St. Andrews vs Birmingham vs Durham

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Will_p78
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#1
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I've applied to the three universities listed above for Philosophy. I also applied to Cambridge, who rejected me, and Essex, as an insurance. I have offers from Durham and Birmingham, both of which are reduced, and am waiting to hear back from St. As. I wish to pursue a career in academic philosophy. Of these, which would be the best pick for such an end? I like all of them, since each of them have their niches. Really, I'm after the one with the strongest reputation and philosophy department, to put me in the best position for my career. Thank you!
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Isabel Steele
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#2
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St Andrews would be my choice, my friend is studying Philosophy there and she is really enjoying it
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anonphilosopher
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#3
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I think St Andrews is the clear top when it comes to research outputs and prestige. Durham and Birmingham both have their advantages compared to one another. Durham has more name brand prestige, which, in truth, is still worth a lot when it comes to grad school etc, but Birmingham has some really top-notch faculty members (not to say that Durham doesn't also.) Overall, I'd be tempted to say: 1. St Andrews, 2. Durham, 3. Birmingham. Ultimately, you haven't started your degree yet, so don't base your whole decision on what might give you the edge when it comes to a career in Philosophy. You mightn't even like it! And, even if you like the degree in itself, if you hate your time at undergrad, it's going to be hard to motivate yourself to go further. So, for the love of God, also make a decision based on which university you think you will be personally happiest at.
Last edited by anonphilosopher; 1 year ago
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S.premendra
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I agree St. Andrews is the best university for philosophy and theology. That was something I wanted to do initially.
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IBCA25
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In my view it comes to whether you wish to go into academia in philosophy or start a career. Myself wanting to start a career has chosen Durham as it seems like a really nice course and the lecturers seem really nice too. I know I could get a first if I work hard at it.

I feel st andrews is probably great academia wise and in the middle between durham and Birmingham career prestige wise. But tbh all this rubbish about prestigious can be a lot of BS and us being amateur philosophers know a thing or two about BS.

What Im saying is just go to the one you will enjoy the most, the prestige of the Uni doesn't matter as much as how YOU perform. AC Grayling for example went to Sussex for undergrad which you didn't apply to maybe due to prestigious, he worked hard though got a first and is now a top philosopher. So in the end just pick where you would enjoy and know you would be successful

Which lucky for me is durham!
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UoB - Arts and Law
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(Original post by Will_p78)
I've applied to the three universities listed above for Philosophy. I also applied to Cambridge, who rejected me, and Essex, as an insurance. I have offers from Durham and Birmingham, both of which are reduced, and am waiting to hear back from St. As. I wish to pursue a career in academic philosophy. Of these, which would be the best pick for such an end? I like all of them, since each of them have their niches. Really, I'm after the one with the strongest reputation and philosophy department, to put me in the best position for my career. Thank you!
Hi Will_p78,

I think Birmingham would be a great option if your goal is a career in academic philosophy. The range of optional modules at UoB means you have so many opportunities to explore different areas of philosophy and narrow down what you are most passionate about pursuing. You have a lot of freedom over what you study at undergraduate level compared to other universities, including modules such as ‘Sex, Ethics and Philosophy’, ‘Minds, Brains and Computers’ and ‘The Linguistic Study of Meaning’. The staff in the department also specialise in a huge range of topics from biomedical ethics and political philosophy to the philosophy of the mind and time travel. The staff are also really supportive and are always willing to help you and discuss your ideas. There are also a variety of postgraduate options at Birmingham that lead straight on from your undergraduate degree, such as an MA in the ‘Philosophy of Mind and Cognitive Science’ and an MSc in ‘Global Ethics and Justice’, as well as a standard MA in Philosophy. So, you have so many opportunities to decide which areas of philosophy you are most interested in pursuing as an academic career.

I hope this helps! - Rosie, 3rd year BA Philosophy student
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Will_p78
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#7
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Hi everyone, thanks for all your help. I went for Durham in the end.
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