Course Code: TRM2
The MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies is a nine-month Masters course. The MPhil offers the opportunity for advanced study in Theology and Religious Studies across the full range of disciplines with a strong focus on research. Students can draw on the expertise of leading scholars from a wide range of subjects, which allows both for specialistation and for interdisciplinary approaches. The MPhil is designed for students who wish to study their subject of interest at an advanced level for nine months, but also to enable those who wish to undertake further research at doctoral level to acquire the necessary skills and understanding.
The faculty’s research culture is focused around the senior seminar, which meet regularly during term time. Here, academics from Cambridge and elsewhere read and discuss papers. There are nine senior seminars, covering the six subject areas listed above, plus Hebrew, Jewish and Early Christian Studies, Patristics and World Christianity. More information about the senior seminars can be found under the 'Subjects' section of the main menu.
Alongside these seminars there is also a wide range of informal reading groups. A list can be found under the 'Research' section of the main menu. The faculty also has a number of endowed lectures which see leading academics visiting the faculty. Again a list can be found in the Research' pages.
The following requirements are in effect from 1 October 2013:
1(a) A thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length, including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography, on a subject approved by the Degree Committee;
1(b) two pieces of submitted work, each of which shall be an essay of not more than 5,000 words in length, or an equivalent exercise, at least one of which must fall within the same subject area as the candidates's thesis or otherwise suitably releated to it;
1(c) Either (i) one paper of three hours' duration on a language chosen from a list of languages published by the Degree Committee.
Or (ii) one exercise on a subject chosen from a list of subjects for exercises approved by the Degree Committee.
Or (iii) an alternative exercise within the candidate's chosen subject area, if one has not already been taken under (b).
Teaching is by two termly modules (seminar courses) and by one exercise. Each module shall normally be taught by at least four seminars of two hours duration in one term. The Michaelmas Term module must be in the student's principal area of study. Student can take in the Lent Term a module of their choice.
Seminar courses and subject areas for 2015-16
- Christian Theology: Michaelmas Term - The Christian God; Lent Term - The Beatitudes
- Mahāyāna Buddhism: The Profound View; Lent Term - The Vast Activity
- New Testament and Early Christianity: Michaelmas Term - Exegesis and Method in New Testament Study; Lent Term - Themes in the New Testament and Early Christianity
- Old Testament: Michaelmas Term - Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and beyond; Lent Term - Pentateuchal Criticism
- Philosophy of Religion: Michaelmas Term - Philosophy of Religion 1 (includes Islamic philosophy component); Lent Term - (includes Jewish Philosophy component)
- Religions in Antiquity: Michaelmas Term - The Study of Religion in Antiquity: Sources, Methodologies, Resources; Lent Term - Jews and Christians in Alexandria
- Study of World Religions: Michaelmas Term - Issues in the methodology of 'comparative religion'; Lent Term - Science and Religion in Medieval Islam
- World Christianities: Michaelmas Term - Training in sources and methods; Lent Term: Themes in the Study of World Christianities
New Modules for 2016/17
Christian Theology: Lent Term - Theology and Literature: Tragedy
Christian Theology: Lent Term - Theology and the Natural Sciences: Materiality and Embodiment
Study of World Religions: Lent Term - Anthropology of Islam in Contemporary Europe
Study of World Religions: Lent Term - Before the Qur'an: Texts, monuments, perceptions
Minimum entry requirements
A 1st class or 2.1 honours degree with marks of at least 67% or a GPA of at least 3.8; or performance at an equivalent level in an honours degree.
New Testament and Early Christianity applicants are required to have at least two years study of New Testament Greek.
Philosophy of Religion applicants must have a strong philosophical background and relevant theological knowledge.
Old Testament applicants must have knowledge of the relevant biblical languages notably biblical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
Religions in Antiquity applicants must have knowledge of Greek or Latin.
World Christianities applicants need to have a first degree in Theology, Religious Studies, History, Anthropology or another discipline involving contemporary cross-cultural study.
How to apply
Information about all postgraduate degrees of the University of Cambridge can be found via the graduate admissions page of the Graduate Admissions Office, the central body which deals with all graduate applications for the whole University. The set of pages on the MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies is .
Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible. This is particularly important for applicants seeking Gates or Cambridge funding, who should note the following deadlines.
When you apply you should submit a research proposal of around 500 words which will determine your principal subject area of study.
All applicants must submit a sample of written work. Written work should be either one or two essays or a thesis (whole or part).