Congratulations on your conditional offer of a place to study Philosophy at Oxford! We are so excited to welcome you to St John’s this autumn, and we have put together this page of resources to help you prepare for the start of your course.

Theology Joint Schools

If you hold an offer for Philosophy and Theology, you can find the Philosophy materials via the link below.

Theology Reading List

Depending on your course (Philosophy & Theology, or Theology & Religion), you will be required to take one or more of the following papers. Reading lists will be provided in due course, but a few sources are listed below to help get you acquainted with general topics in each area.

1101 Introduction to the Study of the Bible

Set texts for this paper will come from Genesis 15-17 and 22; and Luke 9, 15-16 and 22. Further information about this paper may be found here:

The Society of Biblical Literature links to a number of additional educational resources here, including open online courses; virtual museum resources; and other online sites for the study of the Bible:

1201 The Figure of Jesus through the Centuries

Suggested reading to get started:

  • Jaroslav Pelikan, Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture (Yale University Press, 1999)
  • The Blackwell Companion to Jesus, edited by Delbert Royce Burkett (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
  • The Cambridge Companion to Jesus, edited by Markus Bockmuehl (Cambridge University Press, 2001)

1301 Religion and Religions

Suggested reading to get started:

  • Anna Bigelow, Religions in the Modern World: Traditions and Transformations (Routledge, 2016)
  • Stephen Prothero, God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World (HarperOne, 2011)
  • The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, edited by John Hinnells (Routledge, 2010)

Language Resources

Additionally, depending on your course, you may be taking one of the following language papers. You may want to get a head start on your language study through engaging the following online resources:

Blogs, Podcasts, and Twitter accounts

Further content to explore from Oxford Theology faculty members includes the following:

Theology & Religion Faculty Blog:

Theology & Religion Faculty Podcast:

Videos from the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science & Religion:

HB & OT at Oxford Twitter Account: @hbot4ox

NT at Oxford Twitter Account: @nt4ox

Study skills for incoming undergraduates

As an Oxford student, you have many great opportunities ahead, but studying here can also be very challenging. To help you prepare for this, we have put together some resources that will help you develop your study skills before you start at Oxford, no matter your subject.

Starting at Oxford

Starting a course at Oxford can be very daunting, but there are many resources out there to help you succeed! Here are some useful guides from across the University that you might want to check out:

  • Study skills and training: Here you can find advice on academic good practice including avoiding plagiarism, managing your time, reading, note taking, referencing and revision.
  • Student life: It’s not all about academics at Oxford; here you can find out about the range of other opportunities available to you as a student, as well as tips on how to navigate student life with your workload. If you prefer podcasts, much of this information is available in that form here!
  • Managing the cost: Undergraduate students Helena, Joe and Dan, have teamed up with the University’s Undergraduate Admissions team to discuss the financial support available to students and how they manage the cost of studying at Oxford.

Useful contacts

If you have any questions that aren’t answered on this page, you can get in touch with the following people:

ContactQuestions they can answer
Admissions Office: Sarah JonesAnything to do with offers, visas, UCAS issues, reading lists and preparatory materials
Accommodation OfficeAccommodation, what to bring, insurance, electoral roll issues  
BursaryAll things financial
College OfficePractical arrangements, bank letters, etc.
Disability enquiries: Elaine EastgateAny issues relating to disability or special requirements