Simone de Beauvoir


  • Director of Studies Dr Jon Phelan
  • Faculty Website

Philosophy is a study of problems of an abstract and ultimate character, to do with the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, morality and human purpose among other things.


Philosophy at ҹѰ

Philosophy at Cambridge emphasises precise argument, and logic (the study of correct forms of argument) is a significant element of the course. Throughout the 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.

Cambridge is a vibrant city with an established and influential philosophical heritage. ҹѰ is one of the more recent foundations and is a warm, welcoming and well-resourced college set in beautiful gardens, five minutes’ walk from the philosophy faculty, library and lecture rooms. The College is very international with 87 nationalities represented at the last count and accepts applications from candidates who will be 21 years or over on the first day of their proposed course of study.

You can find further information about studying Philosophy on the University's course . Detailed information is also available on the Faculty's Prospective Undergraduates .


What are we looking for?

We are looking for high ability applicants who are capable of incisive and flexible thought and who are genuinely passionate about philosophy. It may be a good idea to look at some of the following texts to inform your application:

ʱٴ’s&Բ;Republic (any edition); Descartes’ The Meditations (any edition); Thomas Nagel What Does It All Mean? (OUP); Chalmers, A. F. What Is this Thing Called Science? (Open University Press); Rachels, J. & Rachels, S. The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw Hill); Smith, A. Political Philosophy (Polity); Smith, P. & Jones, O. R. The Philosophy of Mind (CUP); Tymoczko, T. & Henle, J. Sweet Reason (Springer).

Entry Requirements

No particular subjects at A level (or equivalent) are required. Please consult the University's for further information.


Applications to study Philosophy at ҹѰ are submitted through UCAS. The College additionally requires the submission of written work, a separate written assessment and an online interview, as detailed below.

Written WorkApplicants are required to submit two pieces of written work by 2 November. This should be in a related discipline which the candidate is studying or has studied.
AssessmentThose interviewed will also sit a written assessment around the time of the interview. Further information about the written assessment can be found on our applying page.
InterviewShortlisted candidates will be invited to be interviewed in December. There will be one or two interviews (in total lasting 40-50 minutes) which will be conducted online via Zoom.

For more information about making an application, please visit our application webpages.  

You can also find useful information on our Application FAQs page.