Application

 Cambridge

 Corpus Christi

 Theology & Religious Studies

 2007

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 FE College

 yes (10 A*,4 A)

A-levels

(A at AS (286 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (264 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (293 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (280 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

(A at AS (274 UMS); predicted A; gained A at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA, excluding Government and Politics

yes

yes

yes

 offer met

Decisions about the application

There are obviously many attractions; the world class teaching and facilities, the stunning architecture and inspiring learning environment, the prestige, the unique supervision system, the collegeiate system, etc

I prefered the course at Cambridge as it was more wide ranging; it had the ‘religious studies’ dimension to theology, allowing for the study of religion as a social and cultural phenomenom.

Theology is very multi-faceted; you essentially are studying history, literature, philosophy, sociology and linguistics all in one discipline. Because of its profound nature, theology arguably trancends any other realm of enquiry.

I liked corpus because it was small, old and central, and took on average three theologians a year (most colleges only take one or two)

Preparation

yes

The help wasn’t extensive, but I got a couple of practice interviews when I asked for them. Nothing like the real thing of course, but good practice anyway.

read very widely, and use your personal statement as a vehicle for controlling the interview; mention only topics you would be able to discuss intelligently.

Interview

no

yes

After much deliberation I sent my AS RS coursework.

no

I had an unexpected college test, which basically involved some language excercises and critical thinking like questions.

I had three; two at corpus, one at caius. The one with my DoS at Corpus was a bit of an ordeal, and a bit bizarre. I came out of it and felt like crying; they made me feel like I had done badly, and I knew I could have answered a lot of the questions better.(Though in fairness, to other questions I still can’t think of an answer). The other two were find (the one at Caius even enjoyable).

The first one I was was given a bizarre passage from Exodus to analyse, describing how to make a priestly garment with the appropriate number of tassles and embroided pomegranetes(I know, bizarre. However, we then left the pre-interview reading matrial aside, and talked instead and very intensely, about the relationship
between religion and morality, which continued until the end of the interview. With the general one at Corpus, questions largely revolved around the personal statement, which was good, because I felt I was on home ground.

The one at Caius focussed on Bonhoeffer (who’d I metioned in my personal statement, and his view on the importance of suffering; this linked nicely to the pre-interview reading material, which was about Nietzche’s view on asceticism in Christianity.

I can’t really remember; but nothing too smart; a blue knitted top, and tweed trousers I think. And a colourful scarf.

Impressions

I was very impressed by both.

The room I was in was quite small, didn’t have a sink or anything; but I think it was one of the cheapest rooms in corpus.

It was good enough; I obviously wasn’t expecting gourmet meals.

Obviously polite and friendly, and not all intimidating (apart from a moment in one of my interviews were both of them laughed at my answer; I hadn’t been making a joke…)

There weren’t very many there, but those who were were nice enough, one brought me a coke on the day of my interview.

Final stage

Really nervous, thought it could go either way, after that crappy first interview.

Opened the letter and saw two pages inside, which I knew had to be good news, as it wouldn’t take two pages to tell someone they’re rejected. Felt obviously very happy and very relieved.

Looking back

Yes definitely

Don’t act too phased by anything you’re asked in the interview; even if you think the question is compleetly impossible or bizarre; just do your best to engage with the debate; they’re looking at how you think, not how polished your answers are.