Sarah-Louise Johnson (2nd Year PhD in Philosophy, PT)
I am currently doing a PhD at the University of Birmingham. I am in my second year studying part-time. I chose to do my PhD at Birmingham because I really enjoyed being part of the philosophy department as both a BA student and as an MA student. I have always found the staff to be extremely supportive and friendly and this promotes a great atmosphere for learning and research. Also, I wanted to gain teaching experience, knowing that this would be invaluable for a career in academia. Birmingham offers postgraduate teaching positions which have helped me to develop skills as a seminar tutor, and I thoroughly enjoy all the challenges that this brings.
Each week we have a Philosophy Society seminar, where academics from outside the University come to give research papers on a wide variety of areas of philosophy; these are often preceded by a pre-seminar for postgraduates where the visiting academic answers questions and discusses background literature so that everyone will be able to follow the argument in their paper whether or not this is their area of research expertise. Additionally, each week we have a Postgraduate seminar, where postgraduates present their research to other postgraduates and staff for friendly feedback and constructive criticism. Having frequent philosophy society and postgraduate seminars fosters a real sense of community and helps individual development no end.
"I cannot recommend postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham highly enough. Birmingham is a great city to live in, and the philosophy department is a highly stimulating environment in which to learn, research, and develop academic skills."