Philosophy requires students to ask fundamental questions about what it means to be a human being. 

It is a challenging and exciting subject; the ‘love of wisdom’ is a worthwhile and virtuous pursuit. The benefits are felt in the short and long term, both from an academic and a personal perspective. It is about the broad sweep of ideas, from Plato to Wittgenstein, and the material enables students to reflect upon their place in the world in a well-informed manner.


Philosophy at Clifton is taught by specialists with experience and expertise across the various topics. It is a Sixth Form exam subject only, but a good level of Maths and English at GCSE is required to be able to tackle the course successfully.

Students will develop and refine a range of transferable skills, such as the ability to ask penetrating questions, to analyse and evaluate the arguments of others and to present their own arguments clearly and logically.

Why Study at Clifton?

Clifton has a very strong tradition of producing philosophers of international significance – Grice, Prichard, Blackburn, Geach and McTaggart are all OC’s. Recent Cliftonians have also found the study of philosophy to be both rewarding and a pathway to the very best UK universities. Furthermore, it complements both STEM subjects and humanities. Resources in the department and in the Percival Library are outstandingly good.