Cambridge has an excellent track record in Philosophy. Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein once worked here, as did G E Moore and Frank Ramsey. Today, the Philosophy faculty is widely respected for the high quality of its research, and the low ratio between students and teachers guarantees that each student will get excellent training in developing his or her philosophical skills.
The Philosophy students at St Edmund’s are either mature undergraduate (over 21) or affiliated students. Our students come from many different countries and cultures. The Philosophy students are looked after by Director of Studies Dr Jeff Phillips.
Philosophy is the study of fundamental problems about the nature of knowledge and reality, and about our moral and political ideas. In universities it is studied in a way which lays considerable emphasis on very precise and careful argument. Although undergraduates in Cambridge read a wide range of philosophical authors, the main aim of the course is not to impart information about which author said what. Rather the aim is that students acquire the kind of skill in reasoning which will enable them to tackle problems of a philosophical character and to think intelligently about abstract questions generally.
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.
There is further information about the course on the University and Faculty webpages.
Applications from mature students taking A levels or Access courses are welcome. There are no specific subject requirements.
All applicants for the Philsophy Tripos at St Edmund’s will be required to take an at interview admissions test. Further information about this will be provided.
Please note that your performance in the assessment at interview will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.