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Frequently Asked Questions

We hope our FAQ section will help to answer some of your most pressing questions about Sociology at Cambridge

What are we looking for in Sociology applicants?

We aim to admit 'the best and the brightest' from diverse backgrounds. You must have a genuine interest in Sociology and the academic ability and drive to do well in the course.

What grades do I need to apply?

Typical offers for the course are A*AA at A Level, or 40–42 points out of 45 with 776 or 777 at Higher Level in the International Baccalaureate. Equivalent qualifications are also considered – see the Undergraduate Study website for details, and contact a College Admissions Tutor for further advice

HSPS is rather broad, how do I write my Personal Statement?

Be honest in your Personal Statement- focus on the subject that you want to apply for and you can always use the SAQ to justify your choice of application.

The application requires the submission of two pieces of relevant writing- what classifies as relevant?

Read around the HSPS subjects that you are interested in and submit a good essay along these lines. It is often good to submit an essay that you have written at school, that has been marked by one of your teachers. Many of your teachers will be able to help you choose an appropriate essay to submit. You are likely to be asked about your essay at interview stage, so choose something that you are interested in.

Is there a pre-interview assessment?

All those applying to the University of Cambridge to study Human, Social and Political Sciences will be asked to sit a pre-interview written assessment which will take place in their school, college or local testing centre in November. The same assessment will be used regardless of the College to which you have applied. These assessments will examine your academic abilities, knowledge-base and potential, and will form part of our holistic admissions process.

What super-curricular activities relate to Sociology?

Read and do what you are interested in and there will likely be a link to Sociology somewhere- it is a very broad subject! Specific activities may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Charity work- particularly with people facing challenge or who are discriminated against
  • Travel – particularly to a developing country
  • Get involved in local politics
  • Watch informative documentaries or films
  • Attend talks about interesting subjects
  • Attend a University Masterclass

What type of work experience could I gain to apply to Sociology?

Most forms of work experience can be related to Sociology, however if you are looking for specific activities, some of the following could be interesting areas to gain experience in:

  • Work with your local MP
  • Volunteer at a Polling Station
  • Work with surveys
  • Volunteer for a charity
  • Volunteer for a lobby group

Can I combine Sociology with Psychology as they fall into different Tripos’?

Yes, it is possible to combine elements of both degrees through the papers you take, however you will not graduate with a joint honours degree. It is also possible, in some circumstances, to change your Tripos after your first year if you decide you would prefer to specialise in one area more than another.

How is the course structured?

In your first year you will take modules (papers) from Sociology, Social Anthropology and Politics and International Relations to give you a broad understanding of the subjects. You can then choose to undertake Sociology as a single degree or combined with Social Anthropology or Politics and International Relations, where you will take modules (read papers) depending on your degree track and interests.

How will I be supported during my studies?

Student support is something that Cambridge prides itself in. Although you will be well supported by your College, we aim to provide plenty of Departmental support for our students. As a student in a small department you will become an important member of our community. You will be supported through your studies by our (award winning) Lecturers and your College Tutors and our Administration Staff are always available to help with any further needs (such as considering deadline extensions under mitigating circumstances). We also have good links with the Disability Resource Centre and the University Counselling Service.

What will I study during my degree?

The Sociology course at Cambridge offers modules (papers) from a wide range of areas of research, led by experts investigating: Social Theory; Economic and Political Sociology; Media, Culture and New Technologies; Gender, Reproduction and Family Life and Public Health and Medicine. More information about the course can be found on our Undergraduate pages.

 

Further Questions

If you have any further questions about the application process, have a look at our applications page, the HSPS website or speak to the Admissions Tutor at the College you wish to apply to.

The Cambridge Open Days will be held on the 6th and 7th July 2017 where you can come and speak to a member of staff for more information about your application.

 

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