History & 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 a central position. HPS is an exciting area of study where 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.
Unit for History and Philosophy of Science website
What will you study?
Our first year course on bioethics investigates the ethical issues associated with recent developments in science such as stem cell research, cloning, genetically modified food, organ transplantation, and animal experimentation.
In second year, you will become acquainted with the major issues in the history and philosophy of science by examining the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries (including the works of Galileo and Newton) and by analysing the nature of the so-called scientific method.
In third year you cover more specific topics in units such as 'Science and Ethics: Dilemmas, Debates and Decisions in Science', 'The Scientific Revolution', 'History and Philosophy of Psychology and Psychiatry', and 'The Philosophy of Biology'.
You have the opportunity to undertake an honours year in HPS involving advanced coursework and an original thesis project based on research conducted under the direction of a supervisor.
HPS is a valuable field of study for any career requiring a broad and critical appreciation of science and its position in society. It is particularly relevant for careers in science administration, science policy, science education, science communication, science journalism, exhibition design and museum work. Many careers in government and business require a broad and critical appreciation of science and its place in the modern world.