Date:July 06, 2016

Theology – Before you Apply

Studying theology today allows you to bridge divide between modernity and ancient periods. The course engages with a wide variety of disciplines from the perspectives of history, practice and thought of the major world religions of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.


When applying to Oxbridge, you will have to complete a UCAS form before the October 15th deadline. Candidates are only allowed to apply to one of Oxford or Cambridge, and they can choose to apply to a particular college, or make an open application. As part of the UCAS form, you will have to write a 4000 character personal statement, and a teacher will have to provide a reference.

The UCAS code for undergraduate Theology at Cambridge and Oxford is V600 BA/TRS.

The institution code for Cambridge is CAM C05 and for Oxford is O33. Applicants may only apply for Oxford or Cambridge, but not both.  It is usual to stipulate a choice of college in the UCAS application, although both universities allow you to make an ‘open’ application via that university’s central admissions office which will then allocate you to a particular.  Those wishing to make and open application should enter a ‘9’ in the campus choice box on their UCAS form.

Cambridge Undergraduate Course requirements:

There are no absolute requirements for subjects at AS/A-Level but most candidates will have demonstrated an interest in history, Religious studies, English, Philosophy and related A-levels. These subjects also help demonstrate an ability for clear, logical analysis.

Typical offers require
A Level:
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level

Candidates may be asked to submit a school essay before the interview.

Admissions Testing:

The Theology Admissions Assessment (TAA) is an admissions exam created by the University of Cambridge’s admissions testing service in place since 2016. Each candidate applying to read Theology will be required to sit this exam in early November. The aim of this exam is to assist the admissions tutors in selecting the most capable applicants, where so many candidates have the required A-level scores. It helps to differentiate candidates particularly in the domains of critical thinking, reasoning and writing skills.

The exam is in two sections; section 1 is an assessment of candidates’ reading skills, including their ability to read critically, understand main ideas in texts, analyse detail and grasp implicit meaning, and is in multiple-choice format. In Section 2, candidates will read two short extracts and be required to give a written response to one extract only. Each extract will be accompanied by three questions, focusing on different aspects of the text. No prior knowledge of any particular religion will be assumed. Scores will be used together with the other elements of a candidate’s application to invite candidates to interview, as well after interview in some cases, to ensure places are awarded to candidates who will excel in this challenging course.

Oxford Undergraduate Course requirements:

A-levels: AAA

Advanced Highers: AA/AAB

IB: 38–40 including core points

Common questions regarding the Oxford and Cambridge Theology Courses:

Is there a difference between Oxford and Cambridge?

How do I know I’m clever enough for such an academic degree?

What are tutors looking for?

Do I have to be hoping for a career in academia in order to apply?

Mentors will be answering these and any other questions at Schools’ Interview Preparation Days or during Private tuition. Alternatively, read some of our blog entries from Oxbridge Humanities or send us an email at and we will try to help you out as best we can.