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Our community

tory_coz_picture.jpgHello, I am Victoria Cox, the Undergraduate Programmes Officer for the Philosophy department. This means it is my role to handle most of the administrative aspects of the course, from helping you with any module and timetable queries, to organising department events such as the induction sessions you’ll be going to at the start of the year including the Welcome Party in week 1.

One of the great things about the Warwick Philosophy department is the sense of community it offers. Being quite a small course compared to the rest of the university, it means you will very quickly get to know everyone in your year group and many of the students in the years above too. When you arrive you will be allocated a mentor in their second or third year of study, who will be able to tell you what studying Philosophy at Warwick is really like and give you lots of informal advice about both the academic and social life here. You will probably also get to know lots of students on the course just by being in our common room. This is a great relaxed space where lots of students come to study or just chat and where there is always lots of free tea, coffee and hot chocolate available.

When you join the Philosophy department you will become a valued member of our community and as part of this we are always keen to hear what you have to say. One of the ways we do this is through the Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) which I very much hope to be seeing some of you at next year. In each year group several students are elected by you to present your views to the department and we then take these ideas away and make improvements where we can. For example, in 2015-16 the SSLC told us that honours-level students felt that some of the essay deadlines were a bit too close together. We have now changed these deadlines and students have told us this has really helped them.

 

Student views

Stefan Sanders, BA Philosophy (1st year)

"I’m Stefan, a first-year Philosophy student at Warwick. I’ll tell you a bit about my experience of the social and community side of the course.

Making friends
Let’s be honest, Philosophy is one of the smaller subjects. That made it really easy for me to make friends; unlike larger courses, you see familiar faces and naturally get to know people as you interact in seminars and lectures. And of course, you’re likely to have shared topics of interest to discuss. There’s no better way to make friends than to debate fine points of analytic philosophy in a seminar! (I’m being serious, it breaks barriers far better than those icebreaking tasks at the start…) I actually made a good friend when we wrote two opposite essays on Descartes – and sat down and debated with each other whose was right. Philosophy also attracts anyone across all backgrounds, for it is truly a universal subject. I made a range of friends, from across the globe, in no time.

Student support & lecturers
One thing I cannot express more is how welcome and supported I’ve felt at the department. The lecturers want to talk to you. They encourage you to question them, and email them queries about the module. They want to share their knowledge, and are surprisingly grateful if you ask them challenging and searching questions. One of my lecturers practically pleaded us to visit him in his office hours; not just because he’d be sat for an hour twiddling his thumbs, but because he wanted to help us do well. Another offered me some of his sweets when I asked about an essay plan. There’s definitely a massive sense of support at Warwick. Right from the start, the Director of Student Experience, Karen Simecek, told us that we could see her if we wanted to talk about anything, even if it was just for a chat.

Our common room
We have a common room! It might be a bit small, but it’s been a wonderful place for me to meet new people. To start, there are free hot drinks. Everyone’s welcoming – mostly because they want to talk to you about philosophy, and tell you about what they’re reading or writing. But everyone there is just friendly anyway. They’re all open for a good debate, or if you want to learn something new, you’ll find someone who will gladly teach you. For me, it’s also been a great alternative to the library to sit and study or work, if I’m feeling productive."