Philosophy

Philosophy asks intriguing questions about familiar – and at first sight straightforward – features of our lives and world. For example, it is a significant fact that people have moral convictions. Are these convictions anything more than personal likes and dislikes? Can I give others good reason to share my moral outlook?

Questions like this can appear dauntingly difficult. Our Philosophy degree equips you to think about and engage with them for yourself. Our level one modules introduce some of the central areas of philosophy (ethics, political philosophy, theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, history of philosophy and ancient philosophy). These level one modules give you a broad overview of the types of issue which arise in different areas of the subject. Level two modules enable you to take a closer and more careful look at the issues which interest you, and offer additional choices (feminism, metaphysics, philosophy of the arts, philosophy of education, philosophy of science). Level three modules are our most closely focused, with members of the department typically teaching in their own areas of research – and that gives you the chance to focus on your own areas of interest too.

Your interests will develop and form over the course of your Philosophy degree. While you will have the support of an academic personal advisor to offer advice and guidance in your module choices, you will be able to choose for yourself which areas to concentrate on in the broad range of issues covered by philosophical enquiry.

Philosophy modules we offer

Student profiles

What our alumni say...

Chloe Ashley, BA Philosophy

Photo of alumna Chloe Ashley"My time in Sheffield will always stay with me. The staff are easily the best thing about the Philosophy Department at Sheffield. I was truly inspired by the tutors there and, and they were the reason I initially chose to come to Sheffield above any other university. The degree really helped me focus on what interested me most in the world. There was a large degree of autonomy afforded to me when I completed my third year special projects, resulting in me exploring the complex issues of trust and forgiveness. In my year we were given a deeper understanding of philosophical theory and ethical processes. We were also able to pursue our own specific interests including, but not limited to, prostitution, abortion, genocide and world hunger. Sheffield is an incredibly unique city and gives you a great sense of community. My time at the University of Sheffield was at first about completing a degree but quickly became about so much more.

My time in Sheffield will always stay with me. The staff are easily the best thing about the Philosophy Department at Sheffield. I was truly inspired by the tutors there and, and they were the reason I initially chose to come to Sheffield above any other university.

Chloe Ashley, BA Philosophy

After graduating I studied law and obtained an Inner Temple Scholarship to become a barrister. I expect to be called to the Bar in November this year. My degree has been incredibly useful in gaining my current role as a Legal Intern with Amicus, a charity specialising in death penalty defence litigation. I am presently working in Houston, Texas where American and international law have an impact on everything that I do. I strongly believe that having a philosophy degree, and the skills and disciplines that I developed while undertaking it, were instrumental in allowing me to gain my very highly regarded and competitive Scholarship and later an Internship Award to fund my current endeavour.

Looking to the future now, my degree at Sheffield in combination with my postgraduate studies stands me in good stead for a position within a criminal law and human rights chambers. I can still see the influence of my time at Sheffield in the work I do here every day, and I am always very proud to say that I am a Sheffield alumna."

Faye Lipson, BA English and Philosophy

Photo of alumni Faye Lipson

"Studying philosophy at Sheffield was a fantastically enriching experience. The department enjoys a combination of world-class academics and courses informed by staff research interests.

If you are thinking of studying philosophy at Sheffield, I say: "Do it."

Faye Lipson, BA ENglish and philosophy

Thanks in no small part to inspirational teaching, I graduated with a first-class degree, an academic prize and — most importantly of all — a lifelong love of philosophy.

After graduating in 2012 I moved to London and found graduate-level employment immediately. I am now a journalist at a national newspaper. I can say with certainty that while some of the ideas and arguments I studied at Sheffield have faded a little from my memory, my ability to be analytical, incisive and clear-minded was nurtured there and it will never leave me. It helps me write and edit every day. If you are thinking of studying philosophy at Sheffield, I say: "Do it.""

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