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Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion

Fitzwilliam is (with Selwyn) one of the two Cambridge colleges which have, over many years, had a large number of students reading Theology and Religious Studies. The College regularly admits up to three applicants and additional places are sometimes available when there is a strong field of candidates.

Theology at Fitzwilliam

Fitzwilliam also has a long-standing association with the Cambridge theological colleges, and a number of their students follow the University course as members of Fitzwilliam. At any one time there will between 5-10 students studying Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Fitzwilliam, as well as an increasing number of postgraduates. By no means all of these enter the ordained ministry of the churches: the Faculty's recent graduates in Theology have gone on to pursue careers in a variety of professions, including business, journalism, social work, the army, teaching and publishing.

Theology has a correspondingly strong and distinguished representation among the Fellowship, with two teaching Fellows in the subject. There are also well-established arrangements for teaching in which Fellows of other colleges participate. In addition to the travel grants open to all students, the College has two special funds, the Hirst-Player Fund and the Campbell Fund, from which grants have been made to enable Theology students to travel in areas that are relevant to their studies.

Theology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the Cambridge syllabus is flexible enough to permit students either to concentrate in certain areas (such as biblical studies, systematic theology, Church history and comparative religion) or to take an 'all-in' course. The course (or Tripos) consists of a one-year Part I and a two-year Part II, the latter being divided into Part IIA (second year) and Part IIB (third year); and although most students take both Parts, it is possible to take Part I and then change to another subject (such as Law or History of Art) or to take Part I or Part IIA after a year or two years studying another subject. Fuller details of the syllabus are given in a booklet which can be obtained from the Director of Studies at the College, and on the Faculty's website ( He will also be glad to provide details of the Open Day held each March or April by the Divinity Faculty.


The typical A Level offer for Theology is A*AA. The typical IB offer is 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level. It is not necessary to have taken Religious Studies at A Level, but intending candidates should bear in mind the skills which are or may be required in a Theology course. These include the ability to make detailed study and interpretation of texts, historical thinking and an ability to work with ideas. No one who does not possess at least one of these should consider applying to study Theology.  In addition all students are required to make a study of at least one of the Scriptural languages taught in the Faculty of Divinity (Greek, Hebrew, Arabic or Sanskrit) for at least one year. The language courses presuppose no previous knowledge of these languages, but some previous success with a foreign language and an acquaintance with grammatical terms will facilitate this part of the course.

Applicants are required to submit two pieces of recent written work as part of their application.

Applicants are also required to sit the Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion admissions written assessment, prior to being invited for interview.  More information can be found on the University website.

The Director of Studies in Theology will be pleased to provide prospective applicants with further information about the subject; general enquiries about the procedure for admission to Fitzwilliam should be directed to the Tutor for Admissions.

More information

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