Ten Reasons to Study Philosophy at Sheffield

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1. Philosophy is an exciting subject to study.

Philosophy looks at fundamental questions, across a huge range of areas, from ethics to logic, and from aesthetics to philosophy of science. It also has a fascinating history. It approaches these questions rigorously and imaginatively, and involves dialogue with others who have different points of view. In seeking answers, it can change the way you think and behave, and challenge you to view the world in a radically new way. It is a subject that will appeal to anyone who enjoys debate and discussion, and engaging with issues that are important to us all.

2. You will be taught by leading researchers in all areas of philosophy.

Our staff have published dozens of books and hundreds of research articles in leading philosophy journals and edited collections. We were ranked number two for the quality of our publications in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014), a periodic assessment of all university research in the UK. You will receive the highest quality education from active researchers, no matter what particular areas interest you most. In the 2019 National Student Survey (NSS), 100% of BA Philosophy students agreed "staff are good at explaining things".

3. You can choose from a wide range of modules.

The department currently has 22 members of staff, all committed to the highest level of teaching excellence. The breadth of our teaching reflects the breadth of our research. We offer a wide range of modules during the three years of an undergraduate degree (and two of our third year modules are umbrella courses each offering a choice of different topics). In the 2019 NSS, 100% of BA Philosophy students agreed "staff have made the subject interesting".

4. You can design your own programme of study.

We offer students enormous flexibility, effectively letting you design your own programme of study. We do not have compulsory core modules, because we believe that there are many equally good paths through the subject. Indeed, our staff approach philosophy in many different ways so it is only natural that we should encourage diversity in student choice too. In the 2019 NSS, 100% of BA Philosophy students agreed "my course has provided me with opportunities to explore ideas or concepts in depth". Find out more about our courses.

5. You will learn in a supportive environment.

We care about our students. In the 2019 NSS, 100% of BA Philosophy students agreed "I have been able to contact staff when I needed to". Each student, whether single or dual honours, has a Personal Advisor in the Department throughout their time here, offering support in both academic and pastoral areas. We offer students the option of having a Philosophy Mentor, a student from the second or third year, to advise you during your first year at University. Every module you take will involve discussion in small tutorial groups. Students can have one-to-one meetings with staff in their weekly office hours and at other times. And staff meet regularly with student representatives to listen to student concerns, and get your perspectives on departmental policies.

6. A chance to study abroad.

You have the opportunity to study abroad during your degree, choosing to take a year or a semester in another country rather than in Sheffield. We have study abroad programmes available with 34 Universities in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Singapore and the United States, as well as 5 universities in continental Europe. And if you take philosophy as a dual with Modern Languages and Cultures, you will spend an additional year abroad anyway as part of your degree.

7. An active community of philosophy students.

We are proud of the various projects which our students have set up on their own initiative. One of the most successful is Philosophy in the City, set up in 2006 by undergraduates wanting to start their own programme of teaching philosophy in local schools, particularly those in underprivileged areas. The award winning programme continues to flourish and has expanded into work with young persons’ homeless shelters and probation hostels. And that’s not to mention the extremely active Student Philosophy Society, the Philosophy sports teams, the student organised philosophy summer ball, and the Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, PhilonoUS, set up and edited by our students.

8. A great place for you to be a student.

BA Philosophy students rated us 96% for student satisfaction in the 2019 National Student Survey.

There is more to university life than academic study. You will also want to be at a university where you’ll have lots of extracurricular options, and in this respect you simply can’t do better than Sheffield. Sheffield Students’ Union has been voted best in the country every year since 2009 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey. With over 240 student societies, the Union offers something for everyone, and goes towards making Sheffield one of the best places to study in the UK.

9. A great place for you to live.

Sheffield combines the benefits of a big city with the friendliness and ease of a small town. It has a very active music and theatre scene, as well as fantastic nightlife. And with the Peak District only 15 minutes away, it is easy to get out and enjoy the countryside for walks or outdoor sports. Sheffield also has a very low cost of living and is England’s safest major city, according to the UK Peace Index.

10. Excellent career prospects.

96% of 2016/17 Philosophy graduates secured employment or went into further study (Source: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2016/17)

In the course of your degree you will learn to argue and think clearly, to analyse complex issues carefully and to communicate your ideas in an articulate and accessible manner. Philosophy graduates thrive in a range of careers, including teaching, law, civil services, journalism, publishing, charities, advertising, investment and local government. We offer career advice and guidance throughout your degree, both within the Department and through the University’s excellent Careers Service.