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Science Literacy

Providing an insight into fundamental scientific principles and approaches, the programme both complements and enriches the study of the humanities. It is designed for non-scientists and requires minimal mathematical skills.

You will learn about the rise of modern science, scientific revolutions, and the innovations made by pioneers such as Galileo, Newton and Darwin. You will explore the beginnings of the universe, fundamental physics, evolutionary biology, social evolution, neurobiology and human psychology.


Our Science Literacy programme is studied by all undergraduates in their second year at the College.

The programme comprises two courses:

Physics, Cosmology, Evolutionary Biology & Neuroscience

Indicative lecture topics include:

  • Ecology & Biodiversity
  • Fundamental Physics
  • Natural Selection
  • The Expanding Universe
  • Neurons & Behaviour
The History of Science

Indicative lecture topics include:

  • Darwin & His Predecessors
  • Geocentric & Heliocentric Models
  • Motion: From Aristotle to Newton
  • Scientific Revolutions
  • The Rise of Cognitive Science


The Science Literacy programme is assessed by two exams, each one taking place at the end of the corresponding teaching term. Your studies in Science Literacy will contribute to your grade for the New College of the Humanities Diploma, which is awarded alongside your degree.