monkeyman55
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Hello, my GCSEs weren’t amazing at all mostly due to the corona virus, and what not. I didn’t fail anything but let’s just say I didn’t get a plethora of 8/9’s like I’d want to. My GCSEs are probably just above average.

I’ve been looking into obtaining a philosophy degree as my time for university applications approaches. I’ve figured it’s my favourite a level (also study; English lit&lang, Economics) and I’m actually pretty happy with it.


Currently I’ve been getting A’s and A*’s in my assignments and what not. I was curious on my chances to getting into Cambridge, as I have been analysing this course and I think it would be a good fit. I was wondering would I even be considered due to my lack of 9’s, even if I do rock up with let’s say, A*A*A, or A*AA?
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PandaPancake0
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(Original post by monkeyman55)
Hello, my GCSEs weren’t amazing at all mostly due to the corona virus, and what not. I didn’t fail anything but let’s just say I didn’t get a plethora of 8/9’s like I’d want to. My GCSEs are probably just above average.

I’ve been looking into obtaining a philosophy degree as my time for university applications approaches. I’ve figured it’s my favourite a level (also study; English lit&lang, Economics) and I’m actually pretty happy with it.


Currently I’ve been getting A’s and A*’s in my assignments and what not. I was curious on my chances to getting into Cambridge, as I have been analysing this course and I think it would be a good fit. I was wondering would I even be considered due to my lack of 9’s, even if I do rock up with let’s say, A*A*A, or A*AA?
Are you considering theology, religion and philosophy of religion or a pure philosophy degree? The former is significantly less competitive and has a very high acceptance rate as far as Cambridge courses go, so that may work to your advantage. Regardless of course though, GCSEs are a relatively minor part of your overall application, and as you've demonstrated significant progress it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Ofc it's not ideal but I doubt it'll hinder you too much, and you'll definitely be considered with A*A*A.
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kidinthedark90
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Hi! My best friend applied for Philosophy and Theology @ Oxford and currently holds a place.

I know you're thinking of applying at Cambridge but I thought i'd let you know a few things about applying to Oxbridge.

First of all, it is important to find out if your 6th form/College would even support your application to Oxbridge as ordinarily there is a lot more admin required if you do, and if you don't get in it can also look bad on your 6th form/college so they want to be sending people to interviews who they believe will get a place. Usually 6th forms and colleges will have a threshold GCSE score that they require to consider you for Oxbridge, so it is important to check before you get your heart set on a course. For example, 2 6th forms in my area require at least 5 7s and above to consider Oxbridge.

Secondly, please look at some stats for your course to fully understand just how competitive it is, Oxbridge are world class universities and attract the best of the best, remember that you will be competing against many people with straight 9's and A*s at A-level, who do 3 essay based subjects as well as super curriculars, as well as many other things that may have been offered by their school as a result of their good GCSE results, such as Oxbridge tutors etc.

Thirdly, if you still want to apply, start now. Start slowly building up your bank of extra reading, super curriculars, taster lectures, etc and immerse yourself in your subject. If you make it to interview, the subject tutors want to see genuine passion and knowledge of a subject, especially if you are taking it for A-level, they need to see extra info that you know outside of your syllabus.

Good luck!!
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monkeyman55
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(Original post by PandaPancake0)
Are you considering theology, religion and philosophy of religion or a pure philosophy degree? The former is significantly less competitive and has a very high acceptance rate as far as Cambridge courses go, so that may work to your advantage. Regardless of course though, GCSEs are a relatively minor part of your overall application, and as you've demonstrated significant progress it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Ofc it's not ideal but I doubt it'll hinder you too much, and you'll definitely be considered with A*A*A.
Thank you. I’m more aiming towards philosophy itself as it’s more broad than theology. I think I could definitely consider that too, though I’d probably have to question my chances of employment, philosophy already doesn’t do me too much good😂😭
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monkeyman55
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(Original post by kidinthedark90)
Hi! My best friend applied for Philosophy and Theology @ Oxford and currently holds a place.

I know you're thinking of applying at Cambridge but I thought i'd let you know a few things about applying to Oxbridge.

First of all, it is important to find out if your 6th form/College would even support your application to Oxbridge as ordinarily there is a lot more admin required if you do, and if you don't get in it can also look bad on your 6th form/college so they want to be sending people to interviews who they believe will get a place. Usually 6th forms and colleges will have a threshold GCSE score that they require to consider you for Oxbridge, so it is important to check before you get your heart set on a course. For example, 2 6th forms in my area require at least 5 7s and above to consider Oxbridge.

Secondly, please look at some stats for your course to fully understand just how competitive it is, Oxbridge are world class universities and attract the best of the best, remember that you will be competing against many people with straight 9's and A*s at A-level, who do 3 essay based subjects as well as super curriculars, as well as many other things that may have been offered by their school as a result of their good GCSE results, such as Oxbridge tutors etc.

Thirdly, if you still want to apply, start now. Start slowly building up your bank of extra reading, super curriculars, taster lectures, etc and immerse yourself in your subject. If you make it to interview, the subject tutors want to see genuine passion and knowledge of a subject, especially if you are taking it for A-level, they need to see extra info that you know outside of your syllabus.

Good luck!!
Thank you for all this info, super direct and helpful. You bring up a very good point about the threshold, I’d meet it under those circumstances, but I’m not too sure, my sixth form is one of the tops so I’ll probably have to get in touch with them at some point about this, I really wasn’t aware of that☺️.


Tbh I think I’d provide a good amount of interest as I’ve literally stacked my house in books about philosophy and such, and I could probably ramble for days about it. I’ve done a few interns and work experiences, not related to philosophy but oh well. Thank you for your input, it was helpful getting your perspective.
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dking2001
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My daughter is currently studying Theology Religion and the Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge and having had recent experience of the application process I am hoping these comments may help:

1: You do not need 10A* or anything like to apply for Cambridge. A reasonable mix of A* and A grades (9/8/7s) with some Bs should be enough to ensure you are not rejected pre-interview. As a rule Cambridge are less concerned about GCSEs than Oxford. It is not a case of the more A*s you have in GCSE the greater your chance of receiving and offer. Every year there are applicants with less 'good' GCSEs who receive offers whilst candidates with all A*/As are rejected.

2: I would be very surprised if your school had a policy of not supporting Oxbridge candidates that will not be successful. Only about 20% of applicants actually end up with offers so to not support people who would not receive offers would be nonsensical.

3. Your A levels (predicted and actual) will be an important factor in securing an offer. A*AA is the MINIMUM grade requirements for a Humanities course and most successful candidates will have better than this.

4. Your view of TRPR as 'narrower' than straight Philosophy is inaccurate. Whilst its focus is different it is extremely broad and is not a straight Theology Degree. One element you would need to be aware of is that in TRPR there is a mandatory language requirement for Year 1 either Ancient Grrek, Ancient Hebrew, Arabic or Sanskrit (with most students taking Greek or Hebrew).

5. You super curricular reading will be of great benefit, however your internships and work experiences will not count for anything unless the are related to the subject you wish to study. Cambridge are solely interested in your academic suitability.

Good luck if you decide to apply.
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