Taught course

History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine

University of Cambridge · History and Philosophy of Science

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK First class Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Some background in history and/or philosophy, especially of science and/or medicine, is an advantage, but we recruit from a very wide range of disciplines.

Months of entry


Course content

The MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine is a full-time 9-month course that provides students with the opportunity to carry out focused research under close supervision by senior members of the University. Students acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests, as well as a critical and well-informed understanding of the roles of the sciences in society. Those intending to go on to doctoral work learn the research skills needed to help them prepare a well-planned and focused PhD proposal. During the course students gain experience of presenting their own work and discussing the issues that arise from it with an audience of their peers and senior members of the Department; they attend lectures, supervisions and research seminars in a range of technical and specialist subjects central to research in the different areas of History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine.

The MPhil course is assessed by two research essays and a dissertation.

The topics of the essays and dissertation should each fall within the following specified subject areas:

Ancient, medieval and early modern sciences

Ancient, medieval and early modern medicine

Sciences in the age of empire, c. 1750–1900

Modern medicine and biomedical sciences

Modern sciences

Metaphysics, epistemology and the sciences

Ethics and politics of medicine and the sciences

Philosophy of the physical sciences

Philosophy of biology and the life sciences

Philosophy of social and cognitive sciences

In addition to the individual supervisions that support work on essays and dissertations, the MPhil lectures are the core teaching resource for this course. Their purpose is to introduce research topics, methods and approaches adopted by the Department's teaching officers. Each lecture is followed by a small-group seminar that explores the topics in more depth. All MPhil students attend each lecture, but they can choose which subsequent seminars to follow.

Students are encouraged to attend the other lectures, research seminars, workshops and reading groups that make the Department a hive of intellectual activity. The Department also offers a postgraduate training programme, which focuses on key research, presentation, publication and employment skills.

Information for international students

anguage Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 7.0

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.5

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 110


Score: Grade A & B (overall score of 193, with no element lower than 185 plus a Language Centre assessment)


Score: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 with no element lower than 185).

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    9 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details