Clare College Cambridge


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Cambridge University has an especially distinguished place in the history of 20th-century philosophy. It was here, in the early years of the century, that Bertrand Russell, G.E.Moore, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Frank Ramsey and others developed the analytic style of philosophy that is now prominent throughout the world. The Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge retains a strong commitment to this analytic style, though this does not preclude active study and teaching of the history of philosophy from Socrates to Nietzsche, and of such subjects as aesthetics and political philosophy.

Students who come to Cambridge to study philosophy take the Philosophy ‘Tripos’, or course. This is divided into three parts - Part IA, Part IB, and Part II - each of which takes a year; so a student can progress through all three during an undergraduate course. As with many Cambridge courses, it is also possible to take each part separately, and thus combine the study of philosophy with that of another subject.

More information is available from the Philosophy Department's website.

Studying Philosophy at Clare

We usually make between one and three offers in Philosophy each year. The Director of Studies ensures that students have supervisions in addition to the lectures and seminars organised by the Faculty.

Admissions Requirements

Offers for studying Philosophy at Clare are based on A-level (or equivalent qualifications). A typical offer would be A*AA at A-level or 7,7,6 (40+ overall) in the IB or the equivalent in other educational systems. No particular A-level subjects are required.

Written Assessment

All applicants who are selected for interview are required to take the university-wide at-interview written assessment for Philosophy. This assessment lasts for one hour and is intended to be an aptitude test; it is not a test of an applicant's knowledge of the subject. Further information about the written assessment is available here.


Applicants who are selected for interview will be interviewed in the second or third week of December. Each applicant will normally have two interviews.  

Fellows in Philosophy

Professor Tim Lewens Professor of Philosophy of Science. His research lies in the Philosophy of Biology and Medical Ethics.

Professor Tim Smiley Emeritus Professor of Philosophy.

Professor Douglas Hedley Professor of the Philosophy of Religion. His research interests are Neoplatonism, Idealism and Philosophy of Religion.

Reading Lists

Click here for a list of recommended books.

See Student Profile: Madeline Dixon