Philosophy transcends the mundane and helps you realise what is really important in your life

Ben Dugher, Philosophy BA
Ben Dugher
Recent graduate
BA Philosophy
Ben Dugher is a recent BA Philosophy student. He tells us what he loves about Sheffield and Philosophy.
Ben Dugher, Philosophy BA

Why did you choose to study in Sheffield?

I've always lived in South Yorkshire, so Sheffield is my closest Russell Group University as well as being highly regarded for Philosophy. I think that being able to picture yourself living there is the most important factor when choosing a university. For me, Sheffield was the only place I could see myself living.

What made the University of Sheffield stand out for you?

One of the main reasons was the amazing architecture here and green spaces that make it a pleasant place to study and also relax. My two favourite buildings are Western Bank Library and the Arts Tower. I would definitely recommend that anyone visiting the University ride the Paternoster Lift in the Arts Tower to look at the views from near the top of the tower.

What do you particularly enjoy about Philosophy?

I think Philosophy as a discipline transcends the mundane and helps you realise what is really important in your life. Only in philosophy can you seriously attempt to answer the biggest questions, which for me have always revolved around what we ought (if anything) to do.

How did the Department of Philosophy help support you through the whole process from application to settling in?

From sending off my application, the department was in touch with me via post and email to give me all the information I needed to make my choice of university and know what to expect when I arrived in September. I also went to a post-offer open day and met staff from the Department who were able to answer any questions or concerns I might have had. There are also lots of resources for new students settling in to help them get a head start at University such as the booklet given to first years, helpfully titled "What Every First Year in Philosophy Should Know".

What are your top tips for any students thinking about studying Philosophy in Sheffield?

Come and visit and, in addition to looking around the Department and Libraries, take a walk around some of the parks (Weston Park or Crookes Valley Park) and have lunch in a cafe like Jessop West Cafe. Doing this is what will give you a feel for whether the University is for you as when you’re studying, you won't spend all your time in the Department or the Library.

Tell us about being a student in the department.

I think the best thing about being a student in the department is the friendliness of the staff who make a real effort to engage with students. This isn't something that happens in many other departments or places so I think it's a unique selling point of the Philosophy Department in Sheffield. There aren't many other places where your lecturer can pass you on the street and want to have a conversation and know you by name.

What is your highlight of studying and/or living in Sheffield so far?

Winning the Nidditch prize for my work in Level Two Philosophy has to be my highlight from my studies. It encouraged me and confirmed that I was on the right track with what I was doing. The highlight of living in Sheffield has to be the people I've met whilst here. If, as a new student you want to meet people who you know you'll get along with then I recommend joining a society and going to events that interest you!

What do you know now about Sheffield that you didn’t know before you came here?

Since living in Sheffield I now know where you can get the best pie in the city and possibly the world (Nottingham House in Broomhill). If the only food that a pub serves is pies then you can be fairly sure they will be good.

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