Programme objectives, learning goals, and prospective careers

Research in the relatively young field of “History and Philosophy of Science” combines approaches from historical, philosophical, and cultural studies for its investigation of the sciences. Degree students of the Master’s programme in History and Philosophy of Science acquire the skills and competencies required for such a scientific enquiry.
The programme provides students with subject-specific and methodological skills to analyse, evaluate, and reconstruct:

1. Historic developmets of a scientific field (e.g. its methods and concepts, areas of investigation, institutions, or biographies) in the context of political, social, and cultural studies

2. Philosophical models, questions, and enquiries out of a philosophy of science perspective

3. Societal causes, effects, and (inter)relations of scientific research


A strong integration of approaches from the fields of both history and philosophy of science is pivotal to this master’s programme. Such a multi-perspective approach allows for a meaningful and complementary combination of concepts, methods, and theories from both fields in a way that is appropriate for studying a phenomenon of interest – without the need to specialise in only one field, or favour one over the other.
Students learn about both fields, i.e. their concepts, methods, and fields of study, as well as their intersections. The module-based curriculum provides students with subject-specific and methodological competencies, skills, and knowledge. Due to the broad spectrum of admission requirements regarding previous studies, students will encounter colleagues with other scientific/disciplinary backgrounds, and have to complement their knowledge in an introductory period (module 1 and 2). This phase lays the basis for inter- and trans-disciplinary discussions and collaborations.

Graduates of the HPS master’s programme are able to conceptualise, employ, and analyse trans-disciplinary research questions and methodologies. They posses critical and problem-oriented thinking skills, allowing them to view scientific developments, queries, and interrelations out of multiple perspectives. They are able to recognise social, cultural, or gender-specific perspectives, and can identify and understand historical categories, developments, and continuities in the investigation of the sciences. Graduates acquire a broad set of skills and competencies, including critical trans-disciplinary thinking and basic communication and collaboration skills, the ability to analyse, question, and defend philosophical arguments, and knowledge of the history of science and its methodologies. Furthermore, HPS-graduates posses advanced skills and knowledge regarding specific problems, methods, and concepts of the history of science, and philosophy of science theories and methodologies. Thus, graduates are particularly well-suited for project-based and trans-disciplinary collaborations and research work, and to participate in international and interdisciplinary scientific discourse and science communication.
Having a strong research focus, the HPS master’s programme provides a solid basis for pursuing an academic career, including doctoral/PhD studies in the areas of history of science, philosophy of science, and related fields of study concerned with the analysis of scientific theories and methodologies. Moreover, the HPS programme qualifies students to work in the areas of science communication and science writing, e.g. in non-university institutions, museums, or archives.