History

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.

Arsan book

Subject Video

Subject Video
A short introduction to the History, History and Politics, and History and Modern Languages courses at St John's College, filmed for St John's September Open Days 2020. Featuring our Director of Studies Miss Sylvana Tomaselli.

Course

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.

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

WollstonecraftAnd, 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.

 

Entry Details

UCAS Code: V100

Typical Entry Requirements

A Level: A*AA  (including A* in History if taken at A Level)

International Baccalaureate: 42 points, with 776 at Higher Level (including 7 in History if taken at Higher Level)

Essential Subjects: None

Desirable Subjects: A Level/IB Higher Level History

Submitted Work: Two school essays, ideally as part of your History course (these can include timed essays).

At-interview Assessment: Candidates are required to sit the History Admissions Assessment. Please see here for further details. 

 

 
Admissions Interviews

Those invited for interview will typically have two interviews of approximately 25 minutes each with Teaching Fellows in History. The interviews are a discussion and an exchange of ideas, not interrogations. 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.

The interviewers may use your submitted written work as a means to facilitate discussion with the candidates on their interests, and they will also be looking for signs of actual and potential ability to structure argument, to use evidence effectively, to write fluently and precisely and to think originally.

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.