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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Colleges appoint Directors of Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, or nominate someone else to manage supervision arrangements for the College.

At the start of the academic year, the Director of Studies or other appropriate person will arrange for you to be assigned a supervisor in History of Science and a supervisor in Philosophy of Science.

Directors of Studies

You should meet both supervisors as early as possible in Michaelmas Term. You will have one supervision per week throughout the Part IB course, alternating between History of Science (four supervisions per term) and Philosophy of Science (four supervisions per term). You will write an essay based on assigned readings and essay topics for each supervision. Essay topics are agreed in advance by the course managers, lecturers and supervisors and are available on Moodle.

Give the essay to the supervisor well in advance of the supervision. During the supervision, the essay will be discussed, as will problems and issues related to the lecture course. If you have any questions that you would like to raise or topics you would like to discuss that are in addition to the essay that has been set, you should let your supervisor know about this before the supervision.

An essay should be about 1500 words long (roughly four-and-a-half pages of A4). Most supervisors prefer essays to be word-processed, and many allow submission by email. Failure to hand in an essay well in advance of the supervision (at least 24 hours) counts as missing the supervision. If under exceptional circumstances you are forced to change your supervision time, it is your responsibility to contact the supervisor well beforehand to fix a new meeting.

If you do not have a Director of Studies, or if you need any other information about the course, contact the manager of the Part IB course via the HPS office.