Philosophy and Theology








 Independent – non-selective

Independent (does not specify if it is non-selective or selective).

 yes (4 A*,2 A,4 B,1 C)


(NA at AS)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Other universities


Decisions about the application

Critical emphasis on subjects – studied as objective academic disciplines – not ideological.

Cantab. didn’t do the course

Oriel – nice buildings and long tradition in subjects
Regent’s Park (second choice)- small & friendly



A mock interview and last year’ aplicants’ comments.

Have a clear idea of what interests you about the subjects and how they relate to one another.




An essay in RS because it showed ability to research and write eloquently (so I thought!) and an English essay by contrast to show a shorter, more focussed piece.


One in philosophy – looked over past papers (available on website).

Short informal chat with tutors beforehand telling us what would happen, an interview in each subject at Oriel with passages to discuss and two tutors in each one. Regent’s – one interview for both subjects one tutor in each subject.

Is objectivity possible in ethics? What is fear? Analyse this piece of gospel. Why the subjects? Why Oxford? What philosophy particularly inerests you?

Corderoy (spelling?) trousers, checked shirt, green jumper, brown shoes – because it’s what I normally wear.


Oriel – began to dislike in the interview process – people seemed loud and sporty, some a bit arrogant
Regent’s Park – began to like it a lot – people were friendly nice small size – good theology section in library

stayed at Oriel
Room – big but dark: had to keep the light on all day – bed too small – nice big desk – small wash hand basin – shower (shared) was horrible: damp and mouldy in same room (more like cupboard) as toilet (also pretty nasty).


Nice and also healthy if you were living on it!

Nice, friendly, enthusiastic, helpful.

Mixed: some rather loud! others OK

Final stage

It said I hadn’t got a place – I wasn’t too upset because I had realised that some of the applictions proccess is governed by chance (eg. how many people apply that year) and I had been determined not to set my heart on going there, regognising that there are many other excellent universities and courses (eg. Durham, King’s Lonsdon) and thinking of it as an added bonus if I did get in.

Looking back

Probably yes, because I now know what to expect and could come across better at interview (display my enthusiasm more, possibly) and generally perform more to my own satisfaction, but it’s only Oxford’s name that I would re-apply for – Durham’s course is just as good.

Show yourself as you are at interview and if you’re the right person for the course, trust the system. IF you don’t get in the match between you and the university isn’t right somewhere and the fault doen’t (necessarily) lie in you!