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I want to study Engineering homepage

Ary you interested in studing Engineering? As you know, you will need excellent maths and physics skills. is a website resource to help you to develop your abilities and compete for Engineering courses at top universities. It includes an A level problem index. Here is an example of a problem from the C1 section. See how you get on:

Sketch the curve y = 2x2x − 6, giving the coordinates of all points of intersection with the axes.

Hints, relevant hints and vidoeos (e.g. on how to factorise a quadratic) and a multiple choice answer are available.

Further information is available in the King's advice on maths and physics for Engineering.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 2 March 2016


Shakespeare Solos

First pages of a shakespeare folioCredit: POP

To mark the 400th anniversary of the playwright's death, leading actors perform some of Shakespeare's greatest speeches in a video series for The Guardian.

The first six videos include speeches from Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III.

Students who study English at Cambridge take a paper (a module) on Shakespeare in their first or second year, but it can be daunting deciding where to begin with 37 plays and over a hundred poems to be getting on with!

You might like to start by looking back at what you’ve already covered. Maybe you've studied one of Shakespeare’s Tragedies at school (Macbeth, King Lear or Hamlet may be familiar?) or one the Comedies (Much Ado about Nothing or Twelfth Night?). You may even have studied a play that fits more problematically into both of or between these categories, such as The Tempest or The Merchant of Venice. Have you ever read some of Shakespeare's sonnets, or one of his longer poems such as Venus and Adonis? Have you ever read, or seen performed, one of the History plays?

David Morrissey's performance of the opening speech of Richard III might be a good place to start.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 24 February 2016


Read All About It

newpaper cuttingsCredit: Elena

Keeping up-to-date with what's happening in the news can be a great way to explore your subject whatever course you're interested in studying, but especially for those with an interest in Politics and International Relations, Economics and Law. Here are just a few recent articles from different sources:

Current affairs programmes such as Panorama or Dispatches (both UK) or debate shows such as The Big Questions (UK) can also be useful for topical stories.


Date posted: 

Tuesday 23 February 2016


A is for Aerotropolis

Outside Dubai Airport Dubai Airport - Credit: Fabio Achilli

'Aerotropolis' is a term introduced by John D. Kasarda in 2000 and refers to urban and economic developments centred around major airports. The airport becomes a kind of "airport city", a commercial hub much like a traditional metropolis, with a central business district and transport-linked suburbs.

If you're interested in studying Geography at King's, Matthew Gandy, one of our Fellows, recommends The Dictionary of Human Geography by Derek Gregory, et al., which outlines some of the key concepts and debates in human geography. The journal Nature is also a good place to find articles, such as this recent editorial which argues that environmental agencies must go much further in regulating aircraft emissions if they want to make a real difference.

Date posted: 

Friday 19 February 2016


Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction

An international team of scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

The gravitational waves were detected on 14 September 2015 by both LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) detectors in Louisiana and Washington State in the US. They originated from two black holes, each around 30 times the mass of the Sun and located more than 1.3 billion light years from Earth, coalescing to form a single, even more massive black hole.

You can read the full article here.

These findings will be discussed at next month's Cambridge Science Festival during the open afternoon at the Institute of Astronomy.

Date posted: 

Friday 12 February 2016


What's a Language, Anyway?

Pile of booksCredit: Alan Myers

In a recent article for The Atlantic, John McWhorter considers the differences between a language and a dialect, and how linguists might distinguish between them.

"It turns out that it’s impossible to determine precisely where one “language” leaves off and another begins."

"The serendipities of history chose one “dialect” as a standard and enshrined it on the page."

"Is a dialect, on some level, unsophisticated, as if it doesn’t have a literature because it is unsuited to extended thought and abstraction?"

Read the full article online here. If you're curious about Linguistics, you might also be interested in:


Date posted: 

Wednesday 10 February 2016


Life and Times of Michael K

Collection of J M Coetzee BooksCredit: andessurvivor

The first thing the midwife noticed about Michael K when she helped him out of his mother into the world was that he had a hare lip. The lip curled like a snail's foot, the left nostril gaped. Obscuring the child for a moment from its mother, she prodded open  the tiny bud of a mouth and was thankful to find the palate whole.

To the mother, she said: 'You should be happy, they bring luck to the household.' But from the first Anna K did not like the mouth that would not close and the living pink flesh it bared to her. She shivered to think of what had been growing in her all these months. The child could not suck from the breast and cried with hunger. She tried a bottle; when it could not suck from the bottle she fed it with a teaspoon, fretting with impatience when it coughed and spluttered and cried.

These are the first two paragraphs from Life and Times of Michael K by J.M.Coetzee, the novel which won the 1983 Man Booker Prize for fiction. It's a great book to read, and if you get into it, you may like to think about how Coetzee portrays his 'outsider' - can you compare Michael K with outsiders in other books, plays or poetry that you may have read?

Date posted: 

Tuesday 9 February 2016


21st Century Challenges

Disgarded plastic bottle

Credit: Kate Ter Haar

If you are interested in current environmental, social and economic issues, do look at the Royal Geography Society's 21st Century Challenges website, which brings together expert opinion, facts, videos and interviews and shows the importance of geographical research and approaches to key issues.

See, for example, this section on plastic pollution in the ocean - were you aware of the facts included in this page? What do you think of David de Rothschild's approach? What questions do you think are the most important when discussing plastic pollution?

Date posted: 

Saturday 6 February 2016


What does it look like? Virtual tours!

A supervision with two students

A supervision in an academic's room in King's - lots of books!

Increasingly, UK universities are offering virtual tours so that prospective students who can't visit have the opportunity to look around.

If you are thinking about studying at Cambridge University, you may have read about the Cambridge Colleges where students live, socialise and have subject supervisions in small groups with an academic, but sometimes we know that it can be hard to imagine what they look like if you've not had a chance to visit.

Students by a bicycle rack

At King's, we have virtual tours so that you can look around the grounds, the College library and our Chapel. In each case, you can use the 'navigate' button in the top left of the screen to move from place to place. You may also find our map and facilities section useful.

Newnham College

Newnham College. Credit: Steve Cadman (cropped)

You may also want to look inside some of the other Cambridge Colleges. Thanks to Google Streetview, you can look inside: Trinity Hall, Newnham College, Queens' College, Gonville & Caius College, and St John's College. In each case once you are on Googlemaps, you need to look out for the yellow man in the bottom right corner of the screen, and drag and drop him onto the map where the College is in order to look inside.

Fitzwilliam College

Fitzwilliam College. Credit: Alvin Leong

Other Colleges have tours more like the King's ones, such as Selwyn College, Pembroke College, Fitzwilliam College, and Sidney Sussex College. Although there is much more to a College community than the buildings and gardens, sometimes liking how a College looks can be the thing that inspires you to find out more on the College websites.

As well as belonging one of the Colleges, all students at Cambridge also go to the relevant faculty for their course (there's a building for each subject), where you are taught in lectures and can use any labs, studios or equipment that is needed, as well as the specialist faculty library. In your faculty, you are taught with students from all of the Colleges who study the same subject as you, so it's also a good chance to meet more people who share your academic interests.

Foyer in the Music Faculty

Foyer in the Music Faculty

For example, in the Music Faculty, as well as lecture theatres and classrooms, the spaces and facilities include the entrance foyer, Music library and Concert Hall, which you can look at (click on the pictures at the bottom to change place).

Date posted: 

Friday 5 February 2016


7 Things you need to know about prime numbers (filmed lecture)

Number 11

Credit: Maret Hosemann (cropped)

Prime numbers are fundamentally important in mathematics. In this Year 12 talk by Dr Vicky Neale (Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford), discover some of the beautiful properties of prime numbers, and learn about some of the unsolved problems that mathematicians are working on today.

For more maths talks and other online resources, see the Millenium Maths Project website.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 3 February 2016



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