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History and Philosophy of Science

Study in the Discipline of History and Philosophy of Science is offered by the School of History and Philosophy of Science in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

About the major

A major in History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) will allow you to enrich and deepen your knowledge of science and its place in modern society. The study of HPS also allows you to stand back from the specialised concerns of other subjects by gaining a broader perspective on what science is, how it acquired its current form, how it fits into contemporary society, and to analyse the ramifications of scientific developments in a social, cultural, and ethical perspective.

Graduates emerge with an ability to identify and examine the conceptual and social dimensions of science and technology in an historical perspective using a variety of scholarly techniques. History and philosophy of science is a valuable field of study for any career requiring an understanding of science, with particular relevance for careers in government or industry that require addressing and managing complex problems.

Requirements for completion

The History and Philosophy of Science major and minor requirements are listed in the History and Philosophy of Science unit of study table.

Contact and further information

School of History and Philosophy of Science
T +61 2 9351 4226

School of History and Philosophy of Science
Level 3, Carslaw Building F07
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Learning outcomes

Students who graduate from History and Philosophy of Science will be able to:

No. Learning outcome
1 Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge in foundation scientific concepts and describe the close relationships between the historical, philosophical, and sociological analysis of science.
2 Identify and critique classical and contemporary theories of the nature and progress of science and examine their social significance.
3 Recognise and describe key ethical, social, and political issues that arise in the sciences and in medicine.
4 Source, collate, analyse and critically evaluate scholarly material in the history and philosophy of science and gain clear understanding of their content, arguments and construction.
5 Communicate concepts, issues and findings in history and philosophy of science through a range of modes for a variety of purposes and audiences, using evidence-based arguments that are robust to critique.
6 Critically analyse theories, methods, concepts and applications within science.
7 Address authentic problems in the history and philosophy of science, working professionally and responsibly within diverse, collaborative and interdisciplinary teams.
8 Examine and evaluate contemporary issues in the history and philosophy of science, from a range of cultural, ethical and social perspectives.