Should I Study Philosophy?

First of all, congratulations to everyone on their great GCSE results this year. I hope that you are happy with your results, and that you are now aspiring to work towards further study, which is a great decision.

However, choosing the right further education courses can be difficult, you are still quite young to be deciding to narrow down your subject field. It can be difficult to decide which subjects to drop, and which subjects to pursue.

Should I Study Philosophy?

I often get asked the questions ‘Should I study Philosophy?’ or ‘Should I study Philosophy A Level?’ This will depend on several things, including your interests, your results and your skills.

It will also depend on your future carer aspirations. For example, if you definitely want to be a doctor, you will probably want to choose all sciences and maths. However, if you are interested in teaching, journalism, government or social work, then Philosophy A Level or IB could compliment your career choice extremely well.

If you don’t already know what Philosophy is, please read my article on ‘What is Philosophy?‘ to help you to understand. You can also read my article on ‘Why Study Philosophy?

Do I need to have Studied GCSE Philosophy to Study at AS level or IB?

The simple answer in No! However, certain subjects will help you with further Philosophy studies including Religious Studies, English and Sociology.

Generally, you will need 6 A*-C at GCSE to go on to further study, and B’s in the subject that you want to study further (or that are related to the subject that you want to study further).

What Skills should I have to Study Philosophy?

  • Strong Literacy Skills – reading and writing.
  • Good debating skills including the ability to justify an argument with evidence.
  • Ability to see things from other points of view.
  • Good Essay writing skills.
  • Sensitivity to controversial or political issues.

What should my Interests include to Study Philosophy?

  • Ancient Greek Philosophy.
  • Ethical issues – right and wrong.
  • How we know what we know – proving and disproving theories.
  • Discussion and debate.
  • God and religion – Can we prove the existence of God?
  • The impact of historical developments on rational thought e.g. the enlightenment period.
  • Logic and Reason.

Some Great Books to Get you Into Philosophy

Nagel – What does it all mean? A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy

Bowie – Ethical Studies

Jordan – Philosophy of Religion for A-Level

If these books look right up your street the further Philosophy study is probably good for you!

Personally, I found Philosophy an extremely enjoyable subject to study. It led me to a degree in Religions and Theology at The University of Manchester and an MA in South Asian Studies. This has allowed me to travel extensively, and I now write for my travel website as well as my teaching.

The best advice that I can offer to you is to choose what you like, as well as what you are good at – don’t get stuck doing something you hate for 3-5 years! Passion will fuel your studies and help you in your success.

Do you think that you will be studying Philosophy in further education? If so, I’d love to hear about it – please leave your comments below!

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