Dr Richard C Jennings
Director of Studies
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, the College has both a Director of Studies and a Bye-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 access to professional philosophers, is a friendly and sociable activity.
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).
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.
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.