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Philosophy at Corpus Fact File

Typical offer: A*AA (or equivalent)

Subject requirements: None

Typical number of Philosophy undergraduates admitted per year: 2-3

Submitted written work requirements: See our Written Work webpage

Admissions assessment: College-registered assessment


Philosophy at Cambridge

Cambridge occupies a distinguished place in the history of philosophy. It was here, in the early twentieth century, that Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, Ramsey and others developed the analytic style of philosophy that is now prominent in much of the world. Today, the Faculty retains a strong commitment to this analytic tradition, combining it with study of the history of philosophy from Plato to the present day to offer one of the most far-reaching courses of its kind available anywhere in the world.

We offer a course in which it is possible to concentrate entirely on philosophy without taking any other subject, even as a subsidiary. You begin by studying a core of compulsory subjects, and then focus in the second and third years on areas that particularly interest you. Throughout your three years you are encouraged to read the works of modern philosophers and to think directly about philosophical topics, constructing your own arguments and exploring criticisms of the arguments of others. The history of philosophy is taught at every level, and the course includes papers on ancient, early modern, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century European philosophers.

Many undergraduates at Cambridge study Philosophy for three years, but a substantial number combine it with another subject by changing to, or sometimes from, another course. After studying another subject for one or two years (Mathematics, Classics), it is possible to switch to Philosophy Part II. Alternatively, you can switch to another subject (History, HSPS, PBS) after Part IA or Part IB Philosophy.

Why study Philosophy at Corpus?

We are fortunate to have a comparatively large number of senior fellows with philosophical interests who are actively involved in undergraduate teaching. As a Philosophy undergraduate here, you will benefit from the extra attention and sustained relationships with academics that come with being a member of a small college.

What do we look for in applicants?

As Philosophy deals with problems that are extremely general and in some sense ultimate, such as the nature of reality, logic and its relation to natural languages, the basis of knowledge and the foundations of value, we look for applicants who are willing to engage with these problems, and who have to some extent already begun considering their own viewpoints on these problems. In keeping with other Arts subjects, we want to see enthusiasm and motivation for the study at degree level of their chosen subject. Applicants should have started to explore the areas of Philosophy that they find interesting and be willing to challenge and interrogate their opinions on what they've read. 

Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with logic (see downloads in the righthand sidebar) before they apply, as logic problems form part of the College-registered assessment and is a Year 1 paper.

Super-curricular resources