English or Philosophy degree?

Watch
Davinadesatge
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hi all,
I've got a place to study Philosophy and modern languages at Exeter University. I'm currently on my gap year and have started re-thinking my course choice. I have always loved English litt so was wondering which would be more usefull, a philosophy degree or an English one? Also, how hard is it to change course once at uni?
Any feedback would be great!
0
reply
somethingbeautiful
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Useful? They're both as useful/useless as each other - it depends what you do with the degree/what experience you get. Take which one you enjoy. You could transfer in first year but it really depends on the uni, it's not guaranteed.
(I'm a Philosophy grad so I'd say Philosophy but do what you enjoy)
0
reply
Flather
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
economics
0
reply
there's too much love
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
If you were to do economics I'd recommend doing philosophy and economics, or even PPE.

I did and loved philosophy.
0
reply
yabbayabba
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
Stick to what you have. First for ease, secondly you study literature in a foreign language degree anyway so you can do that.

The only thing an English degree is absolutely essential for is if you want to teach it

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
Davinadesatge
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
Useful? They're both as useful/useless as each other - it depends what you do with the degree/what experience you get. Take which one you enjoy. You could transfer in first year but it really depends on the uni, it's not guaranteed.
(I'm a Philosophy grad so I'd say Philosophy but do what you enjoy)
Thank you very much for your reply. I love them both but have always found reading Philosophy incredibly difficult and I am a real bookworm usually - that's why I'm swaying towards English. How did you find reading Philosophy when you studied it?
0
reply
somethingbeautiful
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
(Original post by Davinadesatge)
Thank you very much for your reply. I love them both but have always found reading Philosophy incredibly difficult and I am a real bookworm usually - that's why I'm swaying towards English. How did you find reading Philosophy when you studied it?
I think you've also got to take into account the fact the the degree you have a place for isn't just single honors Philosophy, there's also the Modern Languages element of it. Did you want to study something that has that element? Because if that's not a big passion of yours it could make your life pretty difficult. If you do want that element of a degree then are 'English & Modern Languages' degrees (or English & specific language).

I just checked the degree that you're talking about and it is very languages centric. Plus, I noticed that you would spend year 3 abroad. Is this something that you wanted to do?

There must be some reasons as to why you chose that degree to begin with so I would explore those reasons and if you've changed your mind about them you need to think about what you really want from a degree.

Philosophy is very argument based, you have to be able to argue a case for something (I suppose that's why a lot of Philosophy grads are drawn towards postgrad Law). You have to be able to look at things from all perspectives and pick apart people's opinions. There is a certain structure to Philosophy essays and, on my course at least, our essays were dissected pretty carefully for logical error.

Usually with essay subjects you can reach a conclusion with ''To conclude, in my opinion....'' and it will be sufficient/valid because it's your opinion (so long as you have shown that you're aware of other people's opinions). However, you can't really do that with Philosophy - your ''opinion'' needs to have obliterated the other opinions and you need a strong case for why your opinion is correct and it needs to be logically argument proof. Bear in mind your essays are prompted by philosophical quotes by some of the greatest Philosopher's who've ever lived so it's a challenge, to say the least, to counteract certain points or to come up with original work.

When you ask if I enjoyed Philosophy - I enjoyed reading philosophy and exploring philosophical ideas but I found that when you actually write philosophy it's not as 'wishy washy' as people might imagine - it has to adhere to certain rules. My department was very interested in logic and our essays had to ''add up'' like formulae which, as a creative person, I didn't like and sometimes felt I'd be happier doing something like creative writing etc.

I think if you like seeing things from many angles, enjoy structured argument based essays and like logical thinking then Philosophy is the route to take. If you're more interested in exploring ideas creatively and not adhering to strict rules, then perhaps it's not the right choice.

Overall, despite it being a bit of a mental agility course, it's interesting and engaging. I don't know about Languages degrees or English so hopefully you can get a balanced view if you get responses from grads in those subjects.

Just a tip, in case you're really struggling with your decision: get hold of a general first year English text and a general first year Philosophy text - have a read and see which one you're drawn too. You should be able to find some suggestions regarding English if you search here on TSR/Google search or if there are general reading lists online for 1st year English students. The best one I can think of for an introduction to Philosophy is a book called 'Think' by Simon Blackburn - pretty much everyone who reads Philosophy has been recommended this before starting their degree - it gives a general idea of the subject.
0
reply
Davinadesatge
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#8
(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
I think you've also got to take into account the fact the the degree you have a place for isn't just single honors Philosophy, there's also the Modern Languages element of it. Did you want to study something that has that element? Because if that's not a big passion of yours it could make your life pretty difficult. If you do want that element of a degree then are 'English & Modern Languages' degrees (or English & specific language).

I just checked the degree that you're talking about and it is very languages centric. Plus, I noticed that you would spend year 3 abroad. Is this something that you wanted to do?

There must be some reasons as to why you chose that degree to begin with so I would explore those reasons and if you've changed your mind about them you need to think about what you really want from a degree.

Philosophy is very argument based, you have to be able to argue a case for something (I suppose that's why a lot of Philosophy grads are drawn towards postgrad Law). You have to be able to look at things from all perspectives and pick apart people's opinions. There is a certain structure to Philosophy essays and, on my course at least, our essays were dissected pretty carefully for logical error.

Usually with essay subjects you can reach a conclusion with ''To conclude, in my opinion....'' and it will be sufficient/valid because it's your opinion (so long as you have shown that you're aware of other people's opinions). However, you can't really do that with Philosophy - your ''opinion'' needs to have obliterated the other opinions and you need a strong case for why your opinion is correct and it needs to be logically argument proof. Bear in mind your essays are prompted by philosophical quotes by some of the greatest Philosopher's who've ever lived so it's a challenge, to say the least, to counteract certain points or to come up with original work.

When you ask if I enjoyed Philosophy - I enjoyed reading philosophy and exploring philosophical ideas but I found that when you actually write philosophy it's not as 'wishy washy' as people might imagine - it has to adhere to certain rules. My department was very interested in logic and our essays had to ''add up'' like formulae which, as a creative person, I didn't like and sometimes felt I'd be happier doing something like creative writing etc.

I think if you like seeing things from many angles, enjoy structured argument based essays and like logical thinking then Philosophy is the route to take. If you're more interested in exploring ideas creatively and not adhering to strict rules, then perhaps it's not the right choice.

Overall, despite it being a bit of a mental agility course, it's interesting and engaging. I don't know about Languages degrees or English so hopefully you can get a balanced view if you get responses from grads in those subjects.

Just a tip, in case you're really struggling with your decision: get hold of a general first year English text and a general first year Philosophy text - have a read and see which one you're drawn too. You should be able to find some suggestions regarding English if you search here on TSR/Google search or if there are general reading lists online for 1st year English students. The best one I can think of for an introduction to Philosophy is a book called 'Think' by Simon Blackburn - pretty much everyone who reads Philosophy has been recommended this before starting their degree - it gives a general idea of the subject.
Thank you again for your reply. I did always struggle with Philosophy essays at school, more so than English ones. I think I need to work on my logical thinking before starting in September. Thank you so much for all this advice - it has really helped! I will do what you said and look at those texts, thank you again for that! Modern languages is also a great interest of mine so combining them seemed amazing but I hadn't thought of the literature side so that subject. I will look at that in more depth as well.
Thank you again, you've been really helpful!
0
reply
somethingbeautiful
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
(Original post by Davinadesatge)
Thank you again for your reply. I did always struggle with Philosophy essays at school, more so than English ones. I think I need to work on my logical thinking before starting in September. Thank you so much for all this advice - it has really helped! I will do what you said and look at those texts, thank you again for that! Modern languages is also a great interest of mine so combining them seemed amazing but I hadn't thought of the literature side so that subject. I will look at that in more depth as well.
Thank you again, you've been really helpful!
You're welcome! I hope you figure it out, best of luck
0
reply
there's too much love
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
Do you want me to send you a couple of essays I did at uni? I'm sure other grads would be willing to, which would give you a feel of different ways people write philosophy essays.

Logic wise I would suggest you practise algebra as the thinking is pretty similar
0
reply
Floalley
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
Hi :hi:

I'm currently in my second year of French and Philosophy and I also contemplated studying English literature and French when I was applying to university. I really think it comes down to what you enjoy more. While I enjoyed English literature at A-level I just didn't have the same passion for it as Philosophy.

Also as previously stated you do get a lot of opportunity to study literature within modern languages. I've personally taken 4 French literature modules since starting and am preparing my year abroad research project on the literature of Sartre (overlap yay!)

I'd like to add that philosophy with a modern language is very compatible and I feel the benefits of my philosophy degree in my French classes all the time. Also a lot of the philosophers you will study come from the continent so your modern language skills can come in handy there as well. (More overlap!!)

Also you said something about doing better in English essays than philosophy ones. I also did better at my English essays, however what is expected of you at A-Level is completely different from what is expected of you at uni so you might find this changing when you get to uni (I consistently get better results in my philosophy essays than my French literature ones that are written in English).

I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions

EDIT: Obviously this is all really biased!
0
reply
Davinadesatge
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#12
(Original post by there's too much love)
Do you want me to send you a couple of essays I did at uni? I'm sure other grads would be willing to, which would give you a feel of different ways people write philosophy essays.

Logic wise I would suggest you practise algebra as the thinking is pretty similar
That would be soooo kind, thank you so much!
0
reply
Davinadesatge
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#13
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#13
(Original post by Floalley)
Hi :hi:

I'm currently in my second year of French and Philosophy and I also contemplated studying English literature and French when I was applying to university. I really think it comes down to what you enjoy more. While I enjoyed English literature at A-level I just didn't have the same passion for it as Philosophy.

Also as previously stated you do get a lot of opportunity to study literature within modern languages. I've personally taken 4 French literature modules since starting and am preparing my year abroad research project on the literature of Sartre (overlap yay!)

I'd like to add that philosophy with a modern language is very compatible and I feel the benefits of my philosophy degree in my French classes all the time. Also a lot of the philosophers you will study come from the continent so your modern language skills can come in handy there as well. (More overlap!!)

Also you said something about doing better in English essays than philosophy ones. I also did better at my English essays, however what is expected of you at A-Level is completely different from what is expected of you at uni so you might find this changing when you get to uni (I consistently get better results in my philosophy essays than my French literature ones that are written in English).

I hope this helps and please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions

EDIT: Obviously this is all really biased!
thank you for your reply! Oh ok, I hadn't really thought it was linked to the modern language side! Is it a heavy workload? Also, would you say that the Philosophy essays are easier maybe than the ones at A-Level?
0
reply
damixox1
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#14
Report 3 years ago
#14
What career did you want to go into after studying your philosophy degree?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

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.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (159)
59.55%
I don't have everything I need (108)
40.45%

Watched Threads

View All