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What students say about philosophy
I study philosophy and I have six hours of lectures a week and six hours of tutorials every other week. In my first year my course covered a range of topics, from ethics to knowledge to logic.1st year, Durham University
I have 6 hours of lectures and 6 hours of seminars every week. Philosophy involves, as you may expect, disciplined thought on a range of philosophical issues, and interrogates possible answers questions such as "how should we live?", "what is perception?" and "what exists?". What surprised me was how much of the course is focussed on HOW to do philosophy, such as logic, and how to produce good arguments. This was actually thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. My course is very challenging, but if (as is often the case on my course) you genuinely enjoy the work then you will not struggle. Most of the work, I thought, was mind-based. If you spend spare time thinking through arguments and puzzling about the world, you're 50% of the way there! What is required extra is reading and research, which you are free to choose for yourself although there is a lot of guidance if you want it. We are assessed through essays and exams. We receive a moderate amount of feedback on our marked essays, and meet with our tutors three (or more) times a year. The feedback for me was not comprehensive or particularly helpful, but I'm not sure I really needed it to be any more thorough really! As a Philosopher course-specific facilities aren't important, but Hallward Library is more than sufficient and it's easy to find books not named in guidance which are absolutely fascinating and relevant.1st year, University of Nottingham
The content of my course has been very varied and has been mostly very interesting. Some topics have been the same as A-level, but have been covered in either much more detail or a different stance on them. The work is reasonably challenging, but not impossible. I think what is most challenging is disciplining yourself to make notes in every lecture, do the required and further reading, and submit essays on time.1st year,
What you need to get on a course
Subjects you need
A-levels (or equivalent) usually required
- No Specific Requirements
Useful to have
- Religious studies
- Classical civilisation
Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.
- January application
- October application
- Personal statement
- Entry test
- Work experience
Personal statement advice
Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!
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Longer term career paths
Jobs where this degree is useful
- Marketing executive
- Arts administrator
- Information analyst
Other real-life job examples
- Financial advisor
- Management information officer
What employers like about this subject
A student who takes a philosophy degree will learn a range of subject-specific skills including metaphysics, which deals with appearance and reality; ethics, dealing with the nature of morality, and the philosophy of the nature of the mind. Transferable skills you can develop on a philosophy degree include excellent communication and negotiating skills, self-motivation and independent working and the ability to understand and articulate complex information. Philosophy graduates are flexible and found throughout the economy, particularly in universities, the social and welfare industries, hospitals, advertising and the finance industry (especially accountancy, audit, banking and consultancy).