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Celebrating Success Series: Moana Graham

1st October 2018

This is the fourth article in our 2018 news series celebrating the high performance of Pembroke undergraduate students and recent alumni in their examinations.

Moana Graham (Theology and Religion, 2017) recently performed very highly in her first year exams. We caught up with her to congratulate her on this recent success and to ask about her favourite aspects of the course so far and her tips for prospective applicants…

As a second year studying Theology and Religion, I have found the rich variety within the course surprising and highly interesting. There is a lot of scope within the course to develop your own interests and learn about different religions and cultures. I particularly enjoyed studying Qur'anic Arabic as part of my Prelims course. Although it was difficult to grasp the basics, once these had been established, it was amazing to be able to appreciate some of the complexity and beauty of the language.

This summer I was able to access some funding from the Pembroke Tutorial Fund to complete a week-long intensive Modern Standard Arabic course at SOAS, University of London. This enabled me to put my knowledge of Classical Arabic to good use and learn some conversational Arabic. It was also a great opportunity to meet lots of new people with a range of different experiences. This year, I'm looking forward to continuing my studies, with subjects ranging from the narrative setting of the Hebrew Bible, to contemporary debates on medical and sexual ethics. 

I would really recommend considering an application for the Theology and Religion course. As well as the language option, the course combines literature, history, art and more to tackle questions about religion. Because of the range of subjects and approaches studied, it is a good idea to read as much as you can! Podcasts can also be a great way of getting an introduction to the topics that you will study in your first year. Learning the alphabet of the language you will be studying would also really help during the first couple of weeks as you are trying to get the hang of all things Oxford.