Oliver Hart on what made Sheffield stand out
Oliver is a BA Philosophy student.
Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?
"I had a lot of friends who had studied here previously so I knew that it would be an extremely friendly place to live. It has a fantastic music scene, and there are always loads of things happening every day of the week, I’ve been spoiled for choice. Geographically, it’s wonderful being this close to the Peak District National Park (which I would HIGHLY recommend), and as far as UK cities go it’s relatively centralised so travelling to and from here doesn’t take too long. The Philosophy Department’s reputation had also preceded it, and so I’d had recommendations to come here from external academics."
What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?
"The Philosophy faculty was what really sold it for me. I’d been to a few university open days, but Sheffield was the only one where they seemed to put in the effort at the departmental presentation. The philosophy course here is the most eclectic that I had come across when I was applying, and that is what makes it so invaluable. No matter how much your philosophical interests change as you study (and they will!) you’ll always be catered for by some of the top academics in the world."
What do you particularly enjoy about Philosophy?
"The reading! I read quite a bit before I started but the resources that you have access to here are brilliant. The modules are run with set readings, but each topic is introduced with other supplementary articles and books that really inspire you to branch out and investigate further arguments and topics. You could get by by doing the minimum but you’ll want to do more!"
As far as Sheffield goes, coming here to study has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, and the best part of it is that the point of me being here, the stellar philosophy, is the part that I’m enjoying most."
OLIVER HART, BA HISTORY AND PHILOSOPHY
How did the Department of Philosophy help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?
"The Department was a huge support for me. I had issues with course transfers, so they helped me to get in contact and liaise with other departments to secure my place. In freshers week there are a bunch of meetings and activities run that help you get to grips with the initial change. These culminate in a meet-and-greet where you’ll come together in an informal setting (free food and wine) hosted by the faculty and get to meet your lecturers face to face. It’s all very relaxed, and great for initiating a rapport between you and them."
What are your top tips for any students thinking about studying Philosophy in Sheffield?
"Come and see the University. You won’t gain a good understanding of the place until you see it for yourself. Combined with this, do your research. Have a look at the course and make sure that it sounds like something that will keep you hooked. If the course is attractive and the University has a good feel about it, then this is probably the place for you."
Tell us about being a student in the department.
"The Department is small, but this makes it a lot more familial than other departments. Students and lecturers are on a first-name basis, and it’s so easy to get to know people and network. There are plenty of events on throughout the year, run by both the Department and the Philosophy Society. These include trips, functions, socials, guest-seminars and a weekly meet-up where you can let your hair down and relax with your course-mates in an informal setting."
What is your highlight of studying and/or living in Sheffield so far?
"Being so close to the Peak District. Sheffield sits on the border of one of the finest nature reserves in the country, and there’s so much to do there! Sailing, windsurfing, mountain-climbing, or, if you’re like me, just going for a stroll up a hill and checking out the views. The landscape is breathtaking, and provides a perfect retreat after being sat in the library for too many hours."
What do you know now about Sheffield that you didn’t know before you came here?
"Its homeliness. Sheffield is quite a unique city in how uncity-like it feels. It’s a lot greener, more relaxed and intimate than places like London or Birmingham, but still has more to do than I know what to do with."
What are your plans after your study?
"I am looking to further my undergraduate studies with a Masters, whereupon I hope to join the Foreign and Commonwealth Office."
Anything you’d like to add?
"Wherever you end up, take it seriously and enjoy it. Make sure, though, that you know as much about where you’re going as possible. As far as Sheffield goes, coming here to study has been one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made, and the best part of it is that the point of me being here, the stellar philosophy, is the part that I’m enjoying most."