History and Politics
History and Politics at St John’s
St John’s is the ideal environment to study History and Politics. We offer a supportive atmosphere to our students and we encourage them to develop self-motivated and independent minds from the outset. The atmosphere and ethos of St John’s is that of a mutually enriching and collaborative conversation between equals, fostering firm friendship and intellectual camaraderie through supervisions, talks and social events.
The College’s longstanding strength in research is reflected in our current Fellowship, and this breadth of expertise leaves us exceptionally well placed to offer our students in-college teaching and the individual attention they deserve throughout all years of the Tripos.
Students have access to the exceptionally well-stocked St John’s library which offers 24 hour borrowing facilities and a pleasant working environment in one of the best stocked libraries in Cambridge. It has many of the books, journals and electronic resources that you will need to prepare for your weekly supervisions, and students can also benefit from an introduction to archival material with the Archivist.
Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading. The History Faculty is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study.
The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) is a medium-sized department with about 30 academics with a huge range of specialisms. It has particular research strengths in international politics, international history and international law, comparative politics and political thought.
Staff in the Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political ideas. This new degree balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the opportunity to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.
Further information regarding the Tripos structure can be found at the Faculty website here.
Our typical conditional offer for History and Politics is A*AA at A-Level, including A* in History where this has been taken. IB offers are usually for a total of 41-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level.
You will be asked on applying to submit two school essays. These can include timed work.
Applicants for History and Politics will need to sit the University's Pre-Interview Admissions Assessment, more information on which is available here.
Those invited for interview will have three interviews of 20-30 minutes each. The two academic interviews take the form of discussions and exchange of ideas, not interrogations. They are conducted on a friendly and informal manner and you should not feel daunted by the prospect. We are looking for evidence of strong potential to structure an argument, to use and discuss evidence effectively, to write fluently and precisely, and to think in original and coherent ways about the past and current affairs.
Applicants invited for interview in Cambridge are strongly encouraged to attend. Applicants invited to interview in Cambridge but unable to attend or unsuccessful in an application to be interviewed overseas may be considered on a case-by-case basis for remote interview instead.