Honours in HPS


Studying fourth year Honours in History and Philosophy of Science can lead to many different career paths such as science policy, science administration, science education, science journalism, and science writing, and, in particular, serves as an excellent preparation for an academic career.

Working closely with an academic supervisor in a lively and supportive department, HPS honours students gain experience in formulating a research question and producing a substantial piece of original research.

While some students have pursued PhDs in our Unit, several students who have obtained an honours degree with us have continued their postgraduate education at leading programs at the most prestigious universities around the world, among them the University of Cambridge and Princeton, Johns Hopkins, and Pittsburgh Universities.

The Structure of the HPS Honours Program

Honours students are expected to complete four Honours level Units of Study successfully and write a 15,000 words 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.

We currently offer four Honours level Units of Study, which provide a comprehensive background in history and philosophy of science.

Semester 1

Semester 2

In addition, there are four Units of Study in which you need to enrol which represent work on your thesis.

Your thesis will be graded by two independent academics who are familiar with the thesis topic. The final grade for your Honours year is: 50% (average grade for Units of Study) and 50% (thesis mark).

Applying for Honours in HPS

To be eligible to enrol in the Honours program, you need to have a bachelors degree with an average grade of at least a Credit. If you graduated from the University of Sydney, you are expected to have majored in HPS. If you are from another university, you are expected to have a similar background. However, we have accepted students with a minimal background in HPS if they have good reasons to pursue an Honours degree with us. You could acquire the required knowledge by taking units of study or reading courses either before or during you Honours year. Whether this option is appropriate and what should be the courses taken will be decided for each applicant personally, according to the judgment of the Unit. If you would like to pursue this option, please contact HPS Honours Coordinator


  1. Make appointment to speak to relevant supervisor or Honours Coordinator or Head of Unit
  2. Please contact for an Application Form
  3. Once approved by Unit for HPS, complete Faculty of Science requirements Honours Application with the Faculty of Science.