Did anyone, or anyone's dcs, do Philosophy/Ethics at degree level, and if so..

(23 Posts)
Acerbicc Fri 18-Oct-19 11:06:25

..what job do you do now?

Dd is in year 12 and doing Eng Lit, Classical civilisation and RS A levels. She originally wanted to do Eng Lit at Uni but is absolutely loving RS, the philosophy and ethics parts particularly. She's a shy child but has recently joined the debating club and is also loving this (she researches rather than stands up debating iyswim). She's now keen to study Philosophy at uni.

I'm not sure what on earth you would go on to do afterwards!

OP’s posts: |
CmdrCressidaDuck Fri 18-Oct-19 11:27:09

If she does it at a highly-regarded uni, it's as good as any arts degree. Certainly as good as English Literature, arguably better because it usually involves the teaching of reasoning techniques.

(I did English; it has nothing to do with my job now. With most arts degrees it's just about the doors a degree opens and the transferable skills around communication, reasoning, constructing an argument etc.)

Stopyourhavering64 Fri 18-Oct-19 18:10:38

Dd did MA Philosophy (and Film!) , then did post grad MSc inTESOL at Edinburgh Uni and has been teaching English in China for last 2 years since graduation...she's just been promoted to Deputy Head (aged 25)

SirTobyBelch Fri 18-Oct-19 21:34:49

I used to know someone with a degreee (well, two degrees: BA and PhD) in philosophy and ethics. He worked for the General Medical Council.

I'm not sure what on earth you would go on to do afterwards!

You could say that just as easily about English. Thousands of people study that at university, and many of them go on to have rewarding and responsible careers. Philosophy has the additional benefit of being likely to include logic.

Tuftytail Fri 18-Oct-19 22:54:35

I did philosophy and am now a lawyer. Like your DD I did it because I liked the philosophy part of RS. Gives my time again I would study theology at uni. Philosophy at degree level can be quite mathematical ( particularly logic )and the people who did better had a maths background. She may also want to look at degrees in Classical Studies
as some courses include modules in ethics. But with a degree in any of those from a decent uni she can do anything she wants.

Mrstwiddle Fri 18-Oct-19 22:57:52

I did Philosophy and then a few years later did a conversion Masters in IT, now a college instructor, if I had to make the choice again I would go for something more practical.

Cornberry Fri 18-Oct-19 23:02:32

My husband and I both have philosophy degrees and Both work in education in unrelated fields. University is an opportunity to study for the sake of it and philosophy is a wonderful subject. People who are driven and hard working will always find their niche. I would encourage her. It’s great she has a clear idea of something that appeals to her.


HugoSpritz Fri 18-Oct-19 23:43:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Definitelyrandom Sat 19-Oct-19 08:55:41

DS did Theology as his first degree, a Masters in Philosophy and has just started a Philosophy PhD. He struggled with Maths at school but took to logic like a duck to water - though he is a continental philosopher not an analytical one. (OP - there’s a big difference in approach between the two, so it’s worth checking departments and courses very carefully, depending on DD’s interests and inclinations).

As others posters have said, a Philosophy or Theology degree is similar to other arts/humanities degrees in terms of the careers open to graduates.

Margotshypotheticaldog Sat 19-Oct-19 08:58:16

I did philosophy as part of my degree, absolutely loved. As a pp suggested, I later did the pgce to teach.

BubblesBuddy Sat 19-Oct-19 14:53:05

Lots go into teaching judging by posts. With her A levels she could consider Law. However doing what you like is often best.

The jobs market for those with humanities and arts degrees is crowded. Clearly recruitment can be done by anyone with suitable skills and a degree isn’t necessary. So she needs to think about what she might like to do. HR comes to mind as a profession but there are plenty of others. However everyone else will be competing for these types of jobs and of course some grads will have specialist and very relevant degrees for their chosen occupations.

Research has shown English Lit and Philosophy degree holders are well into the bottom half of earnings 5 years after graduating. But a lot of them won’t have done these degrees for their earnings potential.

clary Sat 19-Oct-19 23:41:55

I did philosophy at uni, joint hons with German, many years ago so probs different, but I feel now it was a massive mistake. Poorly taught, terribly structured course (= basically no structure) led me nowhere, waste of time.

I went into journalism, local papers and magazines, when made redundant I became a secondary teacher, teaching MFL, would have been a lot better if my degree were in German and French (which was an option) as I would have been able to get a job as a French teacher rather than having to look for German and French always.

Couldn't have known that at 18 of course. I guess Philosophy is as useful as eng lit (agree with other about general usefulness of an arts degree) unless you might want to teach, in which case eng lit is A LOT more useful.

clary Sat 19-Oct-19 23:45:38

See, those saying about PGCE, all well and good, but you pretty much need to teach your degree subject (at secondary that is) and there aren't so many jobs teaching philosophy to teenagers. Eng lit OTOH (caveat: she may not want to be a teacher!)

BlueCowWonders Sun 20-Oct-19 09:09:45

It sounds like your dd likes the style of teaching/ researching so could you suggest she broadens her subject? Would an economics/ business degree give her a wider choice?

thinkfast Sun 20-Oct-19 09:17:12

I did philosophy - now a corporate lawyer

BubblesBuddy Sun 20-Oct-19 09:45:25

She’s not doing Maths so Economics is a stretch. Business might be too! No point looking at MFL, she isn’t doing any!

So it’s a case of looking at what she enjoys or what might lead more directly to a job but sometimes those degrees are going to narrow down options outside the specialism. I would talk to her about careers though and ensure she understands the value of work or volunteering in holidays to build a cv. Humanities grads really need this to stand out and be employable. Don’t forget that thousands and thousands of DC study philosophy, English, MFL, psychology, classical civilisation, history, geography, sociology, law, anthropology, business, criminology, theology, etc etc etc and all will be looking for grad jobs.

clary Sun 20-Oct-19 17:25:18

I wasn't suggesting she did an MFL degree, just that I should have done! I'm not stupid, well not quite that stupid. I was answering the op's question about what I do now.

Eng literature seems to me to open as many doors as philosophy tbh EXCEPT that it would be easier to get a secondary teaching job.

BubblesBuddy Sun 20-Oct-19 18:57:48

I see! Sorry clary. But what you do now isn’t open to the DD in question.

I don’t think either of these degrees is sought after. However university will make a difference. Teaching is a possibility for English but there are so many other jobs out there. So the degree probably won’t make much difference unless accompanied by work experience and/or volunteering to build up a cv. You have to show you have analytical skills and are worthy of employment.

MarchingFrogs Mon 21-Oct-19 01:15:26



Philosophy degrees with ab initio languages.

So MFL not impossible without A level.

managedmis Mon 21-Oct-19 01:18:05

How did the lawyers go from philosophy to law? An MA?

BasiliskStare Mon 21-Oct-19 01:28:33

@ managedmis Ds was a history undergraduate . Then did a law conversion course ( GDL ) which sort of gives you the same as a law degree - but NB you don't get similar to undergraduate loans for this. That said there are bursaries etc available. Others more experienced than me can advise you better.

StaronAinthorpe Mon 21-Oct-19 09:17:22

DH did an (Oxbridge) theology/philosophy degree and then PhD. Lifetime central gov Civil Servant. Certainly helps with framing a reasoned argument.

PurpleFrames Mon 21-Oct-19 09:22:28

I had several friends who did Religious themed degrees. They do jobs such as accountant, consultant to the LA (on community issues), researcher at the uni (phd)

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