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Philosophy and Theology at Oxford - Course Outline

Weekly Timetable

The course work is divided between lectures, tutorials and some classes, for example, for first year modern doctrine or logic. Students have to spend a large part of their week in private study to prepare essays for tutorials.

Term 1 and 2



Introduction to philosophy: Moral philosophy, General philosophy, Logic
Theology (two or three taken): The study of religions, The Christian doctrine of creation, Old Testament set texts, Church history, New Testament set texts, New Testament Greek, Classical Arabic, Biblical Hebrew and Pali.


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

Terms 3-9

Compulsory Core Subjects:


Either Plato's Republic or History of Philosophy from Descartes to Kant or Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, either Reality and Knowledge or Ethics


The Gospels and Jesus, Christ and Salvation, God, either Christian Moral Reasoning or Development of Doctrine in the Early Church

Further Options:

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


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

Application Procedure

Candidates should follow the application procedure as mentioned in how to apply page of the university website. The following information provides specific details for students applying for Philosophy and Theology course.

Written Work

Candidates need to submit two pieces of written work for Theology. However, they do not need to submit any written work for Philosophy. These two pieces of written work for Theology must have been marked in the normal process of college or school work. In place of essay, students can send a test or examination answer to an unseen question, which is assessed and marked by their college or school. It must be noticed that all written work ought to be in English.

Students must send work in Religious Studies if they are studying this subject to A-level or any equivalent. If students cannot submit sample of work in Religious Studies, then they need to submit work in the related area. If students do not have such written work available, then they should contact the Tutor for Admissions at their first choice or owed college and they will suggest essay topics or alternative work.

Students must note that the work is not too long but conforms to the published guidelines on the submission of written work as tutors wish to assess the conciseness and pertinence of their work. If students have any questions, then they contact their first choice or email the undergraduate admissions coordinator.

Written Test

Students do not need to take a written test for Theology. On the contrary, they need to take a one-hour test for Philosophy. This test is constructed with the purpose of assessing students' ability to use language accurately and to reason analytically. This test is conducted during the Oxford interview period. For further information about the test, students are advised to visit the university website.

What Tutors Look for?

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

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