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Philosophy (Joint Honours)

Oriel’s philosophy tutors between them cover a broad range of specialist subjects. Our three tutorial fellows have a diverse and complementary range of research and teaching interests. Luca Castagioli is a specialist in ancient philosophy, who has a teaching interest in ethics. Oliver Pooley specialises in philosophy of physics and metaphysics. In addition to papers in the philosophy of physics and the philosophy of science, his teaching interests include logic and the philosophy of language. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra is a specialist in early modern philosophy and metaphysics. In addition to cover teaching in these areas, he also teaches introductory ethics and epistemology.

In addition to its tutorial fellows in philosophy, several other Oriel fellows work in closely allied subjects. The fellow in Politics, Teresa Bejan, is a political theory specialist, who teaches the theory of politics paper to philosophy students. The fellow in Theology, William Wood, has special expertise in the philosophy of religion, and regularly teaches the paper.

Oriel encourages applications for all of the following courses:

Further information is available on the linked course pages. The numbers in brackets indicate the numbers of places available for each course. We aim to admit four students a year for the science and philosophy courses (two of those four for physics and philosophy). At any one time, there are normally two students in college studying philosophy together with a modern language.

Although the subjects studied differ from course to course, almost all philosophy students at Oriel start by studying the same core curriculum: logic, and a selection of topics in metaphysics and epistemology, such as the mind–body problem, free will, knowledge, scepticism, and personal identity. This means that our philosophy students quickly get to know those on other courses who are also studying philosophy, and with whom they might share tutorials for optional papers later in their courses.

Each course enables students to explore the connections between philosophy and the other subjects they are studying. Some courses involve study of a bridging subject, such as the philosophy of physics, or the philosophy of religion. All philosophy courses involve a wide choice of optional subjects, which together cover most fields of philosophy. In Oriel we also encourage students with a particular interest in Philosophy to write a small thesis on a subject of their own choosing as part of the course.

The college has its own Philosophy Society, run by the students. The society meets at least once a term to listen to a talk by an invited philosopher, after which the students have the opportunity to question them about it. Oriel philosophy students working on theses have also presented their own work to the society.

Admission Criteria

The admissions criteria for each course involving philosophy can be found on the dedicated course page. For all courses, applicants invited to interview will be given a philosophy interview, or an interview with a philosophy component. At interview, we will not test whether you are already familiar with philosophical texts or arguments. Instead we are interested in your aptitude and potential for precise analytical thought, and in whether you enjoy abstract reasoning.


Faculty of Philosophy

Teaching Staff

Organising Tutor
Dr Luca Castagnoli

Stavros Niarchos Foundation Clarendon Fellow in Ancient Greek Philosophy | Tutor in Philosophy & Classics

Organising Tutor
Dr Oliver Pooley

Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy

Organising Tutor
Professor Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra

Colin Prestige Fellow & Tutor in Philosophy | Senior Tutor

Dr Emily Qureshi-Hurst

College Lecturer in Philosophy


Computer Science and Philosophy

Admission Criteria Candidates sit a written Mathematics test in schools before being shortlisted for interview. Conditional offers: usually A*AA at A-level (or equivalent), including Mathematics and Further Mathematics if taken, with the A* in Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Computing/Computer Science.

Mathematics and Philosophy

Number of places 1 or 2 Admission Criteria A-levels or equivalent: A*A*A with the A*s in Mathematics and Further Mathematics (if taken).

Philosophy and Modern Languages

Number of places 1 or 2, taken from the Modern Languages quota of 9 Admission Criteria All candidates must take the Modern Languages Admissions Tests (MLAT), normally at their own school or college, in November, in addition to the written work specified on the university's website. Separate registration for this test is required and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they are registered for this test. Candidates will need to take two sections of the MLAT: one for their chosen language, and one for Philosophy. Conditional offers: AAA at A-level (or equivalent), with A grades required for any language to be studied (except ab initio languages).

Philosophy and Theology

Number of places 3 or 4 Admission Criteria Typical offer: AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Candidates are required to submit one piece of written work for Theology (no work is required for Philosophy). Applicants should also complete the Philosophy admissions test, which is usually taken in November each year.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Number of places 9 Admission Criteria Conditional offers: normally AAA at A-level (or equivalent). Applicants are not required to submit written work. All candidates must take the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) in early November, normally at their own schools or colleges. Separate registration for this test is required and prospective applicants should refer to the test website for further information.

Physics and Philosophy

Number of places 2 Admission Criteria Typical offers: A*AA at A-Level (or equivalent) including A*, A in Physics and Maths. Applying for Physics and Philosophy, rather than for Physics, will not reduce your chance of admission. Applicants for both degrees are considered as a gathered field and applicants to Oriel for Physics and Philosophy are automatically considered for a place to read straight Physics. All applicants must take the Physics Aptitude Test (PAT) in school or at a test centre in early November.  

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