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The University of Southampton
PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Kate Dunn BA Philosophy and History

MSc International Security and Risk at Southampton

Kate Dunn's Photo

Why did you choose to come and study at Southampton?

I chose Southampton because of all the universities I looked at, Southampton offered the most varied selection of modules. I also found that the compulsory modules for year 1 were really interesting, and I liked that there was scope for me to choose my own modules in every year. Essentially, the course was really flexible and this appealed to me. 

What is it like studying here?

Studying here is certainly intense, but that is true of any university. Having said that, I have found the Philosophy department to be incredibly supportive. Being a first year can be daunting – you’ve just finished your A Levels, some of the reading goes right over your head, and all of a sudden you are being taught by experts who have spent the last decade studying the subject. And yet, your thoughts and ideas are always welcome and the dynamic between students and lecturers is casual enough that you aren’t scared to approach your lecturers! Southampton offers a very supportive environment to learn in, which is crucial when you are balancing your studies alongside being away from home.

A highlight for me was the chance to participate in a university-funded, 8-week Marketing placement at Forest Forge Theatre, a community theatre (and charity) based in Ringwood, Hampshire. The placement was hosted by the theatre but advertised, organised and facilitated by the university’s careers team. It was a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience in a crowded field, and it has been a real boost to my CV. The excel internship scheme is great, and I would encourage all Southampton students to look into it, especially those who do not live near big cities, or who are unable to accept an unpaid placement.

What did you enjoy most about your course?

I really enjoyed lectures! To hear from an expert who is passionate about the topic is the best way to learn. Seminars and reading are crucial too, but I found attending and engaging with the lectures really enjoyable. The lecturers at Southampton are so knowledgeable, and knowing that their lectures are based on their own original research is fantastic.

Did you have the opportunity to study modules outside of your core subject area?

Though I chose not to (because there were so many modules within my core subject I wanted to do!), there were so many opportunities to pick modules outside of my main discipline. From memory, there were several PAIR modules I could have chosen, as well as language options. The opportunity to ‘back track’ modules (study a 2nd year module in 3rd year, for instance) again increased the scope of choice. 

What is the city of Southampton like to live in?

Southampton has a fantastic night life. There are clubs to suit different music tastes, and plenty of live music venues. If Drum and Base is your thing, or you’re an avid fan of Abba, there will be somewhere for you. Another highlight is the O2 Guildhall – so many different artists have played there during my time. There are lots of artisanal cafes dotted around the city centre alongside all the well-known chains, and West Quay shopping centre is great. And because Southampton is such a bustling city, there are plenty of opportunities for part time work. I also recommend visiting the Isle of Wight at least once!

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