30 October 2014
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Philosophy degree

Philosophy is one of the oldest and most established academic disciplines, and is a subject is so popular with its graduates that many go on to postgraduate study rather than join the workforce.

This course will enable students to understand and begin to answer fundamental philosophical questions, and to gain valuable skills in reasoning and abstract thought. It will give you the opportunity to ask and ponder on the big questions of life, some of which may not have a single or final answer. 

You will explore key areas about human welfare and social justice, using the philosophical methods of reasoned argument and critical scrutiny. It’s also a chance to investigate and research the views of some of the most important philosophers and thinkers, and to interrogate deep questions such as ‘What is the mind?’ and ‘What is it to exist?’.

Many academics at university will also be active researchers in their respective fields, leaving them well placed to encourage their students to link philosophical studies to a broader cultural and social context. Due to the nature of the subject tutors will always be on hand to talk to students about philosophical questions or problems, provide additional feedback on their academic performance, or discuss any problems they have understanding topics.
 
Philosophy degree courses question the nature of thought, existence and belief systems.


Philosophy degree course overview

A philosophy degree opens doors to a wide range of careers, especially where intellectual breadth and rigour are key requirements. Graduates commonly find employment in areas such as teaching, the civil service, marketing and public relations, charities and the NHS.

Lecture based modules will focus on central themes which have been designed for students who are new to philosophy, as well as those already familiar with the subject. Undergraduates will be taught how to be involved in cutting edge research, how to see the not so obvious, and how to appreciate the things that really matter. They will learn skills that are not only fundamental to a student’s professional and personal development, but also central to many other academic disciplines.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a Philosophy Degree 

  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Philosophical Research Skills
  • Biological Approaches to Mind and Behaviour
  • History and theory of psychology
  • Lifespan psychology
  • Biological psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Ethics
  • Judgement and decision-making
  • Memory: trends and issues
  • Philosophy of Mind
  • Phenomenology and Existentialism
  • Foundations of Ethics
  • Knowledge and Reality
  • Aesthetics
  • History of Modern Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Reasoning and Knowledge
  • Realism and Anti-Realism
  • Philosophy of Language
  • Schopenhauer
  • Metaphysics
  • Introduction to Formal Logic
  • Kant and Kantian Ethics
  • Plato and the Good Life
  • Philosophy and Literature
  • Mind and Body
  • The Enlightenment

Students will learn about

  • How philosophy is important to real-world concerns and modern day issues.
  • How the mind works.
  • The links between philosophy and other disciplines.
  • Key thinkers in contemporary European philosophy.

Students will learn how to

  • Engage in philosophical debate.
  • Think for themselves, independently and out of the box.
  • Put together convincing, well thought through and clear arguments.
  • Be very analytical.
  • Develop your own world views and construct arguments to defend them.
  • Think ethically.
  • Keep in touch with the latest philosophical ideas and developments.


Philosophy personal statement

Below is a philosophy personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing.

Philosophy personal statement example

"As a person who simply enjoys the process of learning, pursuing an advanced degree was a natural step in my life journey. I feel that this is a course that will not only point me in the right career direction, but also one that is intellectually satisfying, and will give me a real flavour of a subject that has always fascinated me.

To me philosophy is a topic that encourages and assists us to explore and challenge our assumptions about what we are, how we think, and the world around us. This is exactly what I am looking for, to experience a particularly high level of academic challenge and engagement. 

I want to gain a richer understanding of issues to do with truth, reality, the self and society. This programme will give me an insight into all of these as well as answers to questions that have puzzled great thinkers for millennia but are still relevant today: What can I really know? Who am I? How should I act? I will have a comprehensive introduction to the philosophical significance of the most pressing moral problems of today.

The transferable and critical skills that I gain through studying philosophy can be applied to many other subjects. To me this degree course is a passport to a successful and varied career in a wide range of employment sectors. I feel employers value the unique contribution that a philosophy graduate can make in the workplace, they’ll also appreciate the analytical skills and creative ability to see problems in new ways.

As an inquisitive person by nature I have always been bothered by questions that other people may ignore. I have never been one to settle for conventional answers, but instead am someone who wants to arrive at answers that stand up to the most searching examination.

My analytical and communication abilities are excellent, I can understand complex information, write clearly and effectively, build a case for a particular point of view, whilst at the same time respecting the views of others, even if they disagree with me. I have a liberal outlook on life and am open to new ideas and thoughts about established points, all of these points allow me to think for myself, analytically construct well hones arguments, and also effectively engage with others.

College introduced me to philosophy and provided me with a solid foundation in the subject. The classes were superb, the learning process really enjoyable, and the real-world experiences amazing. I was fortunate to have lecturers who were approachable, and very willing to give you help with anything that concerned you. All of the tutors had different styles of teaching, which was good as it kept classes interesting. In general terms, the course has given me a great deal of independence which has impacted on my confidence. For instance when I first went to college I dreaded doing a presentation in front of the class, and arguing my point of view, but now it doesn’t affect me at all.

Right now I am anxious to gain further academic knowledge of philosophy, and hope to progress to becoming a teacher in the future. After much searching and research I have decided that your institution is the best place for me to continue my higher education. 

The teaching of Philosophy at your university has consistently been rated as ‘excellent’, and your department is one of the largest, most popular and most highly-rated in the UK. On a recent visit to your campus I found it to be a friendly and informal learning environment, with the dynamic atmosphere that is required for exploring this subject. The course structure is flexible enough to offer a range of specialism’s and a wide breadth of choice, on top of this I found the lecturers to be experts in their fields, who aim to be innovative and to meet real needs."


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