Philosophy and Theology


Encouraging students to think rigorously about the fundamental questions of truth and human understanding


The Cambridge Pre-U Philosophy and Theology course consists of three papers. The first is an introductory paper that introduces students to the broad range of study within the academic fields of both philosophy and theology. Here students will address some of the foundational debates within philosophy and epistemology and will read the works of philosophers ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Descartes and Hume.

Papers two and three offer the chance to explore a particular area of study in greater depth. Student will examine philosophy of religion for paper two. Paper three will be an in-depth study of the philosophy of mind (from 2020). Each paper corresponds to two set texts which will give students the opportunity to study primary texts from a range of philosophers as well as seeing how the works of specific thinkers fit within the broader philosophical and theological landscape.

Philosophy of religion encompasses a study of arguments for the existence of God, discussions surrounding religious experience and an investigation of the relationship between religion and science. We will also consider issues of life and death and explore the problem of evil.

Philosophy of mind explores questions about ontology, nature, and relationship of the mind to the body. We will be investigating the mind-body problem, the problem of other minds, the problem of personal identity, and the problem of consciousness.


There are plenty of opportunities to extend your learning beyond the classroom. Students will have opportunities to hear visiting lecturers at the joint philosophy and theology societies throughout the year. Students are also encouraged to present their own ideas and research at these meetings and it is a relaxed and informal atmosphere to test out new arguments as well as revisit old ones.

Students are also encouraged to visit lectures at external venues such as the London Institute of Philosophy, the RSA and LSE. Some students also choose to enter essay prize competitions which often boost a university application. One of the highlights of the year is our Joint Philosophy and Theology Dinner with St Paul’s School. This is a convivial occasion where students in the VII and VIII can share their experiences and insights of studying philosophy and theology as well as form collaborative study groups. VII students also have the chance to attend HowTheLightGetIn– the world's largest philosophy and music festival.


A Pre-U certificate in philosophy and theology is a springboard into a myriad of higher education opportunities; its breadth equipping students with a wide range of adaptable skills which suit a variety of degree courses. In the past, students have continued to read philosophy or theology or combined their interest with another area of study such as mathematics, physics or French. Students also find a qualification in this area facilitates entry onto a degree programme such as law, psychology, sociology or anthropology. From these degree programmes students then go on to find themselves in an incredibly diverse range of careers.

‘Ideas are the source of all things’

Qualification : Pre-U

Board : CIE

Mode of Assessment : 100% examination