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St John's is the ideal environment to study history.  Under the College's grand and beautiful exterior lie an exceptional warmth and sense of community.  This is reflected in the firm friendships and intellectual camaraderie our historians rapidly form.  These are fostered not just through regular group teaching in college, but also through the talks and socials organised by the History Society, which regularly hosts visiting speakers, and whose annual dinner is the highlight of the year.

The College's longstanding strength in historical research is reflected in our current Fellowship, which includes leading historians of modern Britain and France, of Tudor and Stuart politics and society, of the Reformation and early modern Europe, of political thought, and of the modern and contemporary Middle East.

This breadth of expertise leaves us exceptionally well placed to offer a great deal of teaching in-house, giving our students the individual attention they deserve throughout all three years of the Tripos, as the Cambridge degree is known.  As well as supervising for Part I, as the first two years of your degree are known, we also teach several of the most popular options taught in Part II.  These include papers on population, development and environmental change; on the modern Middle East; on Franco-British relations; and on the uses of visual and material sources in early modern history.

What's more, St John's is lucky enough to have one of the best-stocked College libraries in Cambridge; accessible 24 hours a day, it has many of the books, journals and electronic resources you will need to prepare for your weekly supervisions - the cornerstone of the Cambridge teaching system.

We are also in a position to offer a variety of travel, book and computer grants.  This generous assistance allows our students to conduct research and to learn new languages, to buy computer equipment, to build up their personal libraries or to explore new places.  There are also a number of subject prizes for achievement in examinations, and those who achieve a First in their examinations will be named Scholars.

And, last but by no means least, we're particularly keen to encourage you to strengthen and expand your linguistic skills should you wish to do so, whether by brushing up on a language you've started learning at school, or by trying out a new one.  As well as providing support for study at the Cambridge University Language Centre, we also assist in organising one-to-one tuition in a number of languages.

We strive to make the study of history as enjoyable and rewarding as it can be and to bring the very best out of our students.  It's no surprise that many have achieved excellent results in recent years while distinguishing themselves by their participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, from sport to politics and music.  Our past students have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of fields, from journalism and media to the Bar, consultancy, the civil service and academia.

For more on studying History at Cambridge, click here Cambridge History Faculty.

UCAS Code: V100

Entry Requirements

We welcome applications from students of all academic backgrounds and school types.

No specific subjects are required,  but History is strongly desirable.

Our offers typically consist of the following:

A-level: A*AA (excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking)

IB: 42 with 7, 7, 6 at Higher Level

For other qualifications, see the University's Entrance Requirements.


Application / Interview Procedure

You will be asked on applying to submit two school essays, ideally written as part of your History course.  These can include timed work.

Pre-Interview Assessment

Applicants for History will need to sit the University's Pre-Interview Admissions Assessment, more information on which is available here.

Interviews

Those invited for interview will have three interviews of 20-30 minutes each.  The academic interviews are a discussion and an exchange of ideas, not interogations. They are conducted in a friendly and informal manner and you should not feel daunted by the prospect.  We are looking for evidence of strong potential to structure historical argument, to use and discuss historical evidence effectively, to write fluently and precisely and to think in original and coherent ways about the past.

No single aspect of the application process takes precedence and we will take into consideration all evidence of your academic potential in reaching our final decision.

Fergus Hamilton
Fergus is from Guildford, Surrey, and attended his local comprehensive sch ool, where he took A-levels in English Literature, French and History. He was attracted to Cambridge by the beautiful buildings and promise of a great academic environment. Having gained a place for deferred entry, he took a gap year, working before travelling to South East Asia and South America. He graduated in 2013 with...
I went to school in Colchester, Essex, where I took A-Levels in English Literature, Maths, Chemistry, Physics and General Studies. Seeing the effects of the Iraq war from a garrison town was a political wake-up call, and I changed away from the natural sciences, coming to Cambridge in 2005 to read Social and Political Sciences at Magdalene College. While studying for my undergraduate degree, I...
Benjamin Slingo
I grew up in Buckinghamshire and went to Bedford School, where I took A-Levels in History, Latin, English Literature, and Chemistry. I read for an undergraduate degree in History at Peterhouse, Cambridge before moving to St John's in 2011 for my MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History. I am now in the second year of my PhD, which will explore the political theory of the Jesuits and...
Adam Storring
Adam took A-levels in History, Latin and Politics before coming to St. John’s to read History in 2001. He graduated with a Double First in 2004, returning to St. John’s to do an MPhil in Historical Studies in 2006-7. After several years working mainly in the Civil Service, at the Department of Health and Department for Education, as well as some time doing development work abroad, he returned to...
Kenzie Bok
Kenzie grew up in Boston, USA, where she was very involved in local politics as a teenager.  As an undergraduate at Harvard, she interned at Obama campaign headquarters and the White House and served as student president of Harvard’s Institute of Politics.  But her academic passion was intellectual history, in which she wrote a prizewinning senior thesis.  She graduated from...
Aurora attended Biddenham Upper School in Bedford, and took A-Levels in History, English Literature and the Philosophy of Religion before coming to study History at St John’s in 2008. Graduating with a 2:1 in 2011, Aurora returned to Cambridge after a summer spent travelling in South-East Asia, to read for an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History. She is currently interning with an...
Andrew began his time at St John's in 2008, having attended King Edward's School, Birmingham. He chose to study history at Cambridge because of the reputation of the Faculty, and because of the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. As a keen orchestral player, he made the most of the musical opportunities around Cambridge, and he also represented the college in rugby and...
Originally from Great Malvern, Karl attended Hanley Castle High School and studied A Level History, German, Mathematics and Chemistry at Hanley Castle Sixth Form. While at St John’s he represented the University of Cambridge at archery. Karl graduated with a 2.1 in 2011 and his dissertation, The Nietzschean Roots of Enoch Powell’s Toryism, was nominated for an interfaculty and a national prize....
Originally from Germany, Felix completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Schule Schloss Salem before coming to St John's. Captaining the blues basketball team, and competing for the blues athletics team, he graduated from his undergraduate degree with a First. After brief stints in management consultancy in Germany and dishwashing in the Canadian Rockies, he returned to Cambridge,...
Sian Pooley is a graduate student at St John’s. She attended a state grammar school in north Lancashire before coming to study history at St John’s in 2002. Sian graduated from her undergraduate degree with a double Starred First in 2005, having achieved the highest result in her year in both Part I and Part II. She then continued to study at Cambridge, gaining a distinction in the MPhil in...
Jenny took a gap year before coming to St John’s, during which time she was based with a professional horse rider and competed internationally in the sport of Three-Day-Eventing. She continued riding throughout her degree and captained the University Equestrian team, as well as editing the student newspaper and playing college hockey. Having graduated with a Double First in 2010, she undertook a...
Originally from Stockport, Sarah studied for A Levels in Ancient History, English Literature, Philosophy and French at Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College, before coming to St John’s in 2006. Graduating with a 2:1 in 2009, she also read for an MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies at St John’s, gaining a Distinction. She is currently reading for a PhD at University of the West of England,...
Originally from Manchester, Tom attended the state school, Crompton House, where he completed A-Levels in English Literature, History, Biology and Chemistry. Gaining a first in History, he will be starting work at Nomura International in September 2009.'Enormous weekly reading lists and a lower emphasis on lectures can make studying History at Cambridge a fairly independent environment. That...
Prior to commencing study at Cambridge in 2005, Jennifer attended St. Helen’s School, Northwood where she took ‘A’ levels in History, Latin, Mathematics and Theatre Studies. She is about to embark on the very long and demanding road of training to be a barrister, commencing the CPE/GDL at City Law School in September 2008.'As a prospective Cambridge student and with no insider knowledge, I...
Anushka attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls in Hertfordshire, gaining A-Levels in History, English and Spanish before coming to study History at St John’s in 2005. She is now doing a Graduate Diploma in Law at City University in London with hopes of becoming a barrister.'With this independence also comes greater control over one’s own schedule and an opportunity to get more...
Anthony grew up in Oxford where he attended Magdalen College School, taking A-Levels in History, English Literature, Philosophy, and Media Studies, before coming to St. John’s in 2004. He is currently working for a publishing company doing editorial work.'Studying History at John’s is a fabulous experience, and the opportunities both in terms of study and extra-curricular activities are...
Giles Reid grew up in Edinburgh where he attended the Edinburgh Academy. He graduated from St John's in 2007 with a double first, and is continuing his studies at Harvard University, where he is the Joseph Hodges Choate Memorial Fellow.'The history tripos at Cambridge is both wonderful and unusual in that it allows you to do pretty much what you want pretty much most of the time. Over my...
Chris Barnes comes from London and went to Dulwich College where he took A levels in Economics, English Literature and History. 'I was unusual in being given my chance to come to John's through the pool system, having originally applied to Pembroke - in that respect I was also incredibly fortunate. Though nerve-wracking and involving another set of interviews in January the system of pooling...
Ruth Smith attended grammar school in Northern Ireland and took A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and History before coming to St John’s in 2003.'I arrived at St John’s full of enthusiasm for my subject, and was delighted throughout my three years to study a huge variety of topics. The Cambridge course is wonderful in allowing one to pursue any interest, and so as well as building on my...
Daisy Leitch graduated from St John’s in 2005 with a 2:1 in History. She comes from London, attending Godolphin and Latymer School for girls for GCSE and for sixth form Westminster School, where she took A-levels in Maths, History and English.'I studied history at St John’s taking three political thought papers and the Hobbes special subject; I graduated in 2005. Two years on, I’m now...
Greg attended a state grammar school in Buckinghamshire and spent a year working in London before coming to St John's in 2002. He is currently living in Tokyo, supported by a scholarship from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.'The sheer volume of opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, on offer to history undergraduates at St John's is almost overwhelming. The flexibility of a...
Rowland Manthorpe graduated from St John’s in 2005 with a first in History. He comes from London, where he attended St Paul’s School, taking A-Levels in Biology, History and English. 'Given the inevitable randomness of these things, I feel incredibly lucky that I ended up at St. John’s. It really is a community in the true sense of the word – at times insular and conservative, perhaps, but...
Laura studied A-Levels History, Politics and French at Hereford Sixth Form College before coming to St John's to read History in 2001. She graduated in 2004 and is now working in Management Consulting for Accenture in London.'What especially drew me to the Cambridge History Tripos was its diversity. In Part 1 I chose to study topics spanning a huge variety of time periods and geographies,...
Elizabeth went to St Paul's Girls' School in London before coming to study History at St John's in 1999. She graduated from Cambridge in 2002 and continued to study history on a Henry Fellowship at Yale University. She is now a graduate student in law at Somerville College, Oxford. 'After three years at Cambridge, marked by excessive acting, politicking and far too little history, I wasn’t...