The successful completion of any Cambridge undergraduate degree course (“Tripos”) is highly prized and universally respected for what it represents – the engaged, creative understanding of a demanding syllabus which is rigorously taught, and assessed through a unique combination of formative assessment in small group supervision, and challenging year-end examination. On graduation day, every Sidney student should be rightly proud of their efforts and of their achievement.

As an intellectual and scholarly community committed to fostering excellence, Sidney
also celebrates the most outstanding examination performances by awarding a number
of “Academic Distinctions” throughout a course of study, additional to the conferment of
a University degree. Academic Distinctions carry a monetary value (£130 for Prizes,
£300 for Scholarships, £130 for Exhibitions), and – with the permission of the student –
are reported in the College Annual, a publication recording the main events and
achievements by members of the college. Academic Distinctions are awarded as

Academic Distinctions for classed and ranked Tripos and Masters examinations are awarded as follows:

Tripos Prizes

Tripos Prizes are awarded to undergraduates who ranked in the top decile (10%) of their
Tripos Part (this ranking is based on the average of all marks received in individual
papers; it can be viewed by clicking on the Class in the student record on CamSIS).

Tripos Scholarships

Tripos Scholarships are awarded to undergraduates who ranked in the top quartile
(25%) of their Tripos part. Scholarships are named after some of the very first
benefactors and other key historical figures in the early history of the college.
Scholars are formally admitted to their title by the Master at a ceremony early in the
following academic year, when they also receive their official Scholarship Certificate;
the ceremony is followed by a celebratory reception hosted by the Master. Scholars also
receive an invitation to attend the College Audit or Foundation Feast.

Tripos Exhibitions

Exhibitions are awarded to undergraduates who ranked within the 26th-35th percentiles
of their Tripos part, or to continuing students who achieve a substantial percentile
improvement (25% or more, e.g. from the 75th to the 50th percentile) in the merit ranking.

Banner Image: Sarah Hall.