What is it like to study humanities at University of Brighton?
Adjusting to university-level study
It was my curiosity and passion for ethical thinking that led me to apply for the Philosophy, Politics and Ethics course at the University of Brighton. Being a first-generation student, I had no idea what to expect of university life. I was surprised by how much of my time would be spent studying, and I found this particularly challenging to balance with both paid work and my social life. To begin with, the first year seemed impossible, not because I didn’t like the material I was studying, but simply because I did not know how to cope with it. Thankfully, first year is a ‘get-to-know’ year, where you are allowed to make mistakes, to learn from them and improve as a critical thinker throughout the course.
Choose university subjects that interest you
In years 2 and 3 I was able to choose option modules in subjects really interested me, and certainly informed my dissertation. Second year is a bit more intense but I stayed calm and used my time management skills – and became so invested in the subjects I had chosen.
You’re not expected to know everything!
I have learned throughout my course that while it may seem as though you have an endless list of readings to complete each week, the tutors and lecturers at the University of Brighton are not expecting you to know everything, nor understand everything you are reading. Your tutors want to see you engaging with the texts, which involves questioning, listening, debating and being open to new ideas.
Seminars are great for debate – and listening skills
Seminars are great for discussion. Sometimes I found myself struggling to understand a text, or found a point that I needed to talk about. I worked out that I needed to ask myself why and what it was about the text that I didn’t understand, and then brought those questions to the seminar to discuss and debate with other students.