Portrait of John fernley

John Fernley

What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?

I was a mature student when I started my undergraduate here at Leeds. I am the first in my family to go to university. I was teaching English in Vietnam before I decided to come back to the UK and do an access course to apply for university.

I already liked Leeds, knew people here and knew it to be a good place to study philosophy. I wanted to do the MA because I felt I still had a lot to learn after the BA and wanted to understand the subject better.

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I find some areas of philosophy frustrating and often I disagree with things but I also see the great value it has both as a subject in its own right and in its intersection with other subjects like science, mathematics and psychology. The thing I like most is that philosophy deals with reason and how we should reason and why some forms of reasoning are good or bad or successful.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I enjoyed working with the staff in the School. Working alongside PhD students and other MA students was the most enjoyable part of the course. It allowed for a great degree of integration and discussion about different topics and the weekly seminars were very good, especially the PG work-in-progress talks organised by the PG students in the department.

What does Leeds have to offer outside of your studies?

I love Leeds as a city, especially as a student. It has fantastic facilities especially Kirkgate Market and the fantastic variety and quality of eateries. The University has a fantastic campus and is a ten minute walk from the town centre.

The number of societies offered by Leeds University Union is amazing. I’m a member of the Judo Society and I’ve participated in Yoga, Boxing, Climbing, Postgrad Society and I would have liked to have time for many others like skydiving.