A flexible and fascinating course which allows for individual specialisation from your first year, based on specific areas of interest.
Here are some general resources related to History.
Overview 🔗 This is the History section of the University undergraduate prospectus. The most important information about the course is here, including entry requirements, course structure, and prerequisites.
Faculty website 🔗 This is the official Faculty webpage for prospective undergraduates, which links to various resources. The most important of them is the Faculty of History undergrad prospectus 🔗 🌟, which gives a general overview of what studying History at Cambridge is like.
Unofficial prospectus 🔗 This is an unofficial prospectus put together by the Cambridge University Student Union; it’s written based on students’ perspectives and gives a better sense of what the day-to-day experience as a History student is like, compared to official materials.
Virtual Classroom 🔗 If you want to improve your skills of analysis, working through the exercises on the Cambridge University virtual classroom is also a good idea. It includes exercises aimed at improving your ability to engage with and respond to primary and secondary sources. Definitely worth a look, especially as sources can come up in interviews, and are the basis for the pre-interview assessment. The Virtual Classroom also includes suggested general reading from the Faculty, and links to other useful resources.
History Faculty podcasts 🔗 These Cambridge History Faculty Podcasts are a great opportunity to hear from some top academics, and explore history on the go.
One element of the Cambridge History course focuses on historical argument and practice within historiography. In preparation for this, it might be useful to think about questions like:
Who gets to write history? (e.g. in the ancient, medieval world, early modern, and 20th – 21st century worlds - who was/is now writing histories? Think in terms of gender, race, social status and education, geographical location, etc.)
How has history been written in the past and how do historians write history today? (e.g. by artificially splitting the past up into ancient, medieval, modern etc.; cultural history – looking less at traditional sources than at sources like fashion or food; Marxist history and Whig history – think grand narratives!; social history, economic history, intellectual history, international and transnational history, political histories, histories for the public – think Mary Beard documentaries or even ‘Horrible Histories!’ or historical fiction – how are the public’s ideas about the past formed and do historians have a responsibility towards the public?)
What do historians write about today (e.g. gender, race, time, memory, power, religion, quantification, migration, revolutions, nations, states, the environment, oceans, the global, empires, different types of primary sources – artefacts, literary, art, music etc.)
Historical Argument and Practice reading list 🔗
Reading Lists 🔗 These are the reading lists for the papers that first-years take. Don’t be intimidated by how long they are; they’re intended to be worked through over the course of a full academic year, and honestly no one reads everything anyway. The purpose of reading lists is to provide a selection of academic books which will allow you to gain a detailed knowledge of the areas you are interested in and how they have been treated by historians.
InsideUni History interview experiences 🔗 🌟 Current students talk about their interview experience, as well as sharing some tips. We’re biased, but we think they’re useful!