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Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion

  • Number of students per year: up to three
  • Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent (in any subjects)
  • Essential subjects: none
  • Useful subjects: Religious Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Ethics, Languages, Classics

Jesus College is strongly represented in the Faculty of Divinity with several Fellows working in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion.

What you'll study

Our students have a broad range of interests within Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, from the study of ancient languages through to the study of world religions in the modern context.

The course allows you to sample the specialisms covered by a world class staff or to focus on particular elements of their teaching such as:

  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Religious traditions of India
  • Islamic Studies
  • Jewish Studies
  • Ethics
  • History of Christianity
  • Biblical Studies.

Students choose to study Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion for diverse reasons, such as looking for academic rigour to inform their own faith, or to inform their studies on religion as a cultural phenomenon from a secular viewpoint.

The destinations of our graduates are as wide ranging as the degree, and include law, teaching, banking, social work, politics, health, religion, administration, and journalism, while a significant proportion go on to further study.

Studying Theology at Jesus

We have first rate study facilities, such as the Quincentenary Library, and the College is close to a number of other excellent theological libraries in the Faculty of Divinity and in the Cambridge Theological Federation.

We have a good number of undergraduate and postgraduate students of Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion, and regularly have subject dinners and discussion groups to encourage a sense of community.

We also boast the oldest collegiate chapel in Cambridge, as well as one of the finest College choirs. Both of these can be enjoyed at weekly Choral Evensongs or at concerts, and which often host interesting theological, philosophical, and musical figures from a variety of traditions.

Theology at Cambridge

The Faculty community has around 140 undergraduates and over 100 postgraduate students from a great variety of backgrounds and nationalities. 

"We know from our students that Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge is a diverse, engaging and enlightening degree programme. Whether your interest is in philosophy, ethics and metaphysics, anthropology, history, literature or the study of Bible and Qur'an (and much else besides) you will find something here just for you."  

Professor Janet Soskice, Head of the Faculty of Divinity and Fellow at Jesus

The wider University is a fantastic place to explore your interest in the subject. In addition to relevant debates and talks that take place across Cambridge almost every night, you may also consider joining societies that are dedicated to exploring religions and the philosophy of religion such as the:

  • Buddhist Society
  • Hindu Cultural Society
  • Intercollegiate Christian Union
  • Islamic Society
  • Jewish Society
  • or the Faculty of Philosophy’s student society, the Moral Sciences Club.

Many students of Jesus College studying Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion are members of one or more of these societies.

Find out more on the University webpage.

Requirements

Our conditional offers are usually A* and two A grades at A-Level or 40-41 points with 776 at Higher Level International Baccalaureate. You don't need to take a Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP).

Most students have taken an A-Level in Religious Studies, though this isn't essential as many able and interested students come to this topic by other routes. English, History, Geography, Philosophy, Languages, and also Science and Maths A-Levels are common choices.

We want people who like thinking and discussing evidence, both with their tutors and with their fellow students.

Written assessment

All applicants for Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion are required to take a written assessment at interview, if interviewed. You can find out more about the assessment on the University undergraduate Theology pages.

Your performance in the assessment won't be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

Interviews

In light of Covid we are currently reviewing whether we shall be holding virtual or College-based interviews and will provide further details in the future.

In order to minimise COVID-related risks to our applicants, students and staff, all 2020 interviews were held online. A typical virtual interview for Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion usually consists of one 45 minute online interview with the Director of Studies and subject Fellows. You'll be given a short text when you arrive for the interview, and will be asked to prepare to talk about it. However, this format may change depending on government guidelines for 2021. The interview aims to assess your intellectual ability, enthusiasm, and commitment to the subject. We're looking for thoughtful, imaginative, and willing thinkers who will relish the Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion degree course and their time at Jesus College.

There is the possibility that interviews this year could take place in College or virtually once more. We will provide further details as soon as we are able.

Written work

You'll be asked to submit two short classwork essays of up to 2,000 words each which we may discuss with you at interview. An extract of longer coursework can be submitted instead of an essay. Neither piece has to be in the subject of Religious Studies.

Deferred and post A-Level entry

We're happy to consider applications for either immediate or deferred entry in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion. You can apply before or after you have taken your A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.

Find out how to apply to study at Jesus.

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