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University of Cambridge Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :15 Oct 
International :15 Oct 
EU :15 Oct 

BA History

Catalog id : V100
 Course Level
Bachelors / UG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

15816 GBP
1350 GBP
1350 GBP

Application fee

International 50 GBP
National 50 GBP
History and Philosophy of Science:
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600

World University Ranking

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About this course

History at Cambridge
Across centuries and continents
Cambridge has one of the largest and best history faculties in the world and the course we offer reflects this quality and breadth of interest. Our course 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.

Facilities and resources
Our major resource is our teaching staff, made up of more than 100 leading academics, who are experts in fields as varied as the history of medieval Britain and modern India and China, nineteenth-century Europe and twentieth-century South Africa.

The Faculty consistently tops the Guardian and Times league tables, and was ranked first in the UK in the QS World University Rankings 2015.

The Faculty has achieved outstanding teaching and research ratings in surveys by the UK national press, and was ranked first for History in the QS World University Rankings 2014.

The Seeley Library, one of the largest history libraries in the world, and the nearby University Library mean that finding the right book is rarely a problem, and there is a wealth of rare materials and manuscripts within collections in Cambridge suitable for students’ research. Undergraduate historians are also encouraged to take up or improve foreign languages. They have access to both the University Language Centre and specialist language teaching. Many Colleges have travel grants for students who wish to study the history of another country.

Changing course
The flexibility of the History course, and the fact that some final year (Part II) options are shared with faculties such as Modern and Medieval Languages and Classics, means that few students wish to transfer out after Part I (at the end of Year 2). Law and History of Art are favourites among those who do transfer.

About 10 students each year take a two-year Part II in History, usually after a one-year Part I in a subject such as Economics.

Additional course costs
There are no compulsory additional course costs for History. Full course details are available on the Faculty of History website and if you have any queries about resources/materials, please contact the Faculty (see fact file, right).

Careers and research
Cambridge historians acquire a range of skills that are attractive to employers: the ability to work independently; to evaluate and discriminate between evidence; and to present arguments clearly and persuasively (orally and in writing).

In the past, our graduates have had no difficulty in securing rewarding jobs in a wide variety of occupations – for example, one graduate is a television news reporter, and another pursued further study and is now a child psychologist. Other graduates progress into successful careers in business, finance and consultancy, in law and public administration, in journalism and broadcasting, and in teaching and research.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Typical offers require
A Level: A*AA
IB: 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level

For other qualifications, see our main Entrance requirements pages.

Course requirements
Required by all Colleges: no specific subjects
Required by some Colleges: A Level/IB Higher Level History, A Level/IB Higher in an essay-based subject

All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges so check College websites for College-specific requirements. See also Entrance requirements and our Subject Matters leaflet for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers.

Admissions assessments
All applicants are required to take the pre-interview written assessment for History at an authorised centre local to them (for a lot of applicants, this will be their school/college).

Assessment format
Comprehension (60 minutes)
Essay/text response element (60 minutes)
 History Admissions Assessment Specification

You must be registered in advance (separately to your UCAS application) to take the assessment – the registration deadline is 15 October 2016. Your assessment centre must register you for the pre-interview assessment; you’re not able to register yourself. See the written assessments page for information about assessment centres and registration.

The pre-interview written assessment for History will be taken on 2 November 2016.

Please note that your performance in the pre-interview assessment will not be considered in isolation, but will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

Mature students (aged 21 or over) applying to one of the mature Colleges should refer to the relevant information about pre-interview assessments on the written assessments page.

Submitted work
Applicants to the following Colleges are required to submit one or two School/college essays as examples of written work prior to interview. See individual College websites for further details.

  • Christ's
  • Churchill
  • Clare
  • Corpus Christi
  • Downing
  • Fitzwilliam
  • Girton
  • Gonville and Caius
  • Homerton
  • Jesus
  • King's
  • Lucy Cavendish
  • Magdalene
  • Murray Edwards
  • Newnham
  • Pembroke
  • Peterhouse
  • Queens'
  • Robinson
  • St Catharine's
  • St Edmund's
  • St John's
  • Selwyn
  • Sidney Sussex
  • Trinity
  • Trinity Hall
  • Wolfson


  • IELTS – normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element.
  • EU students – a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving examination (eg the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable.
  • Cambridge English: Advanced – grade A or B.
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency – grade A, B or C.
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) – may be considered an acceptable English language qualification.

Check further details on University website

Course Modules

Years 1 and 2 (Part I)
Part I lasts two years (six terms) and comprises six papers, the first five of which are broad survey papers designed to give you an overview of a period in history. You study one each term for the first five terms and sit a written examination in each at the end of Year 2.

You take at least one paper on a period of British political history and at least one paper on a period of British economic and social history.
For the other three papers it’s possible to study any period of European history from the Greeks to the present, global and imperial history, the history of North America and the United States, and/or the history of political thought. If you wish, you can begin to specialise, for example in ancient and medieval papers, or almost entirely in the twentieth century.
For the compulsory sixth paper – Themes and Sources, an introduction to the handling of primary sources – you submit a 3,000-5,000 word essay. There’s a wide choice of topics, typically investigating a major comparative theme in history (such as the environment, money and society, or the history of the body). The essay is written over a period of some months and involves individual research.

Year 3 (Part II)
You take five papers, three of which are compulsory:

Historical Argument and Practice – a general methodological paper that reflects on the broad issues of historical argument and practice arising out of work throughout the degree course (themes range from empire to gender, and from revolutions to race)
a Special Subject – consisting of two papers (one assessed by a long essay of 6,000-7,000 words, the other by a written examination) that provide an opportunity for advanced in-depth study of an important historical period, process or problem (eg the Angevin Empire, Indian democracy, the Black Death, the history of Ireland,) through detailed examination of primary sources
For your remaining papers, you can either choose two Specified Subjects from a selection of topics or comparable themes in history, or choose one Specified Subject paper and write a dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words on a topic you have devised.

Specified Subject papers cover many different time periods and parts of the world, from the Roman world to the twentieth century, and from the history of the Pacific Ocean to America’s involvement in Vietnam.

Though the dissertation isn’t compulsory more than half of our students take the opportunity to write one, and many find it one of the most rewarding aspects of their time here at Cambridge. Recent examples of dissertation titles include Crime and the Entertainment Industry of Chicago 1921-33, The Decline of Vauxhall Gardens 1780-1859, and Robert Clive and the ‘Gift’ in Eighteenth-Century India.

Check further details on University website

How to Apply

In order to apply to Cambridge for 2017 entry (or deferred entry in 2018) you must submit a UCAS application by 15 October 2016, 6.00pm (UK time).

There are earlier application deadlines for applicants wishing to be considered for interview overseas, and some mature students applying to one of the mature Colleges may be able to apply after this date.

Check further details on University website

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