Topic list
Core literature
Learning outcomes
Techniques of reading and writing practices

Every ESST member is free to adjust the structure of the ESST program to the local requirements of their university. In some case this implies that ESST students are part of a two-year program.

The first part of the ESST study programme offers an advanced introduction in the field of science and technology studies. All ESST universities who provide the first semester have taken up the responsibility to teach, read and discuss the core list of concepts, themes, skills and texts of the ESST Association. It is on basis of this core programme that ESST can guarantee its joint Master Degree.

Learning outcomes of the first semester

Upon successful completion of Semester 1 curriculum, students will be able to:

  • engage in informed debate about issues of SST in Europe;
  • analyse such issues from a variety of perspectives;
  • investigate in depth a selected issue and produce a substantial commentary/report upon it;
  • identify the scientific and technological dimensions of many key issues facing the European Community;
  • recognise the complex interplay of the social, scientific and technological in current public debate, research and development programmes and social policy formation;
  • trace the development and growing awareness of that interplay in the 20th Century to the present;
  • deploy in outline interdisciplinary approaches to understanding such issues (drawing, for example, upon aspects of philosophy, sociology, anthropology and [multi-]cultural studies);
  • survey the inter-relationship of science, technology and economic development from a historical perspective;
  • give an account of the main developments and related spheres from the first scientific and industrial revolutions to the present;
  • evaluate critically competing accounts of the innovation process and techno-social-economic transitions;
  • position current issues and debates in a broader historical perspective;
  • comment critically upon current concerns with globalisation;
  • analyse examples of the shifting spatial and organisational structuring of high technology industries;
  • identify the key interests groups and their roles and tactics;
  • contextualise the economic issues in the context of broader debates about, for example, the risk society, the information superhighway or global sustainable development;
  • refer to a range of accounts of the making of science and technology in practice;
  • evaluate critically accounts given by scientists and technologists of what they do;
  • discuss critically the claim that scientific knowledge is socially constructed;
  • articulate your own values in relation to issues of society, science and technology;
  • engage in critical dialogue about the political and ethical issues;
  • discuss the relative merits of competing epistemological stances, with particular reference to issues of gender and Euro-centrism;
  • analyse the political issues involved in a current social/scientific/technological controversy;
  • offer appropriate options for negotiating the political agendas of different interest groups in such controversies.

Learning outcomes second semester

During the second semester, students can choose among a range of specialisations offered by the ESST network; in most cases, this will involve moving to one of the other ESST universities. The second semester starts in the first week of February. During the first semester a list of the year’s specializations will be made available.

Upon successful completion of Semester 2 curriculum, you will be able to:

  • identify an issue in STS susceptible to focused analysis;
  • formulate the problematique of the issue within the conceptual frameworks explored in Semester 1 and further developed in Semester 2;
  • analyse the issue using a methodological approach and related research methods encountered in Semester 1 or 2;
  • generate either a report designed to influence policy or a dissertation which will contribute to analysis from a European perspective;
  • adopt this approach or adapt other approaches in SST studies to new issues and problems;
  • engage in planning, negotiation and critical debate with a range of other actors in tackling an issue;
  • proceed with an awareness of regional and (multi-)cultural differences within Europe and in Europe’s global relationships;
  • continue to develop and apply your learning in SST in Europe.
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