- Course: MA Philosophy
I completed both my Master's and Bachelor's degrees at Leeds. My Bachelor's degree was a philosophy and psychology joint honours degree.
My original intentions when going to university were to pursue a career in psychology. Although I enjoyed philosophy, I could see no obvious career progression. But philosophy had intrigued me, and I had two wonderful philosophy teachers at A-level that opened my imagination and fervour for the subject. I was not ready to let it go, and though I had a place elsewhere to study psychology as a single honours, Leeds offered me the opportunity to have the best of both worlds with its joint honours courses.
Going to Leeds to embark on their joint honours course was definitely the right move. It provided a breadth to my studies, and skills of a much more varied nature.
When in the final year of my BSc in Philosophy and Psychology, I was certain that I wanted to do more studying. Leeds had been a positive experience, and both subjects had succeeded in drawing me in with a surplice of intrigue. And though I was happy with the breadth that the joint honours course had provided quite generally, I was finding that this overall breadth had sacrificed some of the depth in both subjects. I adored and did equally well in both subjects, but I had to make a choice of which to continue with.
Up to the third year of my course I had been sure that I would continue with the psychology and had set my sights on becoming a clinical psychologist. But I found that I was doing better than I thought I would do on my course, and as a result my focus changed to the aim of becoming a researcher and lecturer. This way I would be able to continue my pursuit of knowledge full-time. My success made me more optimistic and the pursuit of a career in philosophy became more realistic than before.
In the last year of my undergraduate degree, I found myself pulled towards philosophy more and more; the answers to the questions of philosophy just seemed so much more rewarding and fundamental than psychology, and the sheer breadth of philosophy is overwhelming.
I was very happy with my MA course. It was intense and challenging at times, but that was not a bad thing; it pushed me towards fulfilling my potential. Moreover, the course offered an invaluable glimpse into the intensity and complexity of the research that goes on in the School.
The thing I have enjoyed most about the course was the opportunity to attend an almost endless number of research seminars, where one can see present dialectics battled out by masters of their field. There is perhaps no better learning experience than this.
The university has several libraries which more often than not will have the books or journals you desire. There is no shortage of computers around the campus.
If you ever wanted a revealing insight into the world of philosophy, this course provides ample opportunity. You will be challenged by the most contemporary insights, gain an appreciation of the insights of old, and the development of the analytic tradition, and see the world of philosophy in action as your lecturers (and the lecturers of far and wide) are put on the podium and asked to defend their views against some of the best minds in philosophy.
Each lecturer is commendable in their own way, but Professor Robin Le Poidevin is truly exceptional. He is a terrific and entertaining philosopher, who expertly captivates the attention and imagination of his audience through tremendous oration and innovations. He is always clear, always concerned, and always interested. In my opinion, there is no better teacher.
Since graduating from his MA Philosophy course, Robert returned to Leeds to embark in his PhD.