The aim of History and Philosophy of Science is to understand science: how it works, its historical development and its function in modern society. History and Philosophy of Science integrates philosophical, historical and sociological approaches to the study of science. It thus provides students with an insight into scientific methods and objectives without actually having to do science. Students will gain analytical skills in evaluating scientific (and non-scientific) knowledge as well as a broad understanding of the historical development of science in its interactions with philosophy, religion and society.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this major, students will be able to:
- possess a broad knowledge and understanding of the discipline and will be able to identify, understand and synthesise the major theoretical, philosophical, sociological and historiographical themes in HPS; and
- possess a deep knowledge of one of the following areas: history of science; philosophy of science; sociology of science or technology; and
- create sustained and critical arguments using appropriate knowledge and methods, culminating in independent and self-directed research; and
- develop an awareness of the relationship between HPS and other disciplines, especially the sciences; and
- demonstrate integrity and ethical awareness in all aspects of the programme’s learning activities; and
- apply HPS knowledge to real-world practice, including the development of policy and the provision of informed comment about science, society and technology; and
- develop a wide range of life skills including: life-long learning; excellent communication; effective collaboration in small and large groups; and a high-level of organization; and
- reflect upon their own (individual) relationship with science and society.
Last updated: 12 November 2019