Philosophy at Sussex is distinctive in a number of ways. We have a long tradition of engagement with political thought. Unlike most other universities, we cover both Anglo-American ‘analytic’ and Post-Kantian ‘continental’ philosophical traditions, and allow students at all levels to specialise in one tradition or to draw on both. We also cover both the history of philosophy and issues in contemporary philosophy.
Our approach to teaching, our engagement with students, and the quality of research undertaken by our faculty is widely reflected in how the Philosophy Department at Sussex performs in all the major, independent ranking surveys:
2011 National Student Survey (NSS)
The National Student Survey canvasses final year students at all UK institutions and was completed in spring 2011 by more than 1,850 final-year students at Sussex - making this the highest response rate ever seen at the University and one of the highest in the country. The 22 questions asked in the survey cover teaching, assessment and feedback, academic support, organisation and management, learning resources, personal development and overall satisfaction.
The feedback from students studying in the Philosophy Department at Sussex was overwhelmingly positive:
- 1st for overall satisfaction, with a 100% approval rate from respondents
- 1st for academic support
- 1st for organisation and management
- 3rd overall in the UK
The scores and the comments provided by our most recent students will be used to continue to develop and improve the student experience in the Philosophy Department.
Find out more about the NSS survey at the Unistats website
2012 University League Tables
There are a number of university league tables, each of which gives slightly different weighting to a range of different criteria: for instance NSS and RAE rankings, entry tariffs, number and quality of degrees awarded, staff to student ratios etc.
It is a mark of the quality of the Philosophy department at Sussex, and its commitment to continual improvement, that it has risen steadily in the league tables. In recent years, it has consistently featured in the top twenty of Philosophy departments from across the UK. In the most recent rankings, the Philosophy department at Sussex was ranked:
- 10th in The 2013 Times Good University Guide
- 13th in The 2013 Guardian University Guide
- 13th in The 2013 Complete University Guide
- 8th in The 2012 Sunday Times University Guide
What we offer
We offer a single-honours undergraduate Philosophy degree, and a select number of joint Philosophy degrees with a complementary subject.At postgraduate level, we offer an MA Philosophy programme with distinct 'pathways' through it, and supervise Phd and MPhil Philosophy students over a wide range of topics.The Philosophy faculty are dedicated to and enthusiastic about teaching. We are approachable and, while insisting on the highest standards, concerned to make philosophy accessible, and to make studying it enjoyable.Philosophy undergraduates, postgraduates and tutors form a friendly and lively intellectual community, of which there is no better example than the very popular and lively weekly Philosophy Society meetings, showcasing current research by Sussex philosophers and those from other universities. Undergraduates also run their own Sussex Undergraduate Philosophy Society.
We have strong intellectual links with those working elsewhere in the University: for instance, in cognitive science, intellectual history, literature, and in social and political thought.
Our graduates leave Sussex, not just with a thorough acquaintance with central areas of philosophical thought, but also with enhanced abilities to reflect critically, analyse texts, produce rationally compelling arguments, and think fast (and well) on the spot.
2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
The first RAE was undertaken in 1986 to introduce an explicit and formalised assessment process of the quality of research in the Higher Education (HE) sector across the UK. The RAE is the principal means by which institutions assure themselves of the quality of the research undertaken in the HE sector. The most recent RAE, in 2008 was jointly conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council (SFC), the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) and the Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland (DEL).
Research submissions were assessed and graded as follows:
- 4* - Quality that is world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour
- 3* - Quality that is internationally excellent in terms of originality, significance and rigour but which nonetheless falls short of the highest standards of excellence
- 2* - Quality that is recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
- 1* - Quality that is recognised nationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour
- Unclassified - Quality that falls below the standard of nationally recognised work. Or work which does not meet the published definition of research for the purposes of this assessment
In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, the Philosophy department at Sussex was one of only 9 Philosophy departments in the country to have 100% of its research judged as internationally recognised or better; meanwhile, 60% was judged as world-leading or internationally excellent.
Find out more at the RAE website