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Girton has a longstanding interest in, and firm commitment to, the discipline of Philosophy.

Why choose Philosophy at Girton?

Girton has a longstanding interest in, and firm commitment to, the discipline of Philosophy. Two of the College’s former Mistresses were philosophers (Mary Warnock and EEC Jones). Today, in addition to two Post Doctoral Teaching Assistants in Philosophy, the College has both a Director of Studies and a Fellow in Philosophy, both of whom are very experienced.

Philosophy examines the most general questions about ourselves and our world. The rigorous intellectual approach needed to tackle such difficult questions makes it a highly technical subject, as students discover. Girton’s philosophy teachers aim to support students, who must be prepared to work hard, as they get to grips with this demanding subject. At the same time doing philosophy at Girton, with its small group of students and its four professional philosophers, is a friendly and sociable activity.

Undergraduate Philosophy

  • No. of students admitted per year: 2
  • Entry requirements: All entry requirements are A-Level standard or equivalent, unless otherwise stated. No specific subjects.
  • Typical offer: A*AA
  • Assessment arrangements: All Cambridge candidates are required to take a 60 minute written assessment. Candidates will sit the assessment on the day of interview. Further information about the written assessment can be found here 
  • Interview arrangements: Two interviews.

Philosophy undergraduate information

In studying the Cambridge Philosophy course you will develop your reasoning skills, learn to think clearly about abstract problems and you will be introduced to philosophical literature and to current philosophical concepts and debates. Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology are core elements, but in addition there is a wide choice of optional topics in second and especially third years, including papers borrowed from Divinity (Metaphysics), Classics (Greek & Roman Philosophy) or Natural Sciences (Experimental Psychology).

Philosophy postgraduate information

The Faculty of Philosophy offers an MPhil, an MLitt and a PhD degree at postgraduate level. Fifteen – twenty students are admitted for the MPhil, and 20-25 for the MLitt / PhD programmes.

Research and postgraduate students are admitted to the University by the Board of Graduate Studies. You must therefore apply centrally and not to the College, however you must be admitted to a College to be able to study at the University. To ensure that this is Girton you need to indicate this on your application form.

Career destinations

Apart for the option of continuing in academia, common destinations are computing, finance and law (after a Law Conversion course). Others follow traditional routes such as journalism and civil service.


Girton stories

Mark Hanson

History, 1985, Campaign Board Member

Mark Hanson is a Champion for the Class Gift initiative. He comments, ‘It has been inspiring to see Girton’s ambitious and thoughtful plans and meet some incredibly talented students at the college. The Class of ’85 bursary gift is a great way for our year to come together to support deserving students as part of Girton’s future plans’.