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Undergraduate dissertations

For quite a few of the essay courses at Cambridge, there are opportunities to work on a dissertation. This would normally be in the later years, and sometimes you can choose to write a dissertation to replace one of your exam papers (see the structure of your chosen course). As Fiona, one of our History students says, 'it’s a good way to spend time studying something that you’re particularly interested in, and to research material which has hardly been studied before'. Many students enjoy researching and writing their dissertation so much that they decide to go on to further research after their degree, and they apply for Masters and PhD courses.

Christ's College has produced a very interesting resource with accounts of what some current undergraduates are studying for their dissertations. Do visit their website to find out more:

Date posted: 

Thursday 27 August 2015

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King's students write about a typical day

Student with an inflatable boat

Do you want to know what it's like to be a student at King's? King's College Student Union (KCSU) is keen to help you out - they are collecting short accounts written by current students of what it is like to study here. Do look at A Day In The Life Of.... and click on the subject you're most interested in, or start with Scott's general description of life as a fresher.

Did you find this useful? Then do also look a our King's Student Perspectives section for more student writing.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 25 August 2015

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A level or IB Subject Choices

Pete - Thinking about your options?

If you’ve just received your GCSE results – congratulations! If you haven't started thinking seriously about what subjects to take at A level or IB, now is a good time to look at your options.

Some courses at university require certain subjects at A level or IB (or an equivalent qualification) and so it’s worth thinking about what kinds of course you might apply to, and even just whether you’re more interested in the sciences, humanities or the arts – or a combination of these!

Maybe you’re not sure at this stage what broader area you might want to study, or even what kinds of courses are on offer? King’s has put together some advice on choosing your subjects.

We also offer advice for students taking the International Baccalaureate on choosing subjects.

Date posted: 

Thursday 20 August 2015

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What else might be waiting to be discovered?

Statue of Robin Hood with his bowToni Bray - Robin and his Bow

You might have read recently about a discovery by a PhD student at Leeds Trinity University which reveals a darker side to Robin Hood’s reputation in the eighteenth-century. Stephen Basdeo found the long forgotten work, Little John's Answer to Robin Hood and the Duke of Lancaster (1727), in the Special Collections of the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds after reading a footnote referring to the ballad, which had previously been assumed to be a plagiarism of a known work. The ballad is a satire of the first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole (1676-1745), in which the Duke of Lancaster attempts to expose Robin Hood’s corruption to King John. Stephen puts his discovery in context: “our favourite outlaw hero really emerges with a tarnished reputation in the text. He is not noble or gallant but simply a 'thief,' a 'vast cunning man,' who 'abuses his good king.'” This discovery shows that the famous outlaw was not always as popular with people in the past as he is today – and it has remained unchecked and unanalysed all these years!

There may well be Special Collections near you, either in your town library, a nearby university library, or connected to a local museum or heritage site.

King’s College Library has its own Special Collections, as well as the Archive Centre which offers an online introduction to archival research.

Date posted: 

Thursday 20 August 2015

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What next? A Year in Industry, perhaps?

Portrait of Rosie the Riveter, WW2 US female munitions worker, in codeWe can code it! Rosie the Riveter, in code. Image credit: Charis Tsevis

The Year in Industry (YINI) team helps post-A Level / Higher / Advanced Higher and undergraduate students to find work placements in the UK in all areas of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance, logistics and more.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 19 August 2015

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Have you received AS Level results today?

If you're receiving your AS level results today - congratulations! If you haven't started thinking seriously about applying to university this year, now is a good time to look at your options.

If you're thinking of applying to Cambridge for the first time today, don't worry - there's still time! The application deadline for UK students applying through UCAS is the 15th of October, and the King's website offers lots of advice to students thinking of applying. Whether it's what courses Cambridge offers, choosing a subject and what subjects to pursue to full A-level, or how to apply to Cambridge with limited support and advice from your school, we're here to help.

As there are a couple of weeks of the summer holiday left, you might want to check out our page on developing your academic interests. We hope you'll take some well-earned rest, but now is a great opportunity to spend some time thinking around and outside of your subject. Browsing some of the other posts on this page might give you some ideas.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us.

NB: Students taking the International Baccalaureate, Pre-U, or other linear qualifications won’t have any public examination results in Year 12 or equivalent.  That’s absolutely fine; we can assess your application without them.  Please do submit a high school transcript so that we can take all your academic achievements to date into account, including any internal assessments.  See the King’s advice on compiling and submitting your transcript.

Date posted: 

Thursday 13 August 2015

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Digital.Bodleian

Old Schools Quadrangle, Bodleian Library, OxfordOld Schools Quad, Bodleian Library, Oxford. Image credit: Mikael Korhonen

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford currently holds 11,746,808 printed items, 25,314 miles of archives and manuscripts, and 1,250,000 maps. The newly launched Digital.Bodleian aims to open some of this extraordinary collection to users from around the world for learning, teaching, and research.

You can now browse...

... among many other collections.

The Cambridge University Library has its own Cambridge Digital Library. Most recently, a first selection of items from the Royal Commonwealth Society Library and the entire Lewis-Gibson collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts has been added to the online collection.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 11 August 2015

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Inside the Ethics Committee

Rod of Asclepius, symbol of Medicine, emblazoned 'first do no harm'First do no harm? Daniel K. Sokol, a barrister and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law at King's College London, unpicks this aphorism in the BMJ. Image credit: Eden, Janine, and Jim

To study Medicine at Cambridge, you not only need to be a keen scientist, with a sound scientific understanding, but also have the potential to become a good doctor. The Clinical School believes that one of the key qualities of a Medical student is 'a sound appreciation of ethical, legal and community issues.'  BBC Radio 4's Inside the Ethics Committee gives you an insight into some of these issues.  In each programme, the presenter Joan Bakewell is joined by a panel of experts to wrestle with the ethics arising from a real-life medical case. In recent weeks, they've asked:

  • should a surgeon agree to a young woman's request to amputate her leg? (Thursday 16 July)
  • how far should a medical team go to prevent a young woman from ending her life? (Thursday 23 July)
  • is it ever ethical to withhold food and water in a child who is not dying? (Thursday 30 July)
  • should a medical team accept a teenager's choice to refuse chemo? (Thursday 6 August)

How would you wrestle with these dilemmas?

Date posted: 

Thursday 6 August 2015

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What maths and physics is needed for Engineering?

Protractors

We've tried to be as clear as possible about the material you need to be familiar with to make a strong application. Credit: Dean Hochman

To thrive on the Engineering or Chemical Engineering via Engineering course, it is essential to have a very strong foundation in Mathematics and Physics (both are required  school subjects).

We know that sometimes it can feel a bit difficult to know exactly what is needed and how to prepare as an applicant for a course that you start new at university. Depending on your school qualifications, you may also be concerned about differences in maths and physics syllabuses. We've provided some detailed advice at the link below - we hope that you will find it useful:

Date posted: 

Tuesday 21 July 2015

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Do you live too far away to visit Cambridge?

The Vaults (King' s College Gym)

Different people need different facilities. This is one of the treadmills in the King's Vaults gym.

It is not unusual to make a successful application without ever having set foot in Cambridge. Don't worry if it is not practical for you to visit as there is no requirement to do so.

Since we welcome applicants who live a long way from Cambridge, we do our best to ensure that all the infomation that you need to make a strong application is on our website (see the relevant subject page and how to apply in particular), as well as virtual tours and the life and facilities sections so that you can get a sense of King's as a place:

We also have a dedicated page for if you don't feel very well supported for your application, and the student perspectives are particularly useful (if you read five or six of these, you'll have a very good sense of what studying at King's is like).

The University has made some films which you may also find useful:

Date posted: 

Tuesday 14 July 2015

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