part time 2 years
  • Sociology, Anthropology and Philosophy
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September


The programme, unique in the UK for its combination of philosophical and sociological perspectives on science and technology, examines the concept of science, the knowledge it provides and the way in which the production of knowledge is organised in society. In doing so, it will prepare you for further research or employment in the management and evaluation of science and its impact on society – an increasingly important aspect of science policy.

Based in the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology the programme draws on staff research interests and expertise in the philosophy of biology, the mind, economics and social science, as well as in the sociology of science and technology.

You will also benefit from close collaboration with Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences a world class research centre at Exeter set up to investigate the meaning and social implications of contemporary genomic science. The Centre offers option modules and other study workshops for participants on the programme.

Programme structure

The programme is studied over 12 months (full time) or 24 months (part time) and is University-based throughout the period. The programme comprises 180 credits in total: taught modules worth 120 credits in total and a supervised dissertation worth 60 credits. Teaching takes place over two terms (October to May), followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September). Each taught module spans one term and is normally taught through seminars, underpinned by reading and essay assignments. The taught element consists of core modules, directed options and free options.

Compulsory modules

Core modules followed by completion of the dissertation over the summer (June to September).

SOCM016Cultures of the Life Sciences 30
SOCM950Science Technology and Society 30
SOCM904Dissertation 60

Optional modules

Modules worth 30 credits in total chosen from the following (subject to availability)

SOCM002APhilosophy of the Social Sciences 115
SOCM007Knowledge & History: Theories of Scientific Change30
SOCM008Methodology and Research Skills in Sociology15
SOCM013Independent Study in Sociology and Philosophy30
SOCM018Methodology and Research Skills in Sociology30
SOCM945Philosophy of Science30

Plus one additional 30-credit module offered within the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology or related disciplines (History, Biosciences, Geography, Politics or Law).

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Learning and teaching

Teaching takes place over the first two terms, leaving the third for your dissertation. Research-centred teaching is at the heart of the programme. Teaching is done in small seminar groups to allow students the best possible interaction with academic staff, through individual presentations and round table discussions of common readings.

Students have the opportunity to engage in a serious piece of research into a topic of their choosing through the dissertation module. You will be assessed through coursework which will vary depending on the modules you choose and the completion of a dissertation.


In addition to the specialist knowledge you will gain during your programme, you will also develop transferrable skills valued by employers such as:

  • researching, analysing and assessing sources of information
  • written and verbal communication skills
  • managing and interpreting information
  • developing ideas and arguments

The College's Employability Officer works with our central Career Zone team to give you access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training, as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.

Graduate destinations

Job titleOrganisation
Lecturer London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Research Fellow The University of Manchester
Consultant Nigerdelta University Wilberforce Island, Amassoma
Research Associate  

Entry requirements 2017

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a discipline related to the programme.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2017/18

  • UK/EU: £7,500 full-time; £3,750 part-time
  • International: £16,500 full-time


Find out about funding opportunities available to students on our taught Masters programmes.

University funding

The Scholarships, Bursaries and Studentships website has information on all available options for funding open to prospective students of taught Masters programmes. You can also use the searchable database of all Scholarships and Bursaries to find funding for which you are eligible.

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

UK government postgraduate loan scheme

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Contact us

Please contact us if you would like more information about any of our programmes or activities, or if you would like to arrange to come and see us.

College of Social Science and International Studies
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 723192