Skip to main content
Two students studying in lecture room
Study area_

History and philosophy of science

Discover a fascinating discipline situated at the cross-roads of science and arts.
Study science in its historical, philosophical and social contexts and examine how science differs from other forms of knowledge.

What is history and philosophy of science?

Studying the history and philosophy of science (HPS) is an ideal way to critically engage with science and its social and cultural significance. We observe not only the past but also contemporary theoretical and experimental developments in all areas of science and technology from a range of humanistic perspectives.

History and philosophy of science offers a balanced program of history, philosophy and social studies of science. Any student with a genuine interest in science will derive benefit from this multidisciplinary study.

Why study history and philosophy of science with us?

  • We have active research records that attract significant funding from both Australian and international sources. Publishing widely in our area of expertise and having attained international recognition for our research.
  • Our school regularly hosts researchers with international reputations, who contribute to the vibrant intellectual atmosphere.
  • History and philosophy of science allows students to stand back from the specialised concerns of their other subjects and gain some perspective on what science is, how it came to acquire its current form and how it fits into contemporary society.
  • We are invested in the future work prospects of all of our students. We are ranked first in Australia and fourth in the world for graduate employability, according to 2018 QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

Where can history and philosophy of science take you?

HPS is particularly relevant for students hoping to make careers in science policy, science administration, science education and science reporting. However, any student with a genuine interest in science will derive benefit from study in HPS. 

Our graduates can be found in many settings and roles, including:

  • Government, research and academia
  • Journalism and science communication
  • Scientific policy and reporting

How can I study history and philosophy of science?

Course options

History and philosophy of science can be studied as a major or minor in many undergraduate courses available at the university. Many science students undertake this subject when enrolled in a Bachelor of Science, the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies, or choose to study these subjects from the shared pool of majors available to many university courses.

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 over the course of a year.

For more information visit the HPS section of the honours page.

 

Research the big questions in history and philosophy of science by doing a research degree, such as a:

To find a potential supervisor visit Research Supervisor Connect or learn more about postgraduate research.