How you Learn
In your first year you will be taught in several ways. A first-year student will take a language paper and four other papers. Languages are taught weekly in classes, ‘streamed’ according to previous experience. The other papers are taught by a combination of lectures given by expert lecturers in the Faculty of Divinity and supervisions typically in groups of two or three. A typical paper may have 16 hours of lectures and six hours of supervision.
Supervisions are an important opportunity for students to ask questions, try out new ideas, receive dedicated feedback on their work and begin to develop their thinking skills. This approach to teaching is one of the great strengths of Cambridge University.
Assessment is either by examination at the end of the year or by assessed essays. In the final year a student can also opt to write a dissertation on a topic they have chosen in place of one paper.
Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion at Trinity Hall
Trinity Hall is situated in easy walking distance of both the University Library and the Faculty of Divinity. It has a long history of valuing this subject, for example in awarding an annual prize for excellent examination results in the subject. Recent Trinity Hall students who have studied TR&PoR have gone on to work in the City, transport planning, in the charity sector, as teachers and lawyers, as well as to graduate study in theology, philosophy, religious studies, and international development.
Trinity Hall’s Director of Studies for TR&PoR, Stephen Plant, has over fifteen years’ experience in the role in Cambridge. He is an Affiliated Lecturer in the University in Christian theology and ethics and is a recognized international expert in Modern Theology and in theology and international development. You can hear him speaking about the French thinker Simone Weil ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nthz3 ) and the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bkpjns ) on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ by following the links.
|Typical Offer Conditions
||41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level
||See the University’s Entrance Requirements page
||One subject from English, Religious Studies, History or a language
Two school essays, preferably related to Religious Studies or another humanities subject.
All applicants for Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion are required to take a written assessment at interview, if interviewed. Please see the Admissions Assessments page on the University website for further details.
An A–Level in Religious Studies can be helpful but is certainly not required. A successful applicant will be able to make creative connections between questions explored in many disciplines – the social sciences, physics and biology, music, history, the study of language and literature, etc. – and the study of theology and religion. Students reading for a degree in Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion have a great variety of beliefs and convictions and alongside students thinking critically from within one of the world’s faith traditions there are students approaching their study as atheists and agnostics.
If you are invited to interview for the Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion course at the University of Cambridge, you will usually be interviewed at two Colleges. Interviews typically last 20-25 minutes and you will be asked a range of questions arising from your personal statement, from your submitted work, or from your current studies. We will also want to see how you answer unexpected questions, e.g. by asking you to talk about an unseen quotation or picture. What we are looking for, in addition to proven academic aptitude and potential for development, is deep curiosity about theology and religion. We want you to enjoy the conversation and recognise that a relaxed candidate is likely to leave a truer impression of themselves than one who is tongue–tied with nerves!