• Human Sciences Degree

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a Subject > University Courses > Human Sciences Degree

Human Sciences is a fairly modern course offered by a small number of UK universities.



The Human Sciences degree is relatively 'young'. It has been a degree subject at Oxford since 1969, and at UCL was proposed in 1973 by the late Professor J. Z. Young and implemented two years later. His aim was to train general science graduates who would be scientifically literate, numerate and easily able to communicate across a wide range of disciplines, replacing the traditional Classics training for higher-level government and management careers.


King's College, London (B150)

Oxford University (BCL0)

University College, London (BCL0)

University of Exeter (BCL0)

Academic Requirements

Bolton: 200 UCAS tariff points from A level or equivalent

KCL: AAB, plus a pass at AS level, including Biology or Chemistry A or AS level

Oxford: AAA (at least)

UCL: AAA, plus a pass at AS level, including any science subject, preferably Biology.

Exeter: AAB-ABB

UCAS Form & Personal Statement

Course Structure

Typically, universities offering Human Sciences have a first year consisting of a large number of compulsory modules to provide the students with a basic grounding in the social, medical, behavioural and biological study of humans. From the second year onward, Human Sciences students have a wide range of options from both the social and the life sciences. The final year generally requires the completion of a library based dissertation or a research project, both of which must be interdisciplinary.

Life as a Human Sciences Student

The first year of a Human Sciences degree will normally include approximately 10-15 hours of lectures and tutorials per week, with any laboratory practical time added on top of this. Workload is relatively sparse compared to other 'hardcore' science degrees but greater than many arts and humanties degrees. This generally means that there is plenty of time for first year Human Sciences students to involve themselves in part-time work (excepting those studying at Oxford), volunteering, engaging in clubs and societies and general partying.

The second year onward will vary significantly between Human Sciences students at the same institution, let alone between institutions, due to the availability of a wide range of options. As biological science subjects tend to be more popular with Human Sciences students (where the university provides these as an additional option), the second year may see an increase in contact time, particularly if thorough laboratory work is conducted. At Oxford, the second year is generally used to complete as much of the core course component as possible.

The final year is shaped by individual choices but also depends on whether a library based project is undertook or one that is field/laboratory based (not generally applicable for Oxford). As with any degree, the final year of a Human Sciences degree can be intense but this is to be expected.

Graduate Destinations and Career Prospects

Human Sciences graduates frequently enter careers which do not specifically require a degree in Human Sciences but which value the breadth and width of knowledge gained alongside an understanding of the social and political life of the community. Job areas related to the degree include: Social work & probation, Clinical research, NHS management, Charities & pressure groups, Local government, Civil Service, Community work and Teaching in schools & colleges.

Many of the graduates however, continue with postgraduate education in areas such as anthropology, science and technology studies, physiology and public health. A fair proportion also go on to study medicine, either on accelerated 4 year courses or on the standard 5 year course.

See Also

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