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Hello from Director of Student Experience & Progression

KarenSimecekDr Karen Simecek

Hello! I'm the Director of Student Experience and Progression (DSEP) for the Philosophy department. In my role as DSEP, I’m dedicated to helping our philosophy students get the most out of their time at Warwick and do the best they can in their degree. In addition to offering tailored academic support, I aim to connect our students with opportunities at the University and beyond in order to help them develop as philosophers and be well-placed in a competitive job market on graduating.

As well as my focus on student experience, I teach on a number of courses which relate to my research focus on what sort of thinking we ought to develop to serve the needs of philosophy. My first year course Reason, Argument and Analysis and my honours-level modules Philosophy through Film and Philosophy in Education all engage our students in thinking deeply about the aims and methods of philosophy itself. Furthermore, as part of the Philosophy in Education module, our students work in small groups to design and deliver a teaching activity aimed at promoting philosophical thinking for A-level students, which offers our students the opportunity to develop transferable skills in a practical way.

Warwick is a great place to study - not only is there a wonderfully rich intellectual community, with a diverse range of modules on offer to our Undergraduates, we also have an incredibly welcoming and supportive community of staff and students. For instance, our philosophy society organise academic talks, film nights and socials as well as offering study support through their Facebook group and in the common room. The department cultivates an approach to philosophy that is exciting and outward-looking thereby developing our students as philosophers who are ready to take on the challenges of the world today.


 

Student views

Callum Bradley, BA Philosophy & Literature (final year)

callum"My module choices have been as diverse and expansive as I could have wanted. Having not done Philosophy A-level, I came to Warwick determined to experience as wide a range of topics possible. This ethos has stayed with me, and the department have enabled me to explore a large variety of philosophies. It often feels a bit like I’m a child let loose in a sweet shop!

In the first and second year, I had some compulsory, introductory modules that have been really important for grounding my further study. If it wasn’t for these foundational courses, I would definitely feel very lost in the vast sweet shop I find myself in.

In my second year I opted to do several modules surrounding philosophical figures such as Sartre and Nietzsche. Unlike a lot of A-level learning that focussed on themes and topics, studying a single figure allowed me to delve deeply into their writings, and with the help of lecturers develop new readings and insights.

In my final year I wanted to push myself into areas I have yet not studied. With the foundational knowledge I already had, I felt able to efficiently tackle problems in, say, Philosophy through Film. This module is particularly exciting as it covers a relatively new field of study, and our participation is rather a joint enterprise with our lecturer where we are all exploring relatively uncharted territory.

Personally, my favourite module is definitely the dissertation I am writing. There isn’t an expectation to do a dissertation, but if you so wish to, it is taken as if it were a module where instead of lectures and seminars you do personal research and have contact hours with an academic supervisor. I am researching the philosophy of unity and opposition, with comparative focus on ancient Chinese and Greek writings. I feel particularly gratified with my work as it enables me to be diverse and expansive. Where Warwick don’t offer a particular module in this area, a culmination of excellent foundational teaching and supportive academics has enabled me to expand my studies as wide as I could possible want."