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History and Philosophy of Science - Natural Science

The University of Cambridge offers an undergraduate course in History and Philosophy of Science as a major component of the undergraduate science programme. The subject provides an insight into the role and nature of medicine and science within western society. Cambridge is internationally recognized centre for this work and houses well equipped libraries, Whipple museum of the History of Science. Cambridge is one of the prominent leading collections of scientific manuscripts.

Students may take History and Philosophy of Science as a part first 'B' subject and as full-time part second and part third courses. The course structure is flexible in nature. It is very simple for students from non-science background to move to subject in part second that is designed and modified to be equally accessible to scientists and non-scientists.

Students have two routes through the part second option. If they wish to graduate after part second, they choose three out of nine paper options, write a dissertation based on their own research and write two broad essays based on the primary sources seminars.

Part second students plan to proceed to part third take a fourth paper in place of writing a dissertation. The nine options are as follows.

  • Classical Traditions in the Sciences
  • Science, Industry and Empire
  • Science in Society
  • Metaphysics, Epistemology and the Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Mind
  • Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment
  • Images of the Sciences
  • Modern Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Natural Philosophies: Renaissance to Enlightenment

Part third students write four essays and a dissertation. The four essays include a research essay, a critical literature review and two essays on topics covered by the part third seminar. The core teaching resource for this subject is the weekly part third seminar. With the help of this seminar, students are offered an opportunity to present their own work. For further information, students are advised to visit the university website.

Materials Science

Material science is widely known as a major discipline in the modern world, spanning both biological and physical sciences and also involves many branches of engineering. Latest technological developments in areas such as sports goods, medicine, energy generation, forensics, communication and transport and electronics have been mainly dependent on improvements in the performance limit of constituent materials than on advances associated to engineering design and physical principles.

Students with an understanding of how the performance and properties of a material are determined are, therefore, in great demand across the world and throughout the wide range of organizations. This understanding may be gained by way of studying Chemistry, Physics or Engineering since it depends upon familiarity with different subtleties and interplays in the processing microstructure property relationships.

Part second Materials Science encompasses these relationships for all of the major types of material. It is based upon the basics provided in the parts first 'A' and first 'B' Material options, however, students who have missed one or both of them may, nonetheless, be able to take it. There are eighteen lecture papers in addition to project and practical work. Subsequently, the subject leads to the BA degree.

The major part of student studying in the second materials goes on to part third. The objectives and aims vary from part second, emphasizing on the latest developments in the subject. A number of the lectures provide students a natural springboard for future research that could be undertaken in academia, industry and research institutes.

The subject is surely not exclusively for those individuals who are planning a research career; it offers a valuable insight into higher study of the subject. Students have three compulsory lecture papers related to experimental techniques. Here, students have a choice of ten from sixteen optional papers incorporating a wide range of advanced topics. The next choice between computing, foreign language and management options is also available. The key component is the individual research project undertaken within a research group in the department.

The department organizes extra-curricular activities. These activities includes visiting speakers, industrial visits and an opportunity to spend the summer before the subject following a research project in a university or research institute in Europe. The subject leads to the MSci degree. The degree is recognized as an accredited qualification towards Chartered Engineer status.


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