History & Philosophy of Science
The History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) Unit examines the practice of science in its historical and social contexts and examines how science differs from other forms of knowledge. It also critically examines concepts and theories of science, and the assumptions underlying scientific research. It is a valuable field of study for any career requiring an understanding of science, with particular relevance for careers in science administration, science policy, science education and science communication. HPS has a challenging and rewarding postgraduate program. A combination of structured units and a thesis project provides our students with considerable experience in undertaking research in the constituent disciplines of HPS (including history, philosophy, sociology, and public understanding of science), in developing their written and verbal skills and in structuring critical arguments. The program emphasises on self-motivated learning, with close, personalised guidance from academics who are active researchers in the field. The postgraduate program is designed so that students develop their knowledge of the field but also develop skills such as how to structure research projects and manage their time in a way which enables them to perform to the best of their abilities and to develop expertise in a research area of particular interest.
University of Sydney Advantage
HPS is located in Australia’s first university and offers exciting opportunities for students from a wide range of backgrounds. The University library contains over five million volumes, including rare books in the history of science and medicine. The Unit offers a lively intellectual atmosphere provided by an enthusiastic group of scholars working in innovative areas of HPS.
The Unit’s academic staff publish widely in their fields of expertise and have attained national and international recognition for their research. They bring the latest scholarship to their teaching and maintain high standards for postgraduate students. Visiting researchers of international standing also contribute to the Unit’s scholarly environment.
Facilities in HPS are second to none in Australia. In addition to the Unit’s dedicated staff, HPS is linked with nearly a dozen well-qualified teachers and supervisors in different departments and schools within the University.
Areas of Research
- history and philosophy of biology and medicine
- public understanding of science and medicine
- history of psychology, psychiatry, and the human sciences
- history and philosophy of mathematics and the physical sciences
- sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK)
- history of early modern science
- philosophy of science
Academic Programs offered
- Graduate Certificate in HPS (GradCertHPS)
- Graduate Diploma in Science (GradDipSc)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)