University of Oxford Undergraduate Prospectus 2015 entry

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Philosophy and Theology

A BA in 3 years

UCAS code: VV56

Course statistics for 2013 entry

Interviewed: 90%

Successful: 26%

Intake: 28

Entrance requirements

A-levels: AAA

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 39 (including core points) with 666 at HL

Or any other equivalent

A subject involving essay-writing to A-level, Advanced Higher, or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent can be helpful to students in completing this course, although this is not required for admission.

How to apply (see page 118) [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

Tests: Philosophy Test on 5 November 2014

Written Work: Two pieces

Tuition Fees for 2014

Home/EU: £9,000/year

No upfront costs: you can get a loan for the full amount

Grants, bursaries and scholarships available

More on student finance: p 120 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note]

More Information


+44 (0) 1865 276926

Theology and Religion:

+44 (0) 1865 270790

Oxford Open days

2 and 3 July, and 19 September 2014

25 March 2014:

What is Philosophy and Theology?

Philosophy and Theology brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding and assessing the intellectual claims of religion, and in particular of Christianity. It fosters intellectual capacities that you can apply across both disciplines, and develops skills which you will find useful for a wide range of careers and activities after graduation.

The study of Philosophy develops analytical rigour and the ability to criticise and reason logically. It allows you to apply these skills to many contemporary and historical schools of thought and individual thinkers, and to questions ranging from how we acquire knowledge and form moral judgements to central questions in the philosophy of religion, including the existence and nature of God and the relevance of religion to human life.

The study of Theology brings together a wide range of skills and disciplines, historical, textual, linguistic, sociological, literary-critical and philosophical. It provides a grounding in the theology and ethics of early and of modern Christianity, along with a wide range of options in the academic study of religion, including non-Christian traditions.

Philosophy and Theology at Oxford

The degree is constructed in the belief that the parallel study of these related disciplines provides new perspectives on each, leading to deeper understanding. The Philosophy Faculty is the largest philosophy department in the UK, and one of the largest in the world, admitting more than 500 undergraduates annually to read the various degrees involving Philosophy. Many faculty members have a worldwide reputation, and library and other facilities are acknowledged as among the best in the country.

The Theology and Religion Faculty has more than 100 members, covering almost every possible branch of the discipline, ranging from experts in the ancient languages and literature of the world’s religions to church historians and systematic theologians. Its reputation attracts scholars from all over the world as visiting lecturers.

A typical weekly timetable

Your work is divided between tutorials (usually one a week), lectures (typically six to eight weekly), and perhaps some classes, for instance for first-year logic, or for modern doctrine. A large part of your week will be spent in private study to prepare essays for tutorials.

What are tutors looking for?

For information about the selection criteria please see:

During the interview, tutors are looking for interest in the proposed fields of study, a critical and analytical approach to abstract questions and the ability to defend a viewpoint by reasoned argument.

Related courses

Students interested in this course might also like to consider Classics, Theology and Religion, or Theology and Oriental Studies.



Philosophy and Theology graduates enter careers including academic teaching and research, school teaching, commerce, banking and financial services, journalism and communications. Recent graduates have secured positions as authors, writers, newspaper and periodical editors and teachers, and include a student at the Royal Academy of Music, a journalist and a marketing executive for a philanthropy adviser. The Theology and Religion Faculty’s website has further information about careers for theologians at

Marc, who graduated in 1981, went on to take an MSc in Computing at Bradford University and now works as Consultant Manager at international services provider Sword Group. He says: ‘The transition from the fascinating, inspiring but unworldly dreaminess of a non-vocational degree to the more mundane but equally exciting world of IT is quite possible. I warmly recommend the transition via a vocational postgraduate course such as I took. I am less technical but more articulate than some of my whizz-kid colleagues, and my more rounded education has given me a broader vision which has been genuinely useful in my career.’

Edward, who graduated in 1980, is now a senior solicitor and currently Deputy Head of Legal Department in an overseas affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell. He says: Studying at Oxford has provided me with the necessary analytical skills to thrive as a practising lawyer. To my mind, I am at a distinct advantage when pitting my legal skills against an opposite number who lacks the intellectual discipline which an Oxford-taught course provides one with.

For more information about careers after Oxford, please see p 122 [Transcriber's Note: page number of the printed edition. End of note].

Terms 1 and 2



  • Introduction to philosophy: General philosophy; Moral philosophy; Logic

Theology (two or three taken)

  • The Christian doctrine of creation; The study of religions; Old Testament set texts; New Testament set texts; Church history; New Testament Greek; Biblical Hebrew; Classical Arabic; Pali; Sanskrit


First University examinations (taken after the second term): Three or four written papers (one in Philosophy, two or three in Theology)

Terms 3–9



  • Either Early Modern philosophy, or Plato’s Republic, or Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics; Philosophy of religion; either Knowledge and reality, or Ethics


  • The Gospels and Jesus; God, Christ and salvation; either Development of doctrine in the early church, or Christian moral reasoning

Further options

  • Two further subjects (one may be an extended essay), either both in Philosophy, or both in Theology, or one in Theology and one in Philosophy


Final University examinations: Eight written papers (either five in Philosophy and three in Theology, or five in Theology and three in Philosophy, or four in each). A thesis may replace one written paper

Student statement

You’re working on questions that people have thought about for thousands and thousands of years. Elliott

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