Described as one of the oldest academic disciplines, philosophy challenges the assumptions which uphold other subject areas – including the sciences, social sciences, religion and arts. Students must grapple with the nature of existence, the meaning of good and evil, whether knowledge is possible and whether any human is truly free.
Teaching will cover ancient to contemporary thinkers; from Aristotle to Plato to Descartes to Kant. Students will develop an acute understanding of the central ideas in analytic philosophy, while nurturing their ability to think clearly, fashion an argument and communicate. Students need not to have studied any philosophy or theology before university level.
Philosophy is often studied alongside history and theology, which is the study of religion and religious truth, viewed from a historical perspective. Some degrees will focus on the Christian tradition and thought, through the study of biblical writings alongside the key thinkers, ideas, events and movements that shaped the course of Western Christian history. Other degrees may span more widely across other world religions. Students will be given the chance to study the Bible, as well as other religious texts in their original language, like Hebrew and Sanskrit.
Assessing and analysing several thousand years worth of thought will vigorously exercise your critical faculties. The questioning nature of all three subjects will produce graduates who are highly sought after by employers. Their clarity of thought and excellent communication skills often lead to careers in law, journalism, computing, publishing, social services, government and accountancy. Teaching, at either a school or university, is a popular route too – and some students will go on to work in religious ministry.