BA Philosophy and Theology

Philosophy and Theology brings together some of the most important approaches to understanding and assessing the intellectual claims of religion.

The study of Philosophy develops analytical rigour and the ability to criticise and reason logically. It allows you to apply these skills to many contemporary and historical schools of thought and individual thinkers, and to questions ranging from how we acquire knowledge and form moral judgements to central questions in the philosophy of religion, including the existence and nature of God and the relevance of religion to human life.

The study of Theology provides an understanding of the intellectual underpinning of religious traditions, and of the social and cultural contexts for religious belief and practice. It brings together a wide range of skills and disciplines, historical, textual, linguistic, sociological, literary-critical and philosophical.

The degree is constructed in the belief that the parallel study of these related disciplines leads to a deeper understanding of each.

You can find more helpful information on Oxford University's Undergraduate Admissions pages.

The following is an overview of the course structure. More detailed information on the first year course can found on Weblearn.




Students take four papers. All students will study two prescribed papers in Philosophy and two papers in Theology, one prescribed and one chosen by the student




Students take eight papers over two years: three papers must be in Philosophy and three in Theology; the other two may be chosen in either Philosophy or Theology. In the second year students will study two papers in Theology and at least two papers in Philosophy. Students may study prescribed Philosophy paper 107 in either the second or third years. In the third year students may study up to four further papers, one of which must be in Theology. A candidate may offer a thesis in either Philosophy (paper 199) or Theology (paper 3000), but may not offer both. Individual papers are not necessarily available every year.





All students must study:


1201 The Figure of Jesus through the Centuries


and one other paper chosen from:


1001 New Testament Greek

1002 Biblical Hebrew

1003 ChurchLatin

1004 Qur’anic Arabic

1005 Pali

1006 Sanskrit

1101 Introduction to the Study of the Bible

1301 Religion and Religions






* Indicates that the paper will be available every year. Other papers may not be offered or may not run if they do not recruit enough students.

Students must choose two papers from the following:


* Indicates that the paper will be available every year. Other papers may not be offered or may not run if they do not recruit enough students.

Students must offer one and may offer no more than three papers from the following:



2101* The Narrative World of the Hebrew Bible
2102* The Poetic World of the Hebrew Bible

2103* The Gospels

2201 History of Doctrine

2202 Ethics I: Christian Moral Reasoning
2203 Themes in 19th-century Theology & Religion

2204* Key Themes in Systematic Theology

2301* History & Theology of the Early Church (64-337AD)

2302 Medieval Religions

2304 Formations of Rabbinic Judaism

2305 Islam in the Classical Period

2306 Foundations of Buddhism

2307 Hinduism: Sources and Formations

2401 Modern Judaism

2402 Islam in Contemporary Society

2403 Buddhism in Space and Time

2404 Modern Hinduism

2405 Science and Religion


3101* Hebrew of the Hebrew Bible

3102* Paul and the Pauline Tradition

3103 Biblical Interpretation: Perspectives from Social Sciences

3104 Gender and Power in Biblical Texts

3105 Worship and Liturgy in the Hebrew Bible

3106 Prophecy and Revelation in the Hebrew Bible & Beyond

3107 Law, Teaching, and Wisdom in Biblical Tradition

3108 Early Interpretation in the H.B. & Ancient Judaism

3109 New Testament Theology

3110 Study of a New Testament Book

3111 The Afterlife of the New Testament

3112 The Old Testament in Early Christianity

3201 Contemporary Theology and Culture

3203 Analytic Philosophy and Christian Theology

3204 Ethics II: Religious Ethics

Further Studies in a Special Theologian (* a selection will be available each year)


3221 Liberation Theology and its Legacy

3222 Postliberal Theology

3223 Radical Orthodoxy

3224 Modern Debates concerning the Trinity

3225 Modern Debates concerning Christology

3301* From Nicaea to Chalcedon

3302 Saints and Sanctity in the Age of Bede

3303 Faith, Reason, and Religion from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Age

3304 Eastern Christianities from Constantinople to Baghdad

3305 Further Studies in Judaism

3306 Further Studies in Islam

3307 Further Studies in Buddhism

3308 Further Studies in Hinduism

3309 Studies in the Abrahamic Religions

3310 Varieties of Judaism 100BCE – 100CE
3401 The Nature of Religion

3402 Psychology of Religion

3403 Sociology of Religion

3404 Further Studies in Science and Religion

3405 Mysticism

3406 Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion





All students must study:


A Introduction to Philosophy

B Logic and Moral Philosophy



Students must take 107 Philosophy of Religion. Students must also choose one paper from each of A and B. Students may choose up to two further papers from A, B, and/or C:


101 Early Modern Philosophy

102 Knowledge and Reality



115 Plato, Republic

116 Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

103 Ethics



104 Philosophy of Mind

106 Philosophy of Science and Social Science

108 The Philosophy of Logic and Language

109 Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Criticism

110 Medieval Philosophy – Aquinas

111 Medieval Philosophy – Duns Scotus and Ockham

112 The Philosophy of Kant

113 Post-Kantian Philosophy

114 Theory of Politics


117 Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein

118 Later Wittgenstein

119 Formal Logic

120 Intermediate Philosophy of Physics

122 Philosophy of Mathematics

124 Philosophy of Science

125 Philosophy of Cognitive Science

199 Philosophy thesis



Preliminary Examination:  Papers will be assessed by three-hour written examinations in 8th week of Trinity term.


Final Honour School Examination (end of Trinity term):  All Philosophy papers except 199 will be assessed by three-hour written examinations. Theology papers will be assessed by three hour written examinations or a thesis, or assessed essays or a combination of written examinations and assessed essays, depending on the requirements of individual papers.


Undergraduate Open Days

We participate in the annual Oxford University Open Days in late June or early July, and in September.  We publish information about our Open Day programme on our website about a month in advance.

Most colleges and Halls that offer degrees in the Faculty of Theology and Religion also participate in the main University Open Days. When visiting Oxford, please take the time to look around at least one college, in addition to attending the Faculty’s own events. Some colleges hold their own College Open Days at other times of year. These colleges offer our courses.

UNIQ Summer Schools

The Faculty is a committed partner of the UNIQ programme of free summer schools at the University of Oxford. If you are currently in Year 12, at a UK State-maintained school, and want to experience what it’s like studying in the Faculty of Theology and Religion, then you should consider applying for a UNIQ course next summer.

Your application

Your application will be assessed against clear criteria. Tutors are primarily interested in previous academic achievements as demonstrated, for example, by GCSE or other examination results, and in the quality of submitted written work, but will also take other information on your UCAS application into account (such as your personal statement and reference). A subject involving essay-writing to A-level, Advanced Higher or Higher Level in the IB or another equivalent can be helpful to students in completing this course, although this is not required for admission.

In interviews tutors will look for interest in the proposed fields of study, your ability to think clearly, form sound arguments and to listen and respond to counterarguments; your openness to learning; evidence of your enthusiasm and motivation for the course, and your oral communication skills.  Please check the University website for more information on interviews, and how best to prepare.


Stage 1: UCAS forms due by 15th October

Stage 2: You will need to submit one piece of written work. Criteria vary, so check requirements on an annual basis

Stage 3: Test. You must take the Philosophy Test at your own school or college before you come you are interviewed.

Stage 4: Interviews. The majority of applicants are interviewed. 

Good luck with your application!

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