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Typical offer: A*AA (or equivalent)

Required subjects: None

Useful subjects: Philosophy, Religious Studies, Mathematics, and other academic essay-based subjects

Number of students per year: Up to 2

Philosophy explores human thought, the basis of knowledge, the nature of reason, consciousness and cognition, as well as the foundations of value and political theory. The course has long and distinguished history, and offers a solid grounding in analytic philosophy, whilst allowing students to diversify within the subject if they wish. Its questions are intriguing and its study requires complex critical thinking, rigorous analysis, and consideration of new perspectives. 

Cambridge Philosophers go on to pursue a range of careers requiring analytical and critical skills, including business, computing, journalism, administration, and law.



Part IA introduces the fundamental topics of metaphysics and philosophy of mind, ethics and political philosophy, philosophy of language and logic, together with detailed work on prescribed texts. All papers are compulsory.

 In Part IB all candidates take a compulsory paper, ‘Knowledge, Language and World’. Students also take three further papers from a list comprising experimental psychology, ethics, Greek and Roman philosophy, early modern philosophy, history of analytic philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics of science, political philosophy, aesthetics and philosophy of art.

In Part II, the subjects covered are metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, European philosophy from Kant, philosophy in the long Middle Ages, philosophy of science, mathematical logic, philosophical logic, political philosophy, and Wittgenstein and his successors.

Part IB and Part II also contain a general paper.

First year examinations do not contribute to a student’s final grading. Second year comprises 30 per cent of the grade, while final year make up the remaining 70 per cent.

Further information can be found on the Faculty and University websites.  

Typical offers require

  • A Level: A*AA
  • IB: 42 points, with 776 in Higher Level

For other qualifications see the main entrance requirements pages on the University website. 

Subject Requirements


Required: none

Highly recommended: Philosophy, Religious Studies, Mathematics and other academic essay-based subjects


Required: none

Highly recommended: Philosophy, other academic essay-based subjects, Mathematics (we strongly recommend Analysis and Approaches for the most competitive application, however Applications and Interpretations will also be considered).

Mature students and those taking other qualifications are encouraged to contact our Admissions Office (at to discuss the entry requirements for their qualifications.

Written work

There is no written work required for this subject.


Applicants shortlisted for interview are required to sit a Cambridge College registered admissions assessment. Applicants do not need to register themselves for this assessment in advance. 


Interviews allow us to distinguish amongst excellent applicants by assessing the skills and aptitudes essential for successful study in higher education, and your academic qualities – essentially, how do you think?

For 2024 entry, interviews for all applicants to Lucy Cavendish will take place virtually. The aims and content will still be the same as in-person interviews. You can read more about Lucy Cavendish's online interviews here and you can read the University's information on interviews here.

Each candidate typically has two interviews, lasting between twenty and thirty minutes. In some cases, you will be given preparatory material beforehand.

In a few subjects, you will be interviewed by more than one College or in the Faculty. You will be notified of this in your interview invitation.

Supracurricular exploration is an important way to expand your knowledge of your subject, explore your interests and develop your skills. Our new webpage contains guidance on supracurricular exploration and a comprehensive source of resources, grouped according to undergraduate degrees at Cambridge. 

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Attend an open day or event

Our Events and Open Days page advertises regular events held by Lucy Cavendish College. If you can, join us for a College Open Day to discuss your application with a member of our admissions team.