Sociology of Science and Technology

Subject HPSC40017 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2-hour seminar each week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission to fourth year Honours or the Postgraduate Diploma in the discipline of History and the Philosophy of Science

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Michael Arnold, Dr Darrin Durant



Subject Overview:

This subject begins with a sustained engagement with classic texts in the sociology of science and technology, such as works by Merton, Schaffer, Collins, Bloor, Barnes and Kuhn. We follow this with the emergence of a series of radical proposals challenging the classics, including work by Latour, Haraway and Suchman. In the second part of the semester students will have the opportunity to apply their understanding of these contested ideas to a research project of their own choosing.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • have become familiar with the historical development of conceptual aspects sociology of science and technology;
  • have developed capacities of analytic reading;
  • have strengthened their abilities in synthesising arguments;
  • have developed academic writing skills.

Written work totaling 5,000 words due at the end of semester (100%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. After five days late assessment will not be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will

  • develop skills in written communication.
  • Analyse complex texts
  • conduct independent research.
  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources in mounting an argument.
  • develop skills in synthesizing and analysing literature relevant to a specific discipline or topic
  • form defensible judgements based on a critical evaluation of conflicting arguments.
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - History and Philosophy of Science
Graduate Certificate in Arts - History and Philosophy of Science
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - History and Philosophy of Science
Graduate Diploma in Arts - History and Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of Science
MA (AS&&ST) History and Philosophy of Science
PC-ARTS History and Philosophy of Science

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