St Hilda’s has a well-deserved reputation for being an open, informal, and friendly place. We have a relatively large intake of philosophers across the joint schools, so the community of philosophers at St Hilda’s is large and vibrant. This is a great advantage. Since Philosophy is a discursive subject, a great deal of it can be learned through informal discussions with other philosophers. The undergraduate philosophers are well integrated with graduate students through various social events, such as philosophy drinks, and through regular philosophy symposia and discussion groups. In addition to our students and tutors, St Hilda’s also currently has two Senior Research Fellows in philosophy who frequently participate in discussions at these events.
The Philosophy tutors and lecturers at St Hilda’s cover an extremely wide range of papers at the undergraduate level. Thus, most teaching will be done within college. However, one of the great advantages to studying Philosophy at Oxford is the abundance of expertise within the Philosophy Faculty. It is therefore common practice for colleges to swap students, so that each student can be taught by a world-leading expert in a specific sub-field.
The links between Philosophy and the subjects with which it is joined are explored in so-called ‘bridge-papers’. For instance, a Classics student might naturally be interested in studying Plato or Aristotle, either in the original language or in translation, or a PPE student might naturally be interested in studying Theory of Politics. Nevertheless, nearly all papers are open to every student, so a PPE student can study Philosophy of Mathematics, and Physics and Philosophy student can study Theory of Politics. As a result, each student gets a course that is tailored to suit his or her interests.
At St Hilda’s we take academic achievement very seriously, and we are strongly committed to supporting our students to achieve their full academic potential. In Philosophy, our students have consistently performed well at examinations. Indeed, in recent years, St Hilda's students have been awarded several prizes for their examinations, including Gibbs prizes in Philosophy and the extremely prestigious Gilbert Ryle prize.