MPhil in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion
The Faculty of Divinity is delighted to announce that, with effect from 1 October 2017, the MPhil in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion will be available to students in a part-time option pursued over two consecutive academic years. The scope and content of the course are the same as those of the full-time one-year MPhil programme, with the taught elements of the course constituting the first year and the dissertation element the second year. The total fees for the part-time route are the same as for the full-time route, but are payable in smaller instalments over the two years.
The pros and cons of part-time study
Although it must be emphasised that the part-time route is not envisaged as a ‘distance-learning’ programme, part-time candidates are exempt from the University of Cambridge’s residence requirements (which apply to students engaged in full-time programmes here). But students must be able to travel to and from Cambridge conveniently in term-time in order to attend the necessary seminars and supervisions. The part-time route is not an online programme, and seminars are not available via video-conferencing. Part-time students are required to attend the same seminars and classes as full-time students, and need to have sufficient flexibility in their personal schedules to permit this. It is not possible for the Faculty to reschedule or duplicate provision especially for part-time students. The part-time route is designed to make the MPhil programme more accessible to some of those whose career or personal commitments make it impossible for them to consider full-time study.
Compared to full-time students residing in or near Cambridge, part-time students may find that they are less able to take advantage of the optional supplementary academic activities and extracurricular activities that are offered in the Faculty, in the School of Arts and Humanities, in the Colleges, and in the University in general. Part-time students are of course fully welcome to participate in such activities and are encouraged to do so, although it must be emphasised that participation in supplementary academic activities is not a requirement of the course. It is particularly recommended that, if possible, part-time students attend whichever of the Faculty’s advanced research seminars is most relevant to their programme of study. Likewise, part-time students will have less ready access to the library resources of Cambridge, though they have the same access and borrowing rights as full-time students. On the positive side, part-time students may find that they have longer to design their dissertation research proposal.
Choosing a College
As part of the application process, students may apply for membership of a specific College (although this part of the form may be left open: ‘open’ applications are distributed among Colleges by a function of the application system). In choosing a College, applicants for the part-time route might wish to consider the merits of Colleges which do, or do not, specialise in graduate students or mature students, and might also wish to enquire of particular Colleges as to whether they have many part-time graduate students. It should be emphasised that applicants who are offered a place at the University are not necessarily offered a place at their College of first choice.
Students from outside the United Kingdom who would require a Tier 4 visa in order to come to Cambridge to study should note that students proposing to study part-time are not eligible for Tier 4 visas. Only an offer of a place to study in the UK full-time can be grounds for a Tier 4 visa.
Students from the European Union are still able to travel freely to the UK without a visa, and are therefore eligible to apply for the part-time route in this MPhil.