Full term began for our current Cambridge students on Thursday. To celebrate the new academic year, join them in their morning pedal to lectures by watching this video.
The Cycle of Terms
Posted: 13 October 2014
The X Factor: Multidisciplinary (and Interdisciplinary) Approaches to Classics
Image credit: Ingo Gildenhard
The Classics Faculty is divided into caucuses, each of which brings a different approach to the study of Classics: Caucus A (Literature); Caucus B (Philosophy); Caucus C (History); Caucus D (Art and Archaeology) and Caucus E (Linguistics).
Dr. Gildenhard gave an example of how his colleagues in different caucuses each brought a different approach to the study of Ovid's Ars Amatoria [The Art of Love] in a recent lecture series:
- A: Poetics, or: The (S)expert at Work
- B: Sexual Ethics [gender relations, feminist readings]
- C: The Empire Strikes Back [Ovid and Augustus, the politics of the Ars, Ovid’s banishment to the Black Sea]
- D: Sex and the City [Ovid and the monuments, his rewriting of Rome’s urban topography]
- E: The Language of Love (and Sex) [how can we understand the different range of meanings of Latin words to English dictionary equivalents - does raptor mean ‘rapist’ or ‘seducer’? and how does it relate to rapina and rapio?]
The students and academics gain enormously from exploring these multidisciplinary perspectives. If and when they combine two or more approaches to address a particular topic, thereby transcending any one discipline, their work becomes interdisciplinary.
For this reason, King's Classicist John Henderson and his colleague Geoffrey Lloyd pioneered an X Caucus (Interdisciplinary) in the 1980s, to allow and encourage Cambridge students and academics to cross disciplines in their study of the Classics.
Multidisciplinarity is not restricted to Classics! You will be able to find multidisciplinary (and interdisciplinary) approaches to almost any topic. Have you got the X Factor? Think of a topic that has caught your attention in one of your A Level subjects and ask yourself what your knowledge and skills in your other A Level subjects can bring to it.
Posted: 9 October 2014
In Our Time
A King's supervision in progress
What do we mean when we say that we're looking for students who can think critically and independently?
Listening to Radio 4's In Our Time programme will give you an insight into what Cambridge is looking for in our students, our methods of teaching and learning, and our interviews. Each week, presenter Melvyn Bragg discusses a topic in depth with three academics. You'll notice how in the course of forty-five minutes the guests identify the key questions to be addressed, examine all sides of the debate, frame clear and confident arguments of their own, and engage enthusiastically and flexibly with each other. Much of the teaching and learning at Cambridge happens in similar small group discussions, known as supervisions. In many respects, our interviews model the format of a supervision, so that we admit the students who will benefit most from this style of teaching.
But most importantly, tuning into In Our Time will give you insight into your subject, whatever it may be! The BBC has an archive of 646 programmes and counting, which cover wide-ranging topics in culture, history, philosophy, religion, and science. Last week, Melvyn Bragg and his guests discussed the philosophy of solitude. This week, they'll discuss the medieval writer and mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Whatever your interests, you'll find a relevant programme. You're just as likely to become fascinated by a topic you'd never heard of or thought about before.
Posted: 25 June 2014
Universities Celebrate the Tour de France in Yorkshire and Cambridge
Bicyles outside King's Credit: Paul Shirley
The Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 is coming to Britain!
The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds is showing Maxine Peake's tribute to British cycling champion Beryl Burton from 30 June to 19 July. The theatre is also host to a panel discussion on women in sport on 30 June.
The University of York cycled the solar system last weekend in readiness for Stage 2.
Academics from Sheffield Hallam University will lead athletes and commentators in a discussion of the Tour de France's impact on science and techology, health, and economy in its Science of Cycling event on 30 June.
The peloton will roll past King's College at the start of Stage 3. The University of Cambridge Museums are marking the occasion. The Polar Museum is holding an exhibition called 'Reinventing the Wheel: Bicyles in the Polar Regions' from 10am to 4pm on 1 - 12 July. The Fitzwilliam is hosting Cambridge Cycle of Songs on the steps of the museum from 11.30 to 12.30 on 7 July. Local school choirs will sing from nine pieces specially commissioned from composers and poets to celebrate iconic locations along the Tour's route in Cambridge.
As the Tour crosses the English Channel again, Britain's celebration of the bicycle continues. The annual Stockton Cycling Festival returns on 11 - 13 July.
Posted: 24 June 2014
The 2014 Cambridge Open Days Programme is published!
The large Cambridge Open Days are on Thurs 3 and Fri 4 July. This event is for students who are considering an application in September/October 2014.
Do explore the 2014 Cambridge Open Days programme for details of course presentations and sample lectures in your subject, College opening times and locations. If you are interested in visiting a particular College, their website will normally have more detail. At King's, we're open from 9 until 5.30pm as part of the Cambridge Open Days, and we invite you to join tours of the College, subject meetings (students only for those) and chat with current students and admissions staff. See the details for Thurs 3 July and for Fri 4 July.
Booking is required. Although there are no general places left for the Cambridge Open Days, there are still plenty of places available for students who book to attend a College Open Day (you will also be able to attend Cambridge Open Day events in the afternoon) or a North East Welcome Event (please email us for details if you're from the North East). Please see the information about how to attend the Cambridge Open Days now that registration has closed.
We hope to see you there! If you can't attend, don't worry though, as the information that you need to make a successful application is also available online, and you are welcome to email us with any questions.
Posted: 18 June 2014
Use Your Local Library
King's graduate Zadie Smith (English, 1994-1997) celebrated and defended local libraries in this 2012 essay, explaining that:
"Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay."
As your exams come to an end and a lovely, long Summer beckons, you'll have more time to read around your subject. If you don't already use your local library, you will find out where it is and what it has to offer here. If your local library doesn't have what you're looking for, you can request an inter-library loan.
Your local university library may be able to help, too. For example, Newcastle University's Sixth Form Access Scheme provides reference facilities for Year 12s and 13s in the North East of England. The University of Reading Library offers similar opportunities to local sixth formers.
Posted: 17 June 2014
Are you going to a UCAS Higher Education Convention?
Hull Paragon Station.
Credit: Phil Richards
There are lots of UCAS Higher Education Conventions on at the moment. These are a great opportunity to talk to reps from different universities and explore your options further. There will be a lot of people there, so our advice is to make a list of the universities that you particularly want to talk to, and also to think about what questions you will ask them before the event. Good luck!
- 17 June - Hertfordshire and Humberside
- 18 June - Cambridgeshire and West and North Yorkshire (18 & 19th)
- 20 June - Sheffield
- 23 June - Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes (23 & 24th)
- 24 June - Essex (24 & 25th)
- 26 June - East London
- 27 June - South East London and North and West Cumbria
- See the UCAS Events section for later events
Posted: 15 June 2014
Universities Week: 9 - 15 June 2014
Elvet Bridge on the River Wear, Durham. Credit: Tim Rawle
Next week is Universities Week! From Monday 9 to Sunday 15 June, universities across the UK are inviting us to be inspired, get involved and discover the work that they are doing to improve the way we live our lives.
As part of Universities Week 2014, you can...
- Dive into Durham. Find out about the amazing discoveries made by Gary Bankhead, underwater archaeologist at the University of Durham, in the River Wear. The exhibition opens at Palace Green Library, Durham, on Saturday 7 June
- Try to tell a human from a machine at Turing 2014. King's mathematician Alan Turing famously asked 'Can machines think?' The University of Reading is conducting live Turing tests - pitting man against machine - at the Royal Society in London on Saturday 7 June
- View the Cleveland College of Art and Design's Degree Exhibition 2014. The students' work will be showcased to the public at Church Square, Hartlepool from Friday 6 to Saturday 14 June
Posted: 5 June 2014