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 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.
No particular subjects at A level (or equivalent) are required for the Philosophy course, however, a combination of arts and science subjects is considered useful. Studying Philosophy at A level does not in itself confer an advantage. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a capacity for clear-headed logical reasoning and abstract thought.
See also Entrance requirements for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.
Those applying in Philosophy will be asked to submit in advance of their interview two pieces of written work, produced in the course of their studies. There is a one-hour written exercise, held on the same day as the interviews. This is meant to assess your aptitude for the subject rather than to test your previous knowledge of it. Specifications for this can be found here.
At interview, engagement with and enthusiasm for the subject will be explored by the course Director of Studies and Admissions Tutor.