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Philosophy

  • Number of students per year: up to two
  • Typical offer: A*AA or equivalent
  • Essential subjects: none
  • Useful subjects: none

Dr Clare Chambers is a University Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy. 

Her particular expertise is in Political Philosophy so students with interests in this area are especially well served, but Jesus students are offered expert tuition and encouragement in all aspects of the Philosophy syllabus.

Find out more on the University webpage.

Requirements

Conditional offers are usually for an A* and two A grades at A-Level or equivalent, in line with the University standard.

You don't need to have had any previous formal teaching in Philosophy. Some students have A-Levels in Philosophy or Religious Studies, but many don't. Both arts and science subjects are welcome.

The Cambridge Philosophy course emphasises analytical rigour and focused critical thinking, including logic. It helps to have some A-Levels or qualifications that encourage this approach.

Written assessment

If you're invited to interview you will sit a one hour written test while you’re here. Cambridge Colleges use a standard format for this test. You can see an example test here. The test is divided into two parts: the first is a 20 minute multiple choice test designed to assess your logical reasoning, the second is a 40 minute written test in which you'll write a short essay.

Applicants don't need to have any previous special knowledge of philosophy, but you should have read some modern analytical philosophy. It may also help to have read a very introductory logic book. You can find some suggested preliminary reading on the Faculty of Philosophy website.

Interviews

If you're invited to interview you'll have two interviews. The first will last around 30 minutes and will usually be with the Director of Studies in Philosophy together with a philosopher from another College. You'll usually be asked to discuss a text or puzzle which will be provided at the interview.

The second interview will last around 20 minutes, and it will be a more general academic interview, usually with a Fellow of Jesus College from a related discipline.

We aim to identify the most promising candidates: we're looking for academic potential and commitment to the subject. We'll be looking to see if you have done some reading in modern analytical philosophy and can discuss, in an intelligent and critical way, the sort of problems which concern analytical philosophers.

Written work

You don't need to submit any written work.

Deferred and post A-Level entry

We consider applications for deferred entry in Philosophy. The College also welcomes applications from mature students.

We are also happy to consider post A-Level applications from those who have already achieved (normally) A*AA at A-Level or equivalent. You'll have to go through the usual competitive process with the other applicants. We will also consider second time applications without prejudice.

Find out how to apply to study at Cambridge.

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