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History and Politics at Sidney

History and Politics at Cambridge

History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting Honours degree which offers subjects from our highly-regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow students to explore the space between the two disciplines. Students will develop skills in analysing the operation of power across institutions and societies around the world, and explore how different forms of evidence can be used to understand the past and the present. They will be able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, US and World history, the history of political thought, international relations, and comparative politics.

Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading and are consistently top-ranked in research and teaching assessments. The History Faculty is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) ( is a rapidly growing department with particular research strengths in political thought, comparative politics, and international relations, and close links with the other social sciences.

Staff in the Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies have a wide range of shared interests in political history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political ideas. This 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.

History and Politics at Sidney

Sidney Sussex has particular strengths in both History and Politics, and students of the new joint degree will be fully integrated into both subject groups. Our History Fellowship is large and diverse, and our students benefit from one of the best libraries for History in all of Cambridge and from their shared involvement in the College's long-establised History Society.

Sidney also has a strong presence in Politics and International Relations, with three Fellows whose research interests include foreign policy analysis and the international politics of Europe, international security, international relations of African states amd the impact of nationalism on international relations.

For more information about the Fellows and teaching in History and Politics, please also visit our webpages for the History and Human, Social and Political Sciences Triposes.

Sidney’s History society: Confraternitas Historica

New historians at Sidney join a close-knit group of students, which not only studies together but also enjoys a great deal of less formal interaction at meetings of the College’s student-run History society, the Confraternitas Historica (known to all these days as ‘Confrat’). Every historian in the College, from first-year undergraduates to professors, is a member of Confrat. The society meets around eight times a year, inviting a range of distinguished speakers – from internationally-recognized historians and Sidney Fellows to journalists and politicians – to talk about their research and to join them for dinner afterwards. You can find more information about Confrat, past and present, at its own website .

Confrat is the oldest society of its kind in Cambridge, and provides a direct link with Sidney’s strong tradition in History. As far back as the seventeenth century, Sidney Sussex was providing King Charles II with persons to occupy the position of Historiographer Royal; while in most recent times, the College has housed scholars like Asa Briggs, John Brewer, David Thomson and Otto Smail. Many Sidney historians retain a close connection with the College – so much so that three of our current professors were History undergraduates at this very college.


Director of Studies (DoS) and Fellows

Dr Mette Eilstrup Sangiovanni

Dr Bernhard Fulda

All of our undergraduate students are allocated a Director of Studies and learn from specialists in particular areas of their subject. From time to time, individual teaching staff may be away on leave.

Typical Intake

1 - 2

Standard Entry Requirements

A*AA at A Level

41-42 points in the IB, with 776 at Higher Level

Please see the University website for standard entry requirements in other qualifications.

Please note that offers are set on an individual basis using all of the information available to us in context of the entire field of applicants.

No specific subjects are required. At Sidney, we expect applicants to have a variety of relevant examination qualifications, though not necessarily in both politics and history; applicants will be expected to demonstrate an interest in both subjects and will be assessed on their potential to succeed in them.

Admissions Process

Written work

Applicants should submit two examples of recent school essays, related to history and/or politics. We will send out more specific information about what is required after the UCAS deadline.

Admissions Assessments

Pre-interview assessment. Read more about the admissions assessment on the University website.


Candidates should normally expect two interviews, one in each subject. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow. There will be a passage to read before one of the interviews, and this will be discussed in the interview.

Find out more

For more information please visit the course website.

Skype interviews may be considered for international applicants on a case-by-case basis in certain subjects. If you wish to enquire further, please contact the Admissions Office (