Psychology and Psychiatry: History and Phil (HPSC3023)


Across the unit we examine one of the most interesting aspects of the history and philosophy of science. viz., the scientific practices and assumptions involved in making human beings an object of study. We will examine the ways in which psychologists and psychiatrists have investigated human nature, the kinds of experimental approaches they have developed to that end, the major controversies in this field, and the basic philosophical assumptions that have been made in the sciences of human nature. We investigate the developments of psychological theories and investigative methods as well as the development of psychiatric theory, treatment methods, and institutions.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two 1 hour lectures and one 2 hour tutorial per week.


1x 2500wd essay (45%) and 1x2hr exam (45%) class participation (10%)


Leahey, TH (2004). A History of Psychology: Main currents in Psychological Thought. Pearson. Upper Saddle River, N.J. Course reader.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

(12 credit points of Intermediate HPSC units) OR (Credit or greater in an HPSC Intermediate unit) OR (12 Intermediate credit points in Psychology units)

HPSC2100 and HPSC2101



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.