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Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion (Tripos)

Course Description

The Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion (Tripos) is an undergraduate level degree offered by the University of Cambridge. It allows students to explore the core areas of Biblical Studies, Christian Doctrine and Church History in considerable depth, while providing opportunities to examine theoretical and philosophical issues and the comparative study of a range of religious traditions. Affiliated students are permitted to complete the course in two years (Part IIA and Part IIB). The course is designed to provide high calibre students with a broad and extensive theological education which is informed by current developments in scholarship and research.

Further information about this award is available from the Divinity Faculty.

Entrance Requirements

A candidate for Tripos must be matriculated as a member of one of the Cambridge Colleges. Those studying for Tripos remain resident at Westcott during the course of their degree programme. To gain admission as an affiliated student, candidates must be graduates with a very good 2:1 (or above) in their first degree. To secure funding from Ministry, ordinands must be under 32 or must have secured a discretionary award from the Candidates’ Panel as a Potential Theological Educator. After Tripos, ordinands must complete a third year of formation (including pastoral studies and placements). Candidates for whom English is a second language must be able to meet English language requirements as set by the Cambridge University Admissions Office.

Teaching and Learning

One of the greatest strengths of the Tripos is its system of individual supervision: much of the work will involve the preparation of a weekly essay which the student will discuss one-to-one with a specialist. There are also lectures and seminars which provide the broad framework for your learning in each subject. Throughout the course, students are encouraged to undertake independent reading and study in order to consolidate what is being taught.


Assessment, which takes place at the end of each year, is typically by three-hour examination, submission of essays and/or a dissertation. Formative assessment is provided through the supervision system.


Hebrew and Greek are both taught within the Faculty of Divinity. Candidates must attempt one biblical language paper.

Integration with Training for Ministry

In addition to examined subjects, candidates for licensed ministry are required by the House to participate fully in the formational life of Westcott House, attend Ministry for Life and Short Intensive Courses, and complete contextual training through attachments and placements. Three-year ordinands will also complete another one-year academic course after the completion of Tripos, to be agreed with the Diocese and Ministry.