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Reading Suggestions for Geography

Thinking of applying for Geography? There is no required reading for applicants, but the Director of Studies in Geography has provided some interesting and helpful reading suggestions to give a flavour of the material that you can study in the course. We also advise you to follow up on areas of your school courses that you have enjoyed.

You can find more ideas for developing your interests on the Geography page under reading, resources and events, or search for more social sciences posts.

Date posted: 

Sunday 15 May 2016

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The Charles Darwin Papers

primate skeleton in the museum of zoologyThe University's Museum of Zoology holds some specimens from Darwin's famous voyage on the Beagle

Credit: Andrew Griffin

The Charles Darwin Papers in Cambridge University Library hold nearly the entire existing collection of Darwin’s working scientific papers. Among these documents are Charles Darwin’s Evolution Manuscripts, his papers on the transmutation of species. Using these notebooks, annotations, and portfolios, Darwin wrote the nine of his fifteen books that set down, enlarged and defended the theory of evolution by natural selection. You can find the papers online at the Darwin Manuscripts Project.

The Darwin Correspondence Project also holds online resources for students, including a Darwin Timeline showing the key moments in Darwin's life and what was happening in Britain at the time, plus a series of audio clips and videos on Darwin's work. For example, the Face of Emotion series discusses Darwin’s work on expression in the context of current research in artificial intelligence, autism, and neuroscience. You can even try Darwin's Emotion Experiment for yourself here.

Date posted: 

Thursday 12 May 2016

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What is it like to be a King's mathematician?

Corridor party

A corridor party in the Keynes accommodation

We hope that you are enjoying the new accounts in the King's Student Perspectives series. We now have a new one for Maths as well - Ellen has very kindly shared her experiences as a second year Maths student at King's.

Ellen's account includes (amongst other things):

If you are interested in applying for maths and you want to find out more about STEP papers after reading this account, do have a look at our Maths page, and in particular the resources section, which has some useful links for STEP Exams.

Date posted: 

Friday 29 April 2016

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Topical news debate

Question time panel

Can you think of a recent news story that has particularly interested you or got you thinking? Or one that has caused a lot of controversy?

You might be interested in the weekly Question Time programmes on BBC 1, with topical discussion and debate chaired by David Dimbleby. This week's programme was filmed in Hull and the panellists were Conservative communities secretary Greg Clark, Labour's shadow home secretary Andy Burnham, former leader of the SNP Alex Salmond, former director of the Centre for Policy Studies Jill Kirby, and hedge fund manager and chairman of the ARK chain of academies Paul Marshall.

Who do you agree / disagree with?

International Students: unfortunately you can't access BBC iplayer outside the UK, however there is an equivalent Radio 4 programme which you should be able to access on BBC iplayer Radio called Any Questions (and Any Answers)

Date posted: 

Thursday 28 April 2016

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What is it really like to study HSPS at King's?

Punting

The latest King's Student Perspectives piece is written by Ceylon, who is studying Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) here at King's:

In her account, Ceylon writes about why she chose the course, what  the teaching is like, the workload and what she likes to do when she is not working, the social life in King's and College families, where and how she likes to do her work, and her thoughts on admissions interviews.

Date posted: 

Thursday 21 April 2016

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Join The Conversation

models hugging each other Read about the science of hugs. Credit: Meg Cheng

The Conversation is an online source of news and views from the academic and research community. Their aim is to allow for a better understanding of current affairs and complex issues - so that conversations are started!

Here are a few recent articles by subject:

Date posted: 

Tuesday 12 April 2016

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Advice from the Computer Science Faculty

William Gates Building

The William Gates Faculty Building on the West Cambridge Site.

Are you interested in Computer Science? Here is the Faculty advice (from the FAQ's) about developing your interests for this subject:

At the admissions stage we look for two major things: academic ability and passion for the subject. Whilst the course itself does not have any pre-requisites other than mathematics, it is difficult to discern a passion for the subject if a candidate has never tried any form of Computer Science. Therefore, from an admissions perspective, it would be wise to do something that shows your independent interest in the area. Examples of this include reading around the subject, learning a programming language, contributing to open-source projects, releasing a phone app, or building hardware (robots etc). Any one of these, when done well, would be sufficient to demonstrate your passion.

If you choose to learn a new language, it may be a good idea to learn one that is not explicitly taught in the Tripos. Doing so obviously helps to avoid repetition, but also gives you a wider perspective on languages that can be useful later in the degree and in employment. A popular choice is python, for which there are many tutorials available.

We recommend getting hold of a Raspberry Pi and following one of the many hardware and software tutorials for it on the web. An additional advantage of this route is that you will gain familiarity with the UNIX command line: a very valuable skill to have in the Tripos!

Find out more on the King's Computer Science page including what we are looking for in applicants.

Date posted: 

Sunday 3 April 2016

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Tom's account - guess the subject!

Question mark

Credit: Leimenide

Tom is from rural Lincolnshire and has written a detailed King's Student Perspectives account about studying at King's. But which course do you think he is describing below?

The wonderful images of artefacts and the obscure topics in the prospectus entry had me instantly hooked, and I immediately wanted to find out more about the course. I had originally intended to study History at Cambridge, and to specialise in this period, but as soon as I saw ?????? I knew straight away that it was
for me! After some further research, it was the small size of the faculty and the total freedom that the course offers from the first year that drew me to it.

The best thing about studying ????? is that it’s an intellectually stimulating experience. The course is enjoyable in its own right – the system of lectures,
translation classes and supervisions, along with the ready availability of relevant books, means that you can pursue the interests you have in mind when applying to the full. You’ll never find yourself with nothing to do – and this is not necessarily a bad thing! ????? material is interesting and it will always keep you on your toes, which makes for a challenging but enjoyable lifestyle.

You can find out  what Tom's course is and how he as found it in his Student Perspective, and you might like to ask yourself some questions about the material in his course, find out more, and even come along to an open day on 22 June.

Date posted: 

Saturday 2 April 2016

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Student Life FAQs

King's College fun dayKing's College Fun Day

We recently welcomed a group of Year 12 students from East Yorkshire into King's. Some important and interesting questions about student life came up, which we hope might be helpful for others!

Do you stay in college accommdation for all years of study?

Yes, normally. All Colleges except St Edmund's provide accommodation for three years, and many also allow an additional year  for students taking one of the four-year courses. See, for example, the King's accommodation page, which explains the range of modern and traditional rooms, how the room ballot system works, and the choice of rent lease periods.

Students on longer courses, such as Medicine (6 years), are likely to live outside the College accommodation at the end of their course when they have graduate status, however there is a lot of support provided by the university's accommodation service to help with this (Medicine students often share a house close to the hospital, which works well for Medicine clinical studies).

What is the workload like on a Cambridge course?

Cambridge courses are demanding, but they can also be very rewarding. We provide unparalleled learning opportunities for our students. Not only are you taught in the lecture theatre by academics who are experts in their field, but our supervision system means that you receive more personal tuition from them too. One of the most distinctive characteristics of our courses (also called Triposes at Cambridge) is that they cover the subject area very broadly in the initial years and then offer a wide range of options in which to specialise in the later years.

In terms of workload, this varies somewhat from subject to subject - you might like to watch 'A Day in the Life' to get a sense of what a typical week might be like for a sciences, arts or humanities student.

How expensive is studying and living in Cambridge?

For UK and EU students, Cambridge University charges £9,000 a year in tuition fees for all courses. It is important that you understand that UK and EU tuition fees will not need to be paid up front. Students will be able to pay their fees through government loans that are repaid after graduation, and only once a graduate earns more than £21,000 per year. For details of these loans and the further financial support available please see our financial support page.

With living costs, these can vary depending on your lifestyle - for example, depending on how much you like to spend per week on food (Cooking for yourself? Eating in the college dining hall? Going out for dinner?). A reasonable estimate for total living costs for 2016/17 is £8,500 for UK students for the three terms of the normal academic year. Overseas students should increase this figure for extra travel or accommodation costs according to their circumstances (we recommend that overseas students allow £9,570 per year). There may be some additional financial support available for maintenance (living costs) as well as tuition fees.

Do you have much spare time while studying? What is social life like at Cambridge?

While the courses at Cambridge can be quite intense, students still find time to socialise, get involved in sports, music, theatre or student unions, join societies (student clubs) - there are so many opportunities to have fun as well as study!

King's provides a relaxed and friendly environment where it's easy to meet people. When new students arrive each year, we have a Freshers' Week designed to welcome them and ease them into College life. More generally, King's is a fairly small community with lots of events and activities throughout the year, so there are plenty of opportunities for friendships to develop. Students from all backgrounds quickly feel at home in College. For more information on what it's like to study different subjects at King's, check out our student perspectives. We also have more general FAQs here.

Many thanks to the students from East Yorkshire for their questions!

Date posted: 

Tuesday 29 March 2016

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New Tracks in Education

Are you interested in how we learn and what makes people tick? Do you want to learn more about international development and how educational inequalities can be overcome? Or are you interested in the role of Literature, Drama and the Arts in society? If so, Education might be the course for you. Education at Cambridge is a rigorous and rewarding interdisciplinary degree. You follow one of three tracks, combining in-depth study of a particular field of interest with an examination of wider educational and social issues:

The Education, Psychology and Learning track focuses on education from a psychological perspective; exploring human development and education in a variety of social and cultural environments.

Education, Policy and International Development provides critical perspectives on education’s role in social and economic change and on approaches to addressing education inequalities globally.

Education, English, Drama and the Arts combines the study of English Literature, and the option of studying Drama, with key issues in Education, such as debates around creativity, learning and culture.

Please note, the Education Course is not offered at King's College, but is available at many other colleges (see course availability).  Find out more on the Faculty of Education website.

Date posted: 

Friday 18 March 2016

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