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Cambridge University Students' Union
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Cambridge CB2 1RX
Theology and Religious Studies
Theology is the oldest subject at Cambridge, yet our ‘Faculty of Divinity’ is a thoroughly modern institution. World-renowned, forward-looking and friendly, the Faculty has top class academics and inspirational teachers. Studying here offers intellectual opportunities unparalleled elsewhere and the chance to make friends for life.
The varied nature of the course allows you to approach the subject in breadth or depth. You choose from a range of modules so you can focus on areas which particularly fascinate you be it history, philosophy, sociology or christology. Studying a scriptural language (compulsory in the first year), though daunting initially, lets you explore the various layers of meaning in your set texts and is also useful for understanding the origins of scriptural religion. Though at first centred on Christianity, in the second year you can branch out and look at Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism in more depth.
“ Religious belief is certainly not a prerequisite for the course ”
The Faculty of Divinity is centrally located on the Sidgwick Site, ten minutes walk from town and near to most Colleges. Its well-appointed library is stocked with most of the books you need, though sometimes it’s necessary to visit the imposing University Library in search of an obscure journal on your reading list. For a snack between lectures, try the Buttery whilst the Anchor and the Granta pubs are best for a post-supervision drink.
The timetable is relatively unstructured, with approximately four lectures and five classes a week. Two to three written essays a fortnight is normal, with a supervision to discuss each one. Good time management is essential for juggling reading, essay writing and language work. You will become no stranger to essay crises and perilous cycle rides to meet your deadline. But do not fear! The flexibility of the workload is fantastic for arranging your work around your social life and other commitments. Many assume that theologians have chosen their subject as a vocation. This is not true of most undergraduates. Religious belief is certainly not a prerequisite for, nor does it preclude you from, the subject and teaching is not approached from a specific faith perspective. In fact, the eclectic mix of students and lecturers allows for dialogue, mutual respect and the chance to approach issues from wide-ranging view points.
Best thing? The library has almost every book you'll ever need
Theology at Cambridge equips you with many skills to prepare you for a diverse and rewarding range of careers. If you want an interesting, modern approach to the study of religion you‘ll have an amazing time!
Worst thing? It only has one copy of every book you'll ever need