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Student experiences

Find out about St John's from some of the people who know it best - our students! Each article is related to a subject, but they all contain useful perspectives on College life as a whole.

I studied Philosophy, Maths and History at A Level and did not find it easy to decide what to study at University. In fact, I began my time at St John's studying Philosophy, but quickly realised that HSPS suited me better, with its greater historical breadth and variety of courses. I did not once regret the move.

The great strength of HSPS is the range of disciplines you encounter in three years. You are able to ask intuitive and interesting...

Russell Ó Ríagáin is a third-year PhD student in Archaeology.  Prior to coming to St John's, he studied for an MPhil in Archaeological Research at St Catharine's, a HDip in Sociology at University College Dublin and a BA in Archaeology and History at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has worked as a contract archaeologist in addition to working for the Archaeological Survey of Ireland and on the administrative side of archaeology...

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 was particularly interested in the papers in the history of...

Hilary Hurd

A native Virginian, I did not know what to expect when I arrived in Cambridge last September to pursue a one-year MPhil in International Relations and Politics. While I had of course seen many beautiful photographs of Cambridge and been long impressed by the prestige of its revered alumni, I had little to no personal connection with the University. Given its long history and the formidable grandeur of its buildings, I imagined Cambridge would be a...

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 their interlocutors in the late sixteenth and early...