Essay prize for Priestley philosophy student


A PRIESTLEY College student has won a Philosophy essay competition set by one of the UK’s finest universities.

Cameron Matthews, who studies Philosophy alongside History, English Literature and Psychology, won the prize awarded by the University of Sheffield – one of the Russell Group institutions.

His 1,500-word essay attempted to answer the question of whether free will exists?

“I liked the challenge of answering the question and obviously there is an element of this being something I can put on my personal statement,” said Cameron.

“It’s an interesting question because we like to think that we all have free will, but there are things outside our control that mean this isn’t the case.”

The Sheffield Philosophy Essay Competition is an annual event and received a record entry this year of 186.

Judges said all the essays were of an ‘exceptionally high quality’ so competition was fierce.

Eventually they named 10 winners who each received a £25 voucher and invitation to a virtual workshop organised by the university’s Department of Philosophy, involving academics and current students.

They said Cameron’s essay was well written and followed a clear line of argumentation.

Their only notes were to suggest a slight restructure of his essay to introduce a key piece of evidence earlier in the work.

Overall they scored the former Cardinal Newman Catholic High School pupil’s essay 77.

Cameron, who is aiming to progress to one of the UK’s top universities to study Philosophy or Psychology, is on Priestley College’s Graduate Programme.

Connie Bostock, Graduate Tutor and Oxnet Coordinator, said: “Cameron has excelled in this competition. I am really proud of his achievement in receiving this commendation and I hope it has given him some insight into how good he could be.”


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