What other options are available to you through Philosophy at Warwick?
The Philosophy department at Warwick has connections to universities across the globe and there are numerous schemes you can take part in, including the North America Exchange, Erasmus and Monash, Australia. Taking this opportunity was one of the best decisions I made during my time at Warwick.
I chose to study in Cologne, Germany as part of the Erasmus scheme. With the Erasmus scheme, you are given lots of time to decide - I applied during the first term of second year. I got a response in January telling me I was accepted onto the scheme.
Whilst getting accommodation sorted for your year abroad requires lots of preparation, it really does set you up for when you decide to leave home – accommodation struggles are a rite of passage into adulthood. There are plenty of search sites for places to live including Facebook groups that you can post in (that’s how I got my accommodation!)
One of the best parts of my year abroad was the fact that I got to make friends with people from all around the world. Through taking part in activities organised by the Erasmus faculty in Cologne, I formed a close group of friends who in the upcoming months would also become my travelling companions to places across Europe.
Now for the degree-related stuff. If you choose to take part in the Erasmus scheme offered by Philosophy, you do an intercalated year which doesn’t count towards your overall degree. This means you get quite a lot of flexibility in module choice. I got to choose modules that overlapped with both Philosophy and Psychology within the departments of Economics, Business and Politics, alongside language courses.
I’d highly recommend doing a year abroad if you’re interested in gaining some rich, rewarding and exciting life experiences (as well as a whole set of skills attractive to employers).
Sian Richards, Final-year Undergraduate, Philosophy with Psychology
What I like about the Department
The Philosophy department at Warwick has lots to offer no matter where your interests lie. Whether you’re into applying philosophy in a wider educational setting or grappling with Kant’s ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ there are a wide range of modules you can choose. One thing which really stands out to me about the department is the fact that they are constantly advertising talks about the research that is happening in the department, whether this is from the professors or our very own post-graduate students. To me, this really narrows the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate students as it gives undergraduate students a chance to be able to learn more about a particular area they are interested in as well as being able to make friends with people who aren’t just in your year.
Everyone in the department is super friendly. The department provides advice on how to write essays which is really next to none, and they put your academic success on the top of their priority list. I really feel that in particular, the advice given on how to write essays is useful for all students, with members of staff even offering to go through all the essays I had written in the first and second year.
Academic support in the department is coupled with the opportunity to attend end of term parties in addition to the Philosophy Society’s events, ranging from socials at the Dirty Duck (our very own campus pub) to 'Phil n Tea' every Friday which happens in the department’s very own common room! I really feel like the mixture of academic and social events is what makes the department stand out.
Sara Saquib, Third-year Undergraduate
A look back on my first term at Warwick
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.
Beginning to study
As a Phil/Psych student, I had introductory meetings with both Philosophy and Psychology departments. With all the essential information about the course that they gave, it was easy to get into the new student routine. As far as I can tell, the workload during the first term wasn’t too huge; I didn’t find it hard to keep the pace, even though I am an international student and I needed to adapt to the English language as well as to studying at 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 get feedback. As a fresher, I had a student mentor assigned to me who 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 Philosophy common room where students come to share their ideas, study or enjoy a cup of free coffee. 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, which organises social events which are also a good opportunity to find people that you have something in common with.
Rugile Jonusaite, 2nd-year Philosophy with Psychology
Getting involved in extra-curricular activities: SSLC
There’s more to being at Warwick than just completing a degree. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a whole array of skills in addition to your qualification(s) that will help you ace the job market and to secure yourself an excellent career.
One of the opportunities available to you to help you advance your personal development is to join your department’s Student-Staff Liaison Committee (that’s SSLC for short). This is something I joined in my second year and continued to do so all the way up to the end of my time here. In this blog post, I’m going to talk to you about how it’s been a worthwhile experience to me and how Warwick’s extra-curricular opportunities have helped me stand out on my CV.
As part of my role as an SSLC officer, I represent the opinion of the student body. This means I’m responsible for learning about what my course-mates think about how our course is run, gauging the general satisfaction levels of my peers, gathering feedback about how teaching and learning could be improved, and more. I then pass on this to senior members of staff at bi-termly meetings. Here is the way the course is run. In addition to being a rep, I was also the secretary for the committee, so I was responsible for recording all our meetings and creating the agendas.
This is both an important and interesting role you can undertake during your time here, because you get to learn about the inner workings of the department, and be an integral figure in ensuring everyone has the best possible learning experience – this is also extremely rewarding, when the ideas you pushed for get implemented in future years. But what I got most out of the role was the chance to improve my communication skills, leadership qualities and public speaking confidence. I think it can be easy to shy away from additional responsibilities while you’re at University, but the best advice I could give is not to let this put you off going for roles like the SSLC. When you can put on your CV that you’ve done these things, you’ll be so glad that you’ve put in those few extra hours a term, because it’s worth it when an employer asks you a question like ‘how can you prove that you have good communication skills?’
Zoe Law, Final-year Undergraduate
What I like about the Department
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 which is less daunting than it sounds, I promise. Our lecturers encourage us to genuinely investigate the aspects of Philosophy that interest us so that we are constantly interested in what we study 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 beverages 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.
Oray Adedulu, Third-year Undergraduate
Advice on module choices
What initially drew me to Warwick was the variety of modules available compared to other Universities. While I knew I wanted to do Philosophy, I was also interested in many other subjects I was worried I wouldn’t get a chance to study again. Luckily that has never been an issue; over the last 2 years politics, gender studies, photography, psychology and media have all worked their way into my degree one way or another.
My biggest advice on module choices would be to have an open mind. It's easy to stick with modules where you recognise the content being taught but the Philosophy department has some great lecturers who specialise in really interesting topics. The modules I’ve found most rewarding are the ones on topics I’d never heard of before but were the lecturer's area of speciality. I would really recommend going to the module fair they put on. Each lecturer gives a short presentation on their module and it’s a really easy way to get a feel for it and see if it’s something you’d enjoy studying.
I would also recommend trying a module from the IATL department. Their modules bring together students from all different subjects across the University and it’s a great way to meet students you wouldn’t ordinarily interact with. I took Ethical Beings, a module that explored ethics in children’s literature. The lessons were held in a studio and were almost always interactive. For my final assessment for the module, I ended up creating a website, something I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do at university.
Isabella Clarke-Price, Third-year Undergraduate
Meet Leyla, our student blogger, and follow her journey as a third-year Philosophy student at Warwick.
"‘Hello! My name is Leyla and I’m studying single honours Philosophy after changing from a joint course in Philosophy and Literature in my first year. I’m loving my course more than I expected to and I’d be more than happy to talk to you about Philosophy."