Careers for philosophers

We are committed to help our students develop beyond their undergraduate degree, whether that is into employment outside the University or further study in philosophy or another subject.

EDU - Satisfaction Survey

Studying Philosophy offers excellent preparation for a career in a wide variety of different fields, in addition to being immensely enjoyable for its own sake.

Studying at Sheffield allowed me to walk straight into a job after graduation.

Ben Arscott

BA History and Philosophy

What our graduates do

In a recent survey of Philosophy graduates two and five years after graduating, all were in employment. Some of our recent graduates work in journalism, marketing, teaching, law charity and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and the civil service. Others have forged careers in film-making, fundraising, public relations, art and computer science to name just a few destinations.

Meet our alumni

I use skills gained from my degree day to day in questioning structures that are already in place to improve them, and in understanding the viewpoints of different people.

Tamlyn Griggs

BA Philosophy and Psychology

Helping you prepare for your future

The Philosophy Department is committed to supporting you as you prepare for your future after graduation. At the foundation of preparing for your future are the invaluable transferrable skills you will master through completing your coursework. The Department also puts on a wide variety of opportunities designed for you to explore and prepare for the path where you’ll choose to apply these skills after your degree. In doing so we often partner with the University Careers & Employability Service or external partners.

Learn more about these opportunities below:

One-on-one guidance

Personal tutors

Every student is assigned a Personal Tutor with whom they are encouraged to meet on a regular basis. Book an appointment with your Tutor to discuss how you’re doing with your skill development and how you might prepare for your future beyond graduation.

Careers & Employability Service

Many of our students take advantage of one-on-one meetings offered by the Careers & Employability Service. You can have a meeting with a staff member trained specifically to help guide you in selecting and preparing for a career path.

Networking events

Departmental events

The Department puts on at least one careers event each semester, inviting recent alumni or employers to campus to discuss what their work involves and how students can prepare for a career in the field.

University-wide events

The Careers & Employability Service regularly puts on events in partnership with prospective employers, including our large recruitment fairs which attract nearly 200 employers over three days.

Work experience

Placement Year

The Philosophy Department offers the option for you to spend a year in employment as part of your degree programme. For more details about this programme, see the section on Degrees with a Placement Year on the Careers & Employability Service's placement page.

Summer internships

You are encouraged to take advantage of summer internship opportunities to test out different career options and develop your skills.

Personal development

All University of Sheffield students have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and attributes throughout their academic studies, work experiences and extracurricular activities. To help students recognise their skills development and be able to articulate their strengths to others, including potential employers, the University of Sheffield has created mySkills, a unique online personal development tool which you will use throughout your degree.

Student Organisations

Philosophy in the City

Philosophy in the City (‘PinC’) is an award-winning outreach project, run entirely by student volunteers from the University of Sheffield’s Philosophy Department. Volunteering for PinC is a great way to get experience of interacting with people across all walks of life which can help you in your future career.


PhilSoc, the student-run Philosophy Society at the University of Sheffield, puts on a wide range of activities including social, intellectual, and charitable events. Getting involved can help you network with peers, and may present you with opportunities to develop your leadership skills.

Undergraduate Conference

Sheffield Philosophy Undergraduate Conference is run each year by the department. It's an excellent opportunity to experience presenting one of your own papers to an interested group of peers and/or to be involved in organising the event.

PhilonoUS Undergraduate Journal

PhilonoUS is run by Philosophy undergraduates and features papers from undergraduates around the world. Being part of the editorial team is a great way to develop leadership and organisational skills.

Research Projects

SURE Scheme

Sheffield’s Undergraduate Research Experience scheme offers you the opportunity to take part in "real life" research projects in subject areas that are of special interest, and to experience what it's like to work in partnership with academic staff or collaboratively in a research group.


eMentoring Scheme

The Philosophy Department encourages students to participate in the University’s eMentoring scheme, where current students are paired with recent alumni mentors from whom they can learn about specific careers.

Careers & Employability Service

The Careers & Employability Service offers a range of services to students and graduates, helping you explore your options, develop skills and provide advice about applications and interviews. It arranges skills workshops run by leading businesses and sessions with alumni where you can learn more about what it is like to work in different careers as well as large recruitment fairs.

Find out more from the Careers & Employability Service about options for Philosophy graduates

Carrying on in Philosophy

In a competitive field, a postgraduate degree will often give you the edge. Many of our graduates go on to further study, either in Sheffield or in other departments in the UK and abroad. The most common next step in postgraduate work is to take an MA and our department offers an MA in Philosophy (allowing you to specialise in any of a wide range of areas of the subject), and interdisciplinary MAs in Political Theory and Cognitive Studies. Sheffield has a very strong, yet friendly, graduate school, with one of the best programmes in the country; students often go straight on to a PhD from the MA. Staff can also advise on other Philosophy departments, for those thinking of leaving Sheffield after their first degree.

Find out more about staying on at Sheffield for postgraduate study in Philosophy.

Postgraduate student, Patrick Connolly, did his BA in Philosophy at Sheffield and chose to stay on to study for his MA in Philosophy.

Find out why Patrick stayed on at Sheffield

Further reading

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