Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Want to do English & Philosophy at Uni - do I have to have done Philosophy A-level? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Basically what the title says; I'm wondering if I would be at a disadvantage.

    When I chose my a-levels (History, English Lit, Economics and Politics) I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but now I'm pretty keen to do English & Philosophy at perhaps Reading or Southampton.

    Perhaps if I read a lot of philosophy books, emphasising this in my personal statement, I might still have a chance against those who have studied it at a-level?

    Is there anyone else in a similar situation or who has been? Thanks.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Of course you still have a chance! As long as you do the reading and ensure you convey your passion for Philosophy in your P.S, you should be fine
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    It's a bit different but I'm applying for PPE without having studied either Philosophy or Economics before and I think it's pretty much fine as long as you do lots of reading and make sure you sound like you know what you're talking about in your PS
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    You could contact the relevant departments at Southampton and Reading, and ask what their take on whether a philosophy A-level is a strong advantage for applicants to the joint course.

    I suspect you'd probably be okay without the A-level provided you could demonstrate some interest and reading in philosophy in your personal statement. From my limited knowledge (I have a philosophy A-level, and know a few postgrad philosophers, but my BA was in English) philosophy isn't one of those subjects where you need certain knowledge which is taught at A-level to tackle an undergraduate degree -- they just want people who can think and write.

    Certainly Southampton's entry requirements page for the E&P degree mentions a requirement for English but not one for philosophy -- and indeed the page for the straight philosophy BA also doesn't mention any requirement for philosophy at A-level. But hearing it straight from the horse's mouth might be more reassuring, and if you contact them you could even ask if they have any advice about how you can prepare yourself for the philosophy aspect of the degree. In my experience university departments sometimes respond pretty helpfully to this kind of enquiry, as it's in their interest to be nice to potential applicants.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm sure it's possible for you to do this. I originally did Psychology without having studied Psychology before. However I found that I didn't enjoy it and now I've changed my course to Journalism and Creative Writing.

    I would bury your head in some books though! See if you like it, get a feel for the subject. I studied Philosophy at both GCSE and A-Level standard. I actually came out with the highest mark in my year for Philsophy. It is VERY hard though.

    People tend to think it's just about God bla bla bla because that's what religious studies is... It's nothing like that. It's basically theories about how the world was created, what's the point in life and your course will probably study some sort of ethics. I.e Moral ethics - what is moral.

    I'd recommend learning about the basics most definitely.
    - Plato (and Socrates) - read the dialogues between them.
    - Aristotle
    - John Locke
    - Thomas Aquinas
    - Rene Descartes
    - Immanuel Kant
    - David Hume
    - Jean-Paul Satre
    - Epicurus

    Basically, try to get a grip of as many philsophers as you can. Learn their theories (even if its just the basics!) It will give you an edge and a head start compared to those also in your position. I'm sure you'll pick it up quickly! But work your ass off until then as I studied it for 4 years and would still find it challenging at Uni I'm sure.

    However you must remember - there is no direct requirement for it and so it can't be that bad!? There was no requirement for Psychology in my course and I felt it shouldn't be offered to students who haven't studied it as they assume you know more than the basics and it was really hard to keep up! But Philosophy is a different subject and less scientific. Go for it! If it's what you want to do then do it. You'll be on par with everyone by the end of first year!

    Good luck! Let me know how it goes!
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: April 18, 2013
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.