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Prospective Students

Human Social and Political Sciences

Typical Offer Conditions

IB:41 points, with 776 at Higher Level
Other:See the University's Entrance Requirements page

Subject Requirements


Written Work

Two school essays, at least one of which should preferably be related in some way to politics, international relations, sociology or anthropology.

Admissions Assessment

All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for HSPS at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college). Please see the Admissions Assessments page on the University website for further details.

General Comments

There is no 'typical' educational background for a student in HSPS. We do not require any particular subjects at school. However, you should be intellectually curious and you should enjoy reading and thinking about how states and societies are organised, how things could be different, and about why people, in different places and times, have done things the way they have.

It may sound obvious, but the two main challenges that students of HSPS face are reading closely a lot of long texts, and writing a lot of essays. The most useful background is a love of reading and of writing. The only way to work out whether you are interested in these subjects is to read books about them. One very good way to improve your essay writing is to read essays, and to think about what you make of the argument, the evidence, and the style in which they are written. Print and online sources, such as Harpers magazine, History Today, the London Review of Books (LRB), TheNew Yorker and the New York Review of Books all contain beautifully written essays on relevant subjects and from diverse perspectives.


Miss Vicky Mills
Admissions Officer
Trinity Hall
Trinity Lane
Cambridge CB2 1TJ

t: +44 1223 332535

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