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Mathematics and Philosophy

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Thomas, 1st year

'I came to Oxford because I wanted to study at one of the best universities in the country. I enjoy the reading in preparation for essays and also the tutorials, especially the philosophical discussions; it’s really interesting to try and make your point clearer and to discover sides of the argument you’d never thought about. Organising your time is very important. If you enjoyed maths and further maths at A-level and you find questions in philosophy interesting then this is definitely the course for you.

Life at Oxford hasn’t been what I expected. The image I created was far too stereotypical and I was surprised when I arrived to find that Oxford is a university much like any other. I’m a member of the Secular Society, which has been really interesting with well known philosophers as guest speakers and recently it held a faith schools forum which I took part in. I’m also a member of the Oxford Union – nearly every week there’s some head of state flying in to give a talk, or someone from Hollywood to give us their experiences as well as the debates which have covered topics ranging from ‘Gay Parenting’ to ‘The War on Terror’. The University is one of very few places with a collegiate system such that you both have your college community and life while being a member of the University as a whole, and I think that although you do have to work hard while you’re here, your friends, tutors and activities in and out of college will make your time really worthwhile and enjoyable.'

Jack, who graduated in 2007, is currently a capital actuarial analyst at Catlin Insurance. He says:  

‘The mathematical skills developed during my degree have helped with the technical side of my work, but studying philosophy alongside maths also developed my abilities to analyse an argument and to take a logical approach to problem-solving. These skills have proven particularly valuable in the workplace both in my current role and as an associate on the Financial Services Authority’s graduate scheme.’

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