Master of Studies in Philosophical Theology

Differences from 2016/17 to 2023/24

Candidates shall be required:

  • (a) to present themselves for a written examination in two of the papers prescribed below, the selection to depend on their previous qualifications;

  • (b) to present ana essaydissertation of not more than 15,000 words on a topic in philosophical theology to be approved by the Joint Standing CommittteeCommittee for Graduate Studies in Philosophical Theology;

  • (c) Each candidate should be prepared to present themselvesthemselvs for aan oral (viva voce) examination. This may include discussion of both the examination papers and pre-submitted work. Please refer to the PGT Conventions for more information about viva voce examination unless individually dispensed by the examiners (no candidate will be failed without a viva)examinations.


Candidates must make a written application for approval of the essay topic, to reach the Joint Standing Committee for Graduate Studies in Philosophical Theology not later than Monday of noughth week in Hilary Term. In cases where there is some uncertainty about the acceptability of the proposal, candidates are advised to submit their applications earlier if possible. All applications should be accompanied by a recommendation from the candidate’s supervisor. Two copies of theThe dissertation must be sentuploaded to the ChairUniversity ofapproved Examinersonline forassessment the M.St in Philosophical Theology, c/o the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxfordplatform by the Friday of the eighth week inof Trinity Term of the year in which the examinations are taken. The dissertation must be accompanied by a signed statement by the candidate that the essay is the candidate’s own work, except where otherwise indicated. The candidate’s name should not appear on the dissertation itself.

Written examinations will be set in the tenth or eleventh week of Trinity Term.

The examiners may award a distinction to candidates who have performed with special merit in the whole examination.

  • 1. Philosophy of Religion

    AsThe specifiedexamination will contain questions on arguments for Partand Bagainst the existence of theGod, B.Phil.problems inrelated Seevarious alsosupposed regulationsdivine forattributes Paperand 1perhaps problems of thereligious M.Phil.language, inon Philosophicalother Theologystandard issues in the ‘Course Regulations for the M.Phil. in Philosophical Theology' sectionphilosophy of thereligion, courseand handbookoccasionally on some Christian doctrines. 

  • 2. History of Philosophical Theology

    The paper will contain questions on philosophical influences on theology during the patristic period, the early medieval period, and the period 1760-1860. Candidates are required to show knowledge of two of the three periods and, within each of those two periods, of some of the principal relevant writings, viz. for the patristic period of works of Origen and Augustine, for the early medieval period of works of Anselm and Aquinas, and for the period 1760-1860 of works of Kant, Kierkegaard, and Schleiermacher. Study of texts in the original languages will not be required. Lectures, tutorials etc.: as for Paper 3 of the M.Phil. in Philosophical Theology.

  • 3. Either The Development of Christian Doctrine to ADad 787  451

  • orOr Theology in Western Europe from Gabriel Biel to Jacob Arminus Arminius

    SeeCandidates regulationswill forbe Paperexpected 1to ofwrite Sectionessays Aon anddifferent Papertopics, 1showing of Section Cknowledge of the main lines of development of Christian Doctrine option of the M.Phil. inor Theology in theWestern 'CourseEurope Regulationsfrom forGabriel Biel to Arminius, and discussing particular developments in relation to the Mhistorical conditions which influenced them.Phil. in Theology' section of the course handbook.