The Master of Philosophy provides an opportunity for advanced study across the full range of disciplines and with a strong focus on research.  Students can draw on the expertise of leading scholars from a wide range of subjects, which allows both for specialisation and for interdisciplinary approaches.


What is the MPhil?
The MPhil is designed for students who wish to study their subject interest at an advanced level for nine-months but also to enable those who wish to undertake further research at doctoral level to acquire the necessary skills and understanding.


Is it for you?
If you would like to further your understanding in a particular subject area of theological studies and have a research project in mind, then the MPhil might be for you.  Students who successfully complete the MPhil tend to be independent and self-motivated.  The MPhil is good preparation for PhD study.  It is also suitable for people who want to study a particular subject with in-depth reading and research.


Time commitment
The University of Cambridge MPhil is a nine-month Masters course.  It is not possible to take the MPhil part-time. Teaching is by two termly modules (seminar courses) and by one exercise. Each module shall normally be taught by at least four seminars of two hours duration in one term.

The time commitment for University of Cambridge teaching is:

  • 12-16 hours a term (for two terms) of seminars and classes
  • Four hours of one to one supervision for the thesis
  • Two hours of one to one supervision for each essay

The MPhil through Anglia Ruskin University is normally a one to two year course when taken full time or two to four years as a part-time course.  The time commitment is approximately six hours for thesis supervision.  The Anglia Ruskin course does not involve additional seminars, essays, or projects.


You might choose the University of Cambridge:

  • If you have the requisite qualifications (see below) to make a good application for a very selective MPhil programme.
  • If you meet the prerequisites for your specific area of interest or research.
  • If you are preparing your application and dissertation proposal six to nine months ahead of the *application deadline (longer for international students).
  • If you plan to be resident in Cambridge and can devote yourself to an intense full-time course.
  • If you are preparing for future doctoral studies.
  • If your research is in areas that fall within the specialties of the Faculty teaching officers. The general areas are:
    • Ancient, Medieval and Modern Judaism
    • Patristics
    • History of Christianity (Reformation and late Patristic periods)
    • Christian Systematic Theology
    • Biblical Studies (advanced knowledge of Hebrew or Greek required)
    • Philosophy of Religion and Ethics
    • Religion and Natural Sciences
    • Religion and Social Sciences
    • Study of World Religions (with special reference to Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism)
    • Study of World Christianities (with special reference to African Christianities)

You may find it helpful to read the Faculty of Divinity webpages to find out the specific research and supervision interests of the Faculty Teaching Officers.

*Although the official deadline for MPhil applications is in May of each year, you must apply before the end of previous November for funding consideration.  Most MPhil places are normally allocated before February.

You might choose Anglia Ruskin University:

  • If you have the requisite qualifications.
  • If you are preparing you application and dissertation proposal at least 4 months ahead of the application deadline.
  • If, as a full-time student, you need flexibility to study whilst maintaining work and/or family commitments.
  • If you need a part-time MPhil course.
  • If the purpose of further study is to enhance your ministry or preparation for doctoral study.
  • If the purpose of MPhil study is to benefit the Church (or related organisations) or to enhance your own development.
  • If your area of research falls within the broad range of specialties of the Cambridge Theological Federation associated staff. These include:
    • Old Testament
    • New Testament
    • Systematic Theology
    • Christian Doctrine
    • Biblical Theology
    • Patristics
    • Philosophical Theology
    • Reformed Studies (theology or history)
    • Anglican Studies (theology or history)
    • Methodist Studies (theology or history)
    • Church History
    • Public Theology
    • World Christianities
    • Interfaith studies
    • Religion and Migration
    • Theology and Arts


What is the assessment for receiving the MPhil?

University of Cambridge

  • A thesis of between 15,000 and 20,000 words; AND
  • Two essays of not more than 5,000 words; AND
  • One of the following: a three-hour language examination; an exercise; or an alternative exercise within your chosen subject area if one has not already been offered.

 Anglia Ruskin University

  • A thesis of not more than 40,000 words


What qualifications do I need to apply?

University of Cambridge

  • A 1st class or 2.1 honours degree with marks of at least 67% or a GPA of at least 3.8; or performance at an equivalent level in an honours degree.
  • Either English as a first language or demonstrating a proficiency of IELTS 7.5

Anglia Ruskin University

  • A BA (Hons) in theology with overall ranking of at least 2.1 or the equivalent.
  • Either English as a first language or an IELTS score of at least 6.5.


Further information

There is further detailed information about the MPhil, including costs, on the University of Cambridge website and the Faculty of Divinity website.

The Postgraduate team within the Cambridge Theological Federation oversees the Anglia Ruskin University MPhil. For more information about this award please see


Fees & Costs
For further information on fees and costs involved CLICK HERE


How to apply
For advice about whether this course might suit you and how to apply complete our Information and Enquiry form.