skip to content

Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Sidney

Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Cambridge

Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) combines Politics, International Relations, Sociology and Social Anthropology. It allows students to take a range of interrelated subjects in the first year, before focusing on one or two main areas of interest in the second and third years. The flexibility of the Tripos means that students can explore several areas (some of which may be new to them) in the first year before deciding which topic to pursue as their main focus. It also encourages students to consider each individual subject in an interdisciplinary context.

Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Sidney

Hear from a student...

  No matter where you come from or what you did in your past life, HSPS and Sidney attract such a diverse range of people, you’ll fit right in. HSPS is a really great course, you’ll find it gives you loads of different perspectives on a huge range of topics yet you will have good enough choice on which essays to do that you will be able to focus on the areas you enjoy.

As for me and my own experience: despite being completely obsessed with politics, and not knowing what social anthropology was before I started the course, I found the broadness of HSPS hugely enjoyable and refreshing and I am now doing topics in second year I didn’t know I would enjoy so much. I would definitely advise you to embrace the unfamiliar nature of the course and pick subjects that really interest you despite the fact they might seem unrelated and new.

Whatever your interests, you will find there is a wide range of clubs, societies, projects for you to get involved in outside of your course. I would really recommend you become a yes person for a few weeks, say yes to every opportunity you are offered. Despite time pressures and work deadlines it iOli Newnam, HSPS undergraduate at Sidneys so crucial to take your mind of work and it really helps, both in terms of enjoyment and making your time more productive. Looking back on first year I wish I had been more involved in extracurricular activates, whatever you want to do, just go for it.

Sidney is a really lovely college, with a great central location, a fantastic bar, and a generally wonderful and welcoming atmosphere.


   Oli Newnam, Sidney HSPS undergraduate

Further Reading

The faculty has provided a preparatory reading list which you may find useful, but we will not expect you to have read all of these books before your interviews. Instead, you should see this list as a starting point for your own exploration of the topics that particularly interest you.


Director of Studies (DoS)

Dr Robbie Duschinsky (Fellow)

Dr Mette Eilstrup Sangiovanni (Fellow)

Dr Sheila Kohring

Professor James Mayall (Fellow)

Dr Rupert Stasch (Fellow)


Dr Janice Stargardt

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

4 - 6

Standard Entry Requirements

A*AA at A Level, or 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 preferred. HSPS is a broad course, and a range of subjects can provide a good background, from Mathematics to social sciences (e.g. Psychology, Politics, Geography) to arts (e.g. English, History, modern languages).

Admissions Process

Written work

Two essays (on relevant subjects, where possible). 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.


Two interviews, which may cover the breadth of the course but will be particularly focused on the HSPS tracks that you wish to study. There will be a passage to study before one interview.

Find out more

HSPS course website

University website HSPS course page

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 (