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Department of History and Philosophy of Science


Statement of Policy on the Recording of Lectures, 2023–24

Department approach

Within the Department of History and Philosophy of Science there is considerable variability in the practices of individual lecturers concerning the recording of lectures. Each Paper Manager will inform students about the recording policy to be adopted in the paper. Where students have Student Support Documents (SSDs) mandating the recording of lectures, recordings will be made and made available to those students, except for discussion-based teaching (including the Primary Source seminars in Part II HPS).

Department rationale

In our department we understand that recordings can be beneficial for information retention, revision and independent study. Where recordings are available, students are encouraged to use them only for revision or consolidation, or to catch up on lectures that were missed for truly unavoidable reasons such as illness. Lectures in our department are designed not only for the transmission of knowledge, but as a springboard for critical engagement and independent study. The best way to engage and benefit from teaching is to attend in person. Students also benefit from the interactivity and community of in-person teaching. We have often noted that when recordings were generally available, attendance decreased.

Wherever possible, we respect the discretion and judgement of our teaching staff to decide whether their lectures are suitable to be recorded. In cases where individuals decide against recording, this may be because the teaching environment may not be suitable for recording, or recording may inhibit free interaction, or the content may be deemed as sensitive or controversial.

Availability of resources

Where recordings are available, your Paper Manager will provide information on how they can be accessed. Other course materials, such as reading lists, handouts, slides, and reading materials are generally available on Moodle.

Study skills

The School of the Humanities and Social Sciences has created study guides for making the most of in-person lectures and using recordings effectively.


Students with relevant access needs can request reasonable adjustments through the Accessibility and Disability Resource Centre.

Contact information

If you have questions regarding an individual paper, please contact the relevant Paper Manager. If you have any questions regarding this Course Statement, please contact Hasok Chang (the Head of Department).