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Ella

Ella

Ella

"Although I had never studied sociology or anthropology before, I went to open days and example lectures and felt really excited by how the ideas challenged elements of social life that we assume to be natural or universal. This is what most attracted me to sociology- almost everything I studied felt relevant to my everyday life."


I was immediately excited by the HSPS course because I knew it would enable me to try lots of different disciplines, with the potential of specialising in whatever I subject found most interesting. At school I had done a slightly unusual mixture of A-levels and was never completely sure what I wanted to do at university.

Although I had never studied sociology or anthropology before, I went to open days and example lectures and felt really excited by how the ideas challenged elements of social life that we assume to be natural or universal. This is what most attracted me to sociology- almost everything I studied felt relevant to my everyday life. I frequently find that what we cover on the course comes up in conversations with friends and family, and I really think that as a sociologist I have become much more aware of how I interact with others and with the world around me.

Another element of sociology that I really enjoy is the flexibility of the course. You have a lot of control over how you want to structure your work; whether to take coursework modules or exams, if you want to take certain lecture series over others – I already feel that I have found my academic niche and hope that I can keep specialising past degree level.

I think the application process will always seem scary and intimidating, but although coming up for interview was incredibly nerve-racking, I actually really enjoyed my interview. They are structured much like supervisions, and you are encouraged to apply knowledge and work through problems that you probably won’t have seen before.

I also had an exam as part of the same process, and the best advice I can give in terms of preparation is not to cram random information (there is not much you can do) but to read through any current news stories that interest you, and make sure you feel confident with everything you have mentioned in your personal statement. Although you can never predict what you will be asked, asking family, friends or teachers to give you mock interviews may help get you into the mind-set and make you feel calmer on the day.

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The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.

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Dr Mónica Moreno-Figueroa, Pilkington Teaching Prize Winner and Senior Lecturer in Sociology, explains why it is important to study Sociology and how she helps her students to engage with the course at Cambridge.

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