Philosophy schools' outreach

Philosophy is not commonly taught or available in schools, but the Sheffield Philosophy department and its students are can actively engage with schools and the community in various ways.

A group of Philosophy students chatting in a cafe.

Philosophy underpins our ethics, the decisions we make and much more – our engagement with students can inspire them to think about themselves and the wider world in new and exciting ways.

This page outlines some of the main schools' outreach projects that the department is currently running - if you’re interested in working with the philosophy department, please get in touch.

Philosophy Taster Sessions

Led by our students and academic staff, these interesting and interactive sessions give an insight into the difference of studying Philosophy at University compared to school. Year 12 and Year 13 students will have the opportunity to experience a lecture or seminar and to participate in Q&A sessions about Philosophy research, teaching and student life at the University of Sheffield. 

Taster Sessions

Philosophy in the City

Philosophy in the City

Philosophy in the City is an award-winning outreach project, run entirely by student volunteers, that aims to increase the opportunities for anyone - at any age and from any background - to study Philosophy and discuss philosophical problems.

We work with a variety of organisations on various projects, including helping to teach at A-level alongside classes, running small seminar style groups and also one-on-one mentoring to improve essays and understanding. 

Our P4C (Philosophy for Children) sessions are focused on primary schools and involve getting children to come up with questions in response to stimuli, such as a short story or film clip. 

Philosophy in the City is also working in partnership with Debating Matters. Teachers, students and current University students are all very welcome to get involved - you can find extensive information at the Philosophy in the City website. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram

If you’re a teacher or school and would like to get involved with this specific project, please get in touch with us at

Silverdale's involvement with Philosophy in the City has been a wholly beneficial experience. The commitment and energy of the volunteers is inspiring.... Philosophy in the City is not impressive despite the fact that it is student-led, but because it is student-led - it impressively bridges the difficult gap between schools and the University.

Ben Arscott

Subject Leader for Religion and Philosophy, Silverdale School

(Current year groups worked with: various)

The Sheffield Philosophy Essay Prize

The Sheffield Philosophy Essay Prize is an annual competition for Years 10, 11 and 12.

The aims of this prize are threefold: firstly, to widen interest in philosophy and in studying philosophy at university level among students who would not otherwise be exposed to the subject; secondly, to encourage ambitious and talented secondary school students considering applying to university, to study philosophy; and thirdly, to recognise the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

Students are invited to submit an essay on the topic of their choice, by choosing from a list of questions. The competition is open to all students, whatever subjects they are studying.

Have a look at the 2022 competition page for more information and details on how to get involved.

(Current year groups worked with: 10, 11, 12)

Why study Philosophy at university? Useful information for students and teachers (pdf, 80kb).

Centre for Engaged Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy is host to the Centre for Engaged Philosophy at the University of Sheffield. The Centre for Engaged Philosophy shows how those working on philosophy can aim to inform, learn from, and build ongoing collaborative relationships of import beyond the academy. Centre members often share news of writings and talks on topics such as racial justice, gender justice, the climate crisis, trans inclusion, our duties to each other, philosophy in education, criminal justice, democracy and public discourse... and more! We also have links to useful online resources for engaged philosophy.

This work is timely: our contemporary world is beset by complex problems. While philosophers were once deeply involved in addressing public affairs and social issues of their day, there is a tendency now to think of philosophy as an exercise in isolated reflection that abstracts away from real-world complexities. The Centre for Engaged Philosophy aims to engage philosophy deeply in the problems of our time, wrestling with the question of how careful thought might help to build a better future.

If you'd like to hear more about the activities of the centre, please do get in touch at,

or with one of the Centre Co-Directors

Josh Forstenzer /

Jules Holroyd /

Contact us

If you would like to contact the Faculty Schools' Outreach Team regarding any of our projects, or to enquire about setting up a bespoke session for your school or college, please get in touch here - 

Get in touch form

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