History and Philosophy of Science


History and philosophy of science (HPS) investigates the nature of science, how science has developed, and how it has come to occupy such an central position in today's society. HPS is an exciting area of study in which you will be stimulated to think critically and creatively about developments within science and their impact on society. It places science in its historical and social contexts and examines how science differs from other forms of knowledge.

The honours year

Studying fourth year honours in history and philosophy of science (HPS) can lead to many different career paths such as science policy, science education, science journalism, and science writing. In particular, it serves as an excellent preparation for an academic career.

In the HPS honours course you can expect to work closely with an academic supervisor in a lively and supportive department, on a major research-based project. You will gain experience in formulating a research question and carrying out investigations around your topic, and this will culminate in a 15,000 word thesis about your research. Your research will normally be related to one of the following major themes: medicine and society, early modern science or bioethics.

Workload and assessment

In the honours year you will complete four honours level units of study and write a 15,000 word thesis based on independent research. A thesis supervisor will guide you through the steps of conducting research for your thesis and writing up the results.

In the honours level units you will engage in areas of study including research methods, philosophy of science, history of science and sociology of science.

Honours projects

The History and Philosophy of Science Unit offers diverse opportunities for honours projects and supervision by academic staff. More information: http://sydney.edu.au/science/hps/undergraduate/honours.shtml

Related subject areas

History and Philosophy of Science

Our courses that offer this honours subject area