My Experience Studying Philosophy and Politics at Manchester
Written by Camille Garratt – Philosophy Student
Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence and there are many philosophies which act as guiding principles for behaviour. Throughout my time studying Philosophy at The University of Manchester, I have learnt lots of different philosophical viewpoints including that of Aristotle, Kant, and Sartre. My favourite philosopher is the feminist existentialist Simone de Beauvoir who famously wrote the book The Second Sex. Her feminist philosophy sparked the second wave of feminism, and she advocated women’s equality across the globe.
Choosing which degree to study can be a daunting process however starting your university journey is also really exciting. I was skeptical about studying a joint honours degree, as I was worried there may be more work involved, however, studying BA Philosophy and Politics at The University of Manchester was definitely the right decision for me.
I chose to study BA Philosophy and Politics at The University of Manchester because their degree programme is incredibly flexible. There are lots of free choice units to choose from each year, with only a couple of core compulsory modules, meaning I can tailor my learning and pick modules that interest me. My favourite philosophy modules so far include ‘History of Philosophy’ and ‘Introduction to Ethics’. ‘History of Philosophy’ is a first-year module looking in-depth at ancient Greek philosophical texts, such as Plato’s Symposium and Descartes Meditations. I enjoyed learning about all the different philosopher’s interpretations of sorrow, love, and other emotions. Ancient Greek philosophy was something I had learnt about in my religious studies A-Level and thoroughly enjoyed, so it was great to have the opportunity at university to study this further.
I undertook the Ethics module in second year which looked at accounts of evil, anger, and forgiveness in social contexts. The main scholar we studied was Kant, with reference to Kantian ethics and his formulations and categorical imperatives. I had also learnt a lot about Kant through my religious studies A-Level, so it was nice to have some prior knowledge. This isn’t necessary, however, as every module starts with the basics and builds up.
I am currently studying ‘Advanced Topics in Aesthetics’ in my final year, which has been my favourite module to date. This module explores the theories behind amusement, aesthetic flaws in TV and films, as well as the ‘Gamer’s Dilemma’. The Gamer’s Dilemma investigates the ethics of virtual gaming and whether an individual is morally responsible for their players actions online. The weekly required readings have been very engaging, and it is great fun to discuss different scenarios in tutorials. Some readings have been substituted with film clips and websites to research, which is great if you want a break from all the reading!
Studying Philosophy in Manchester has opened my mind to a whole range of new ideas and theories which I’d never touched on before. Philosophy is such an engaging subject as everybody has something to say, and if you’re looking to study Philosophy at university then Manchester is the place to come.