Umar Rashid on what he likes about Sheffield
Umar graduated recently from BA Philosophy and Religion.
Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?
"I chose to study Philosophy and Religion at the University of Sheffield because I was seeking a University that would accommodate and expand my interest in Philosophy and Religion to new levels. I believe Sheffield was the best at doing this due to its renowned teaching and outstanding facilities that would help transition myself to higher learning."
What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?
"What made the University of Sheffield stand out for me were the services that are available, such as the study spaces, which I have used a lot during my degree. Furthermore, during the exam period when it gets busy, and becomes more difficult to find study spaces, the Philosophy department often provides additional areas within the department in which to study. These small initiatives create an environment which gives you a sense that the teachers value your education within the University."
What do you particularly enjoy about Philosophy and Religion?
"What I genuinely enjoy about Philosophy and Religion is the study of both supplements each other well. For example, by exploring, understanding and challenging various views stemming from ancient, pre-modern and contemporary philosophy, I am provided with a new dimension to think about religion. In another vein, my study of world religions at times enriches my understanding and criticisms of various philosophical arguments. One of my worries before coming here was whether the University was going to provide an intellectually stimulating environment for me to fully immerse myself in this subject. I can confirm, after more than two years of study, that the University not only provided this intellectually stimulating environment for me to enjoy this subject but made me realise more areas of interest I had not known before such as Political Philosophy."
Being a student in the department, I can say that it is an excellent experience. The staff are approachable and welcoming, and the services available are accessible and useful as well.
UMAR RASHID, BA PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
How did the Department of Philosophy help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?
"The Department of Philosophy, from the first day, was there to support my transition into higher learning. On the first day, I recall being assigned a tutor, who is a staff member from the department and was there to help me settle in with my studies. All the staff in the Department of Philosophy are very approachable and encourage their students to visit them in their office whether the concern is for academic or non-academic matters."
What are your top tips for any students thinking about studying Philosophy in Sheffield?
"If you're thinking about studying Philosophy at the University of Sheffield, then one of the best tips I can offer is not to assume that completing your degree and modules will involve only reading, discussing and writing. Contrary to my expectation, and what made Sheffield stand out, is that some modules are very practical and will challenge you in more ways than possible. This was true for a second year module, called ‘Philosophy of Education’, whereby teaching was integral to the course. A second tip is that studying Philosophy at Sheffield doesn’t stop outside the course! You can occupy yourself in one of the societies that surround Philosophy at Sheffield. Either this is Philosophy in the City, where you can go and discuss philosophy with people from around Sheffield, or the Philosophy Society, Philsoc, where several activities and events occur throughout each semester. Joining these organisations will give you a chance to meet new people and make your study of Philosophy in these next three years more rounded."
Tell us about being a student in the department.
"Being a student in the department, I can say that it is an excellent experience. The staff are approachable and welcoming, and the services available are accessible and useful as well. One useful aspect of being a student in this department is that anytime I know I will not be here for a lecture, I can rely on listening to the voice recordings done in lectures, so I don’t fall behind, or I can always visit my teachers in office hours who are often more than happy to go through anything I missed as well. Above all the department and all within it create an excellent environment for intellectual stimulation and learning."
What is your highlight of studying and/or living in Sheffield so far?
"The highlight of studying in Sheffield is that you meet a lot of different people both from within and outside your course. Even as someone who commutes to the University, I have managed to take upon many opportunities while being here. For example, one such highlight is taking part in the Philosophy in the City programme whereby I had a chance to experience teaching Philosophy to a group of students at a sixth form and help them out with their current studies."
What do you know now about Sheffield that you didn’t know before you came here?
"Before coming to Sheffield, I never realised the significance of the steel manufacturing history of the city as not only did it once have national importance but an international one as well. My curiosity after finding this out resulted in me exploring Kelham Island and Kelham Island Museum, which is an industrial museum storing many machines from engineering firms of the past."
What are your plans after your study?
"Once I receive my degree, there are many graduate schemes available for me to choose from after I finish, or if my desire to stay in academia wins out by the end of my degree, I may consider doing a Masters. The university’s career services are useful in this regard and are available for all students for help to figure out their path beyond their degree."
Anything you’d like to add? What do you like about Sheffield?
"Above all, Sheffield is a wonderful place to study and to make new friends and is worth considering for anyone who is not only wanting to go onto higher learning but who desire to receive the best experience from it as well."