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Spotlight on HSPS: Sociology

Image credit: Mehran Heidarzadeh

Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge offers a unique range of related disciplines, which can be studied in many combinations, or with a concentration on a single discipline: you can work on Politics and International Relations, Social Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology and / or Sociology. Many (or all) of these subjects will be new to you, so how do you know what's involved?

Sociology is the study of modern societies and how they are changing today. Ever wonder why nationalism is such a powerful force in the modern world? Why there are protests, riots, and uprisings? Why Europe is in crisis? Why politicians are not trusted? Why Africa is so poor? Why racism persists? Why same-sex marriage causes such controversy? How globalization is changing our lives? Whether societies could ever be more just? Then Sociology is the subject for you.

Date posted: 

Thursday 16 April 2015

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ELECTION - The Cambridge Politics Podcast

Spot the First Minister?! Nicola Sturgeon campaigning in Edinburgh on 3 April 2015. Image credit: hockadilly

Can democracy adapt to our strained political system?  Who (if anyone) will ‘win’ in 2015? What can the lessons of the past teach us about the future?

David Runciman, Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies here in Cambridge, puts these questions and more to philosophers, historians, scientists, and political thinkers in a weekly podcast in the run-up to the general election.

In recent weeks, he's talked to:

The ELECTION team publish a new episode every Wednesday.

Date posted: 

Friday 10 April 2015

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#CambTweet Q&A: Saturday 21 March

Twitter iconTwitter. Image credit: Jurgen Appelo

A message from Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) to all prospective students:

Interested in a quick, easy way to find out what life is really like as a student at the universities of Oxford or Cambridge? Here's one that won't even involve you leaving your computer - it's on Twitter! #CambTweet and #OxTweet are student-run Twitter-based schemes: student volunteers tweet daily about their lives at the universities - everything from what and how they’re studying to getting involved with clubs/societies and hanging out with friends. This Saturday (21 March) from 9-10pm, we are running a joint online Question and Answer session: many of our volunteers will be online especially to answer your questions about becoming and being a university student, so if something is on your mind that you want answered, tweet us with it!

CUSU also publish an Alternative Prospectus.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 17 March 2015

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Cambridge Chemistry Challenge Online

Elements Top Trumps

Elements card game (designed for 7-14 yr olds). Credit: Duncan Hull

Are you a Year 12 (or equivalent) student interested in stretching your Chemistry skills? Then have a look at the monthly challenges in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge!

In addition, if you live in the UK and want to take the annual challenge paper (a 90 minute written paper which you take at your school or college  in June), there is information about this on the UK lower 6th (Year 12)  competition page.

Date posted: 

Monday 9 March 2015

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Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Architecture

Detail

Detail from above the door at the Glasgow School of Art. Credit: Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup

Scottish Architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh is one of the leading figures of late 19th and early 20th Century architecture. The majority of his buildings are located in Glasgow (Scotland) and the surrounding area.

Date posted: 

Thursday 5 March 2015

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Hwæt! Beowulf

An annotated copy of BeowulfA close reading of Beowulf. Image credit: Crossett Library

Hwæt! We Gar-Dena in gear-dagum, þeod-cyninga,  þrym gefrunon, hu ða æþelingas  ellen fremedon!

(Arguably translated into modern English as "Listen! We have heard of the might of the Kings.")

Are you interested in early languages? Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest. More than 3,000 lines long, Beowulf relates the exploits of its eponymous hero, and his successive battles with monsters.

You can study Beowulf, among other Old English texts, as part of our Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic degree course, which centres on early and Medieval languges and history.

Bookings are now open for the Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic Year 12 masterclass on 21 March.  The next Anglo-Saxon Norse and Celtic departmental Open Day will take place on 24 June 2015.

Date posted: 

Sunday 1 March 2015

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Converse: the literature website

Chaucher's The Canterbury Tales... on KindleChaucher's The Canterbury Tales in a modern age. Image credit: david_jones

Would you like to broaden and deepen your experience of literature, perhaps with the thought of studying English at university?

Try the Converse website, which is packed full of resources developed by the University of Cambridge's English Faculty in collaboration with teachers and schools.

You'll find resources to support you in your GCSE studies, your A Level studies, or in researching and making an application to study English or a related discipline at university.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 24 February 2015

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What's the Big Idea?

Neighbours? Image credit: Julia McDermott

The Big Idea is a monthly podcast, in which a group of academics is brought together from across the University of Edinburgh to debate topical issues and showcase their research. Recent editions have focused on the Scottish referendum on independence, our relationship with technology, and women's role and participation in society. As you listen, ask yourself how each academic makes connections between their own work, their colleagues' work, and current affairs. Try linking your work in any subject to your work in another subject and / or the news.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 17 February 2015

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Economics essay competition

Money

Credit: epSos.de (cropped)

The Royal Economic Society runs an annual competition for students studying Economics at school, with questions based on key elements of your syllabus. 

You may find the questions set for this year's competition interesting to think about:

  • "Countries like Greece caused the Eurozone crisis by running up too much debt, so it is only fair that they should bear most of the burden of fixing it." Discuss.
  • Should the Government support manufacturing?  If so, how?
  • Should raising GDP be the primary objective of economic policy?
  • "The rising gap between rich and poor is not just bad for society, it is bad for growth." Discuss.
  • Should "fracking" be allowed? If so, who should benefit?
  • "It is immoral for the drug companies to charge large sums for drugs that are cheap to manufacture." Discuss.
  • "High saving promotes faster growth. So having  more savers in the global economy should be good for our long term prosperity."
  • "Does the economic case favour a new airport runway at Heathrow, Gatwick or elsewhere?"

You may also find it useful to look at the essay titles and winning entries from previous years (bottom of the page).

If you are studying Economics and are interested in entering an essay for this competition, do ensure that you read the full details and entry criteria on the Royal Economic Society website before you start work. The deadline for entry is Monday 30 June 2015.

Date posted: 

Thursday 12 February 2015

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