What do our students think of Philosophy at Warwick?
If you come to one of our Open Days, you'll discover for yourself what our welcoming environment is like.
Our students are passionate about philosophy and they form a friendly community. If you're keen to explore big questions, you'll fit right in. Student societies and student-run events will help you form new friendships with fellow philosophers and students in other subjects.
Hear from some of our recent and current students about their experience:
What initially drew me to Warwick was the warm and welcoming reception I received from everyone I met on the open day; I could immediately picture myself not only studying here but living here as well. All of the lecturers and academics I spoke to were not only knowledgable about philosophy but genuinely passionate about it, a quality which I don’t think can be faked.
Additionally, out of all the universities I looked at, I picked Warwick due to the wide variety of module choices. I wanted to incorporate different subject areas into my Philosophy degree and felt that I would have the best chance of doing that at Warwick. Indeed this turned out to be true; during the past year Psychology, Media, Photography, Politics, Gender Studies, and many more have all worked their way into my Philosophy degree.
I love studying philosophy because of the intellectual challenge it presents. When I finally have that light bulb moment and understand an argument or theory, it's incredibly rewarding, especially when I am then able to contribute towards a debate in the subject area and develop my own opinion. In seminars we are encouraged to critically engage with the material given and not only answer tutor’s questions but to think independently and come up with our own questions to share with the group. Through this process you see new sides to an argument that you may not have thought of before and appreciate alternative perspective to your own. This experience becomes extremely useful when it comes to writing an essay as you are already familiar with the ways in which someone may dispute your argument.
BA Philosophy with Intercalated Year
BA Philosophy with Psychology
When I first came to Warwick I was impressed by how modern the campus was, and I liked the convenience of all the facilities being within walking distance: university buildings, the library, accommodation halls, bars and cafes, the Arts Centre and supermarkets.
With all the essential information about the course given, it was easy to get into the new student routine. The workload during the first term wasn’t too huge. I didn’t find it hard to keep to the pace, even though I am an international student and I needed to adapt to the English language as well as studying at a university level. Also there were no marked philosophy assignments during the first term, only a few unassessed essays meant to give you an opportunity to practice writing and gain feedback. As a fresher, I had a student mentor assigned to me which was there to help me with queries that arose during the first term, and the whole year.
Of course, when you come to university you are eager to find new friends. It was quite easy to make connections with those I was living with and also with people doing different Philosophy degrees. I met many of them in the Philosophy common room where students come to share their ideas, study, or enjoy a cup of free coffee or tea. In this kind of informal environment with friendly and open people, it takes no effort to make new friends. There are also different societies to join, including the Philosophy Society that organises social events, which is a good opportunity to find people that you have something in common with.
I went into my A-Levels fairly set on doing Maths at university, because I always thought that that’s what I was best at. I took Philosophy at AS more as an “extra” subject but I ended up really enjoying it! I knew as the year went on that Philosophy was what I really wanted to do. I chose Warwick because I remembered the Open Day very vividly - it was a beautiful day, there were stalls on the Piazza and the campus was buzzing with so much to do. It felt like a really friendly family and home that I could become a part of.
I find it really exciting that I am being taught by professors who are leading researchers themselves. Professor Gow, who teaches "Mind and Reality", used to work as a Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, for example. The Philosophy department feels like a family within a family; every week an email comes through telling me everything going on in the department. There’s “Phil ‘N’ Tea” every Friday, and I love the fact that there are lots of events focusing on life after university; I went to a talk very recently on different career options I might be interested in, such as within politics and the civil service.
My first year has been really varied in terms of modules, with some more literature-based modules (Plato & Descartes), some topic-based modules and one module aimed entirely at improving my arguments and debating skills. I also like that 25% of my credits are allowed to come from other courses across the university - this year, I’ve taken a beginner Spanish module!
BA Philosophy (2018)
If I could sum up the Philosophy course at Warwick in one word it would be 'modern'. I found that unlike some institutions that tend to focus only on the typical Plato and Aristotle type modules, Warwick gives you the opportunity to intertwine philosophy with your everyday life. One of my favourite modules was ‘Philosophy through film’ which involved investigating whether films could actually do philosophy. Although we didn’t get to swap lectures for film screenings, we had fun movie nights, thoughtful debates and eventually created our own short films.
Our lecturers encouraged us to genuinely investigate the aspects of philosophy that interestested us so that we were constantly curious in what we were studying and keen to contribute our own ideas.
The department is keen to show us that we have support systems and holds events, talks and movie nights to bring philosophy students together. As a smaller department, philosophy students here are very connected and have a safe space (common room) with free drinks to accommodate us. I like the fact that no matter how intense things get, you know you have someone to rant to and a nice cosy space to do it in.
BA Philosophy with Psychology (2017)
I chose Warwick because I felt really comfortable on the open day, the Philosophy department felt friendly and I liked the campus feel. I originally started at Warwick studying Philosophy on its own, but after taking an optional Psychology module in term one I found a real love for the subject. The departments were really supportive about changing courses (as it was so early on in term one) and I’m so glad I did as it meant I could spend my degree doing 50:50 Philosophy with Psychology.
My favourite modules in Philosophy were Applied Ethics, Feminism and Crime and Punishment. I loved being able to apply traditional theories to real practices in the world today. I particularly enjoyed the seminars in these subjects because I felt really engaged and liked the informal debates that we had. In Psychology my favourite modules were Developmental Psychology and Issues in Families and Development.
One of the highlights of my time at Warwick has to be my experience in the Philosophy department. The common room often had people eager to engage in a philosophical debate - not great when you just want to grab a hot chocolate but really useful when you’re struggling on an essay! The lecturers always had time for me and are all experts with a huge interest in their field. Finally, I always felt supported in the Philosophy department, from all members of staff and students - I couldn’t have asked for better!