I have been accepted to St Andrews to study Theoretical Physics course starting this September. I have recently become interested in philosophy and was wondering how difficult it is to switch from theoretical physics to the physics and philosophy course and how I should go about it. You can only take 40 credits of extra modules during the theoretical physics course and the required modules for philosophy take up 60 credits. Thank you
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- Thread Starter
- 08-02-2018 23:09
- Community Assistant
- 15-02-2018 22:13
From what I understand, you wouldn't normally take half your credits in Philosophy before honours anyway - I imagine you could swap between the two programmes, as it seems only an administrative difference at that point. However, the departments involved may have restrictions on cohort sizes for teaching resource allocation. If you're absolutely certain you want to do so, you may wish to contact them directly and ask what you can do before starting, or if it's possible to change after you start. I imagine it should be a simple matter though.
In any case, more than 1/3 of your course as Philosophy isn't likely to really add that much in terms of the Physics side - once you've covered core bits of logic and metaphysics (and perhaps epistemology, but that would probably just be included in the former), then you would probably wish to pursue some areas of the philosophy of science (and philosophy of physics specifically, if they cover that separately). I doubt you'd find enough relevant modules to take up half your course outside of courses in the history of philosophy (and with a relevant background in logic/metaphysics/epistemology you could just, you know, read the "greats" yourself ). You would probably find such a preparation suitable even for going into some philosophy grad programmes (presuming you're likely to pursue those areas of the philosophy of science and physics). The Oxford BPhil, for example, has a specific Philosophy of Physics track which is open to those who have a background in Physics even if they have no background in Philosophy.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 15-02-2018 at 22:17.