The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.
Why study Philosophy?
What do we actually know? Can we know that other people exist, or that the world is actually the way it seems to me? How should I make moral decisions? Are right and wrong objective terms or can I think something is right and you think it is wrong and us be equally correct? Is the concept of God coherent and is it rational to believe in an all-powerful, all-loving God whilst witnessing the extreme suffering that occurs on a daily basis in our world?
What will I study?
A-level Philosophy covers four main topics:
- Epistemology – The study of knowledge, basically what can we know?
- Moral philosophy – How do we make moral decisions?
- Metaphysics of mind – What is the mind, and are my mind and body separate?
- Metaphysics of God – Can the existence of God be proven?
Which exam board & how will I be assessed?
There are two 3-hour exams at the end of the second year.
Where could it take me?
Many of our students go on to complete a second degree and some even a doctorate in philosophy.
Thinking and analysis is a vocational skill that proves useful in any career. Philosophy students tend to be numerate, articulate, and literate and so highly marketable.
We have ex-students who progressed into careers in law, medicine, finance, humanitarian and charity work, journalism, MI5 and MI6 operatives, plus many other areas.
As said the key strength of Philosophy is that we train you to be keen analysts and excellent communicators which are transferable to many diverse lines of work.
Philosophy is an essay based and analytic subject, so it pairs well with many disciplines such as Psychology, P&R, all English courses, and other essay-based subjects. The logic also pairs well with science subjects.
What support is available?
We have a fully resourced department library, website and social media presence so help is always on hand. We also have a virtual learning environment for online, independent study. Regular one-to-one tutorials are run throughout the year, helping with revision strategies, subject content and exam techniques. Staff also provide group workshops on request, as well as support via email and social media. We also work closely with the Study Support department to ensure all students get access to the best support.
What extracurricular activity is available?
We run an international trip each year and have visited places such as Berlin, Krakow, Beijing, Istanbul, and Prague. We also run several day trips to various conferences and have guest speakers in from universities. We also have run various charity events and lunch time clubs changing year on year in response to student requests.
Did you know?
5 of the 31 students to receive an Oxbridge offer in 2021 studied Philosophy.