Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion
In a world where religious beliefs are a driving force behind social and political events, the study of theology and religion becomes ever more important. At Cambridge you can explore this diverse subject under the guidance of world-class theologians and scholars.
- Why study Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Christ's College?
- Course content and structure
- What do our students think?
- How to apply
- Helpful resources
- Open Days and Online Events
- Want to know more?
Why Study Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Christ's?
Our College has an interesting history of theological study and engagement.
John Milton, who was a student here in the seventeenth century, later wrote Paradise Lost, which is not only one of the greatest pieces of English literature but also an epic exploration of the big questions about God and humanity. One Christ’s Fellow, William Paley, created an influential version of the 'teleological' argument for God's existence. Charles Darwin – one of our most famous alumni – wrestled with the implications that his theory of natural selection had for belief in God. And more recently a Master of Christ's, Charles Raven, had a major impact in the debate over science and religion and rose to be Regius Professor of Divinity.
Christ's theologians have included Rowan Williams (former Archbishop of Canterbury), Professor Christopher Rowland (Fellow of Queen's, Oxford), Dr John Day (Professor of Old Testament Studies, Oxford), and The Rev’d Robin Griffith-Jones (Master of the Temple, London). We offer you a chance to follow in those renowned footsteps and become part of a rich theological tradition.
Course content and structure
The Theology course (or ‘tripos’) is a three-year degree which allows you to specialise gradually, tailoring your academic pathway as your interests develop. You can choose from a range of religious traditions and explore them from a historical, philosophical, theological, sociological or comparative perspective.
Please visit the University website for full details of the Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion course content and structure.
Christ’s central location offers quick access to University Library and the Faculty of Divinity where you find an extensive theological library, a welcoming community of undergraduates, graduates and lecturers – and free coffee.
As well as lectures organised by the University, you have weekly ‘supervisions’ here at College. These small-group tutorial sessions give you the advantage of personally-tailored tuition and are arranged by your Director of Studies, the Rev'd Dr Robert Evans. He is also Chaplain of the College. His own research is in early medieval history.
What do our students think?
Visit How to Apply for full details and a timeline of the application process. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and school types, all over the world. If you're applying from outside the UK, please read our international students section.
Candidates applying in Oct 2021 are also advised to keep an eye on the Covid-19 disruptions page which will be updated through the year.
We welcome students from all kinds of academic background. An A-level, IB Higher or equivalent in Religious Studies is desirable but not compulsory. Most (but not all) of our applicants take essay subjects for A-level, IB Higher or equivalent. And while we welcome linguistic ability to at least GCSE level, again this isn’t compulsory.
After we receive your application, we ask you to send us two essays you feel accurately reflect your abilities and interests. These should be work written during the normal course of your studies and already marked by a teacher. We recommend you keep copies for your own reference, as we may discuss them at interview.
We publish full guidelines on written work in the Current Applicants section on 20 September each year.
For students applying in Sept / Oct 2021 the interviews will be online interviews. There is a page on the University website with more information about online interviews.
If we invite you for interviews, these usually take place in early December. Those invited for Cambridge interviews are normally interviewed for 35-50 minutes in total. At Christ’s, we usually split the time into two interviews with academics in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion. We may give you a short text to read before one of them, and then discuss during the subsequent interview.
For an idea of what to expect, please read the information and watch the short films on Cambridge admissions interviews. We also hold interviews in various locations overseas for international students.
If we call you for interview in Cambridge, we ask you to take a written Admissions Assessment, usually on the same day. We arrange this automatically so you don’t need to register. You do the same assessment regardless of which college you apply to..
The Admissions Assessment looks at your comprehension and writing skills to show us your ability and potential to succeed on this course. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate how you’ve developed academically since your GCSEs, but you don’t need to do any special preparation.
Read more about the assessment, including sample papers and subject content, on the University Admissions website (available from March each year).
At Christ's we don’t have fixed quotas for places, so the number of students we admit in any year depends on the strengths of the applicants. In Theology we admit around two students each year. (A total of 39 students take this course across all 29 undergraduate Cambridge colleges.)
Our typical conditional offer is:
- A*AA at A-level
- 42 points overall in the International Baccalaureate with 7,7,6 in relevant Higher Level subject
If you're taking another qualification, we expect you to be working at or close to the top of the mark range i.e.
- Option Internationale du Baccalauréat: at least 17/20 overall, with 17 or 18 in relevant subjects
- European Baccalaureate: at least 85% overall, with 9/10 in relevant subjects
If you will have finished school when you apply, read about post-qualification applications.
|Theology Faculty Open Day online||Including course presentation, application info, taster lectures, careers info and Q&A.|
|Introductory reading suggestions||Reading suggestions to give you a taste of the different areas you can study in the degree.|
|50 Religious Treasures of Cambridge||A fascinating introduction to artefacts and images from museums, libraries and colleges of the University of Cambridge|
|An Introduction to New Testament Greek||Ten units aimed at helping you get off to a flying start with New Testament Greek.|
|Gresham College lectures on Religion||Free online lectures|
|Ecclesiastical History Society||Blogs on Church History|
|Jubilee Centre||Articles and talks on Christianity and public policy (the Jubilee centre is right next to Christ's, by the post office)|
|HE+ Theology||Website for secondary school students who would like to explore Theology|
|CamGuides||Introducing the academic and information skills that you will need during your studies, as well as how and where you would be working|
Online events: The 2020 Theology Faculty Open Day is already online (you can access it any time). For Christ's events, our open days and events page advertises online opportunities as well as events you can attend in Cambridge.
Want more information?
For more detail of what the course involves, look at Undergraduate Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion admissions on the University website, and read the Faculty of Divinity information for prospective students too.
If you have any other queries, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help however we can.