History at Sidney Sussex combines the friendly atmosphere that you might expect from one of the smaller colleges with an array of resources and expertise which you might rarely find in one of the largest.

Students benefit not only from our outstandingly wide-ranging concentration of History Fellows, but also from an exceptionally active History society, a well-stocked library and a number of funds available for travel, study and language learning alike.

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. Confrat is not only the oldest society of its kind in Cambridge, but also the oldest student-run history society anywhere in Europe.

Undergraduate Study

Cambridge has one of the largest and best history faculties in the world, and our course reflects the quality and breadth of interest of our teaching staff. The History degree gives you the opportunity to explore the past from many different angles – including political, economic, social and cultural history – and to explore the interaction between history and other disciplines, such as politics, anthropology and archaeology. There’s ample scope throughout to pursue personal interests and experiment with different historical approaches. Some paper options are shared with other courses, such as Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classics, and Politics and International Relations and specialist papers allow you to work with a variety of source materials as varied as Hollywood movies and Renaissance art.

Written work

Up to two historical essays. One essay will be discussed at interview.

Admissions assessment

Applicants invited to interview are required to take the History Admissions Assessment (see the History entry requirements on the University website for details of the HAA format).

Interviews

Two interviews. One will be spent discussing one or more historical sources, which might come from any given period and which the candidate will not be expected to have seen in advance, but which the candidate studies alone for 30 minutes before the interview begins. The other will revolve around your submitted written work. Both interviews may also ask questions relating to your personal statement.

Subject requirements
  • Learn about our standard entry requirements for History on the University website.
  • At Sidney, we expect applicants to be taking A-level or IB Higher Level History.
  • 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.
Beyond the syllabus

Are you excited to learn more about the subject by delving beyond the school syllabus? Explore our Beyond the syllabus resource hub to discover interesting websites, podcasts, videos, and books related to the subject you love!

Typical intake

6 - 10

Typical A-level offer

A*AA

Typical IB offer

41-42 points overall, with 776 at Higher Level

Postgraduate Study

The special mix of history expertise in Sidney and its thriving history community makes the College one of the most popular places for postgraduate historians. In normal years, the College hosts up to five of the History Faculty's research seminars and workshops: the Modern American History seminar, the Irish History seminar, the Modern European History Research seminar and workshop, and the Public and Popular History seminar. There are up to thirty postgraduate historians who either undertake doctoral research work, or are signed up for one of the Faculty's MPhil courses.

At the University of Cambridge applications for postgraduate study are processed centrally by the Postgraduate Admissions Office. The application form and supporting documents are submitted electronically via their website and the online self-service system, though academic decisions on applications are made by the Faculty or Department.

Funding

There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, Departments, Research Councils and central University funds. You can use the Postgraduate Admissions' Cambridge Funding Search to find out which type of funding you might be eligible for, and how and when to apply. They also operate a Postgraduate Funding Competition to co-ordinate some of these funding opportunities and make the process easier for you as an applicant.

To find information about the funds available for postgraduate students at Sidney, visit our Studentships and funding page.

Useful links

Course directory | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

Funding | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

How do I apply? | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

International students | Postgraduate Admissions | University of Cambridge

Opportunities to work, travel, and study

The College is able to offer financial support for a number of student pursuits including:

  • Professional and research internships
  • Study awards
  • Vacation travel
  • Arts and music
  • Sport

While it will not be possible to provide support in all cases, current students are strongly encouraged to apply if they have a project which would benefit from financial support.

Discover more on our Opportunities to work, travel, and study page.