Literature and Languages

Teaching at Cambridge

Students discuss their work with their supervisior in a King's supervision.A King's supervision in progress

A series of films is being released over the next few weeks to celebrate teaching at Cambridge University.

Here is the first film:

Future films will feature Physics Lecturer Lisa Jardine-Wright; Sociologist Mónica Moreno Figueroa; Zoologist Andrew Balmford; and Design Engineer James Moultrie.

Find out more about the teaching on our how you are taught page and see what students say about it in the student perspectives.

Date posted: 

Friday 23 June 2017

Tags: 

A good read?

Pile of booksImage credit: Pam loves pie

How do you make the reading you do in your own time count? One way to help yourself think independently and engage critically with your reading is to start or join a reading group. Take your inspiration from Radio 4's A Good Read, where the presenter and her two guests each choose a book they've enjoyed reading, introducing it to and discussing it with the others. Why not swap recommendations with a friend and meet to discuss your responses to each other's choice?

Date posted: 

Friday 16 June 2017

Tags: 

Reading lists!

Books on a bookshelf

Doing some reading is a good way to develop your academic interests, but don't get overwhelmed! Credit: Les Chatfield

We're sometimes asked for advice about what prospective students should read.

If you are looking for reading suggestions (particularly as you approach the summer, when you may have a bit more time), you may find the reading lists for all subjects in the offer-holders' section useful. Depending on your subject, you will find useful book sugestions or problem-solving websites and other advice. These 'lists' can be particularly useful if you don't know where to start, or if you'll be studying a subject at Cambridge that you don't already study at school, such as Human, Social and Political Sciences, Law, Philosophy, Engineering, Linguistics, Medicine or Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.

Do:

  1. Be yourself and follow your interests
    None of the Cambridge courses have books that you have to read before you apply, so if you've already found some material that you're finding interesting and engaging, and is developing your academic interests, don't stop!
  2. Make a few brief notes
    Making a list of the points that interest you, or any thoughts on the arguments you encounter, is a good thing to do as you read if you can (even if you keep them very brief). This will help you to remember the most important points, and also to notice where your interests lie.
  3. Explain to somebody else
    Are you taking it in? A good way to ensure that you've understood something is to try to explain it to somebody else. Do you have any friends or relatives who might be interested in what you're reading? If you can explain the main points in an idea to somebody who does not know about the subject, that is normally a good sign that you've got it clear in your own head!

Try to avoid:

  1. Being daunted
    The lists we provide are meant to be helpful for those looking for suggestions. We're not trying to overwhelm you. Just like the kinds of suggestions you get from supervisors and lecturers when you're studying at Cambridge, some of the subject lists are quite long so that you can pick and choose according to your interests. Don't be put off by this!
  2. The tick-box approach
    The important point about your reading is not which books you've read but what you get out of them. So our advice is: don't rush to read as many books as possible in order to tick them off a reading list. It is much more important that you take time to enjoy the material and think about it. Remember that the best things to mention on the personal statement or your UCAS application form are the things that genuinely interest you.

Date posted: 

Friday 26 May 2017

Tags: 

Sutton Trust Summer Schools (Year 12)

Bodley's Court lawn

Would you like to explore your subject interest in deepth? Then the Year 12 Sutton Trust Summer Schools might be just the thing for you.

The Cambridge Sutton Trust Summer Schools are week-long, subject-specific residentials, where you live and study as a Cambridge student. You’ll stay in your own private student room within a Cambridge College, eat with other Summer School students in the canteens and socialise in the common rooms.

During the day, you’ll be in your academic department, where you’ll be taught by world-leading experts in your subject. They’ll guide you through new areas of study, introducing you to the depth and breadth of a Cambridge undergraduate course.

The programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and applications are open 9 January 2017 to 2 March 2017! For more information please see Sutton Trust Summer Schools

 

Date posted: 

Friday 13 January 2017

Tags: 

Year 11 Summer School for Arts and Humanities

Ancient columns and a pool

The outdoor dining room at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

For students interested in the Arts and Humanities and especially Italy, Selwyn College has organised a Summer School this year from Friday 30th June – Sunday 2nd July. The Summer School will feature a range of different Arts and Humanities subjects, themed around Italy. Participants will travel (virtually) through the Italian peninsula with University of Cambridge scholars as their guides as they experience taster lectures in Languages, History, Art History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Film and Linguistics. More information about the Summer School and how to sign up can be found at Selwyn College.

And while you are waiting for the Summer School in June, why not read some of our student perspectives for Classics, MML or History in the meantime, to get an idea of which subjects you could study at University.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Tags: 

Hull, City of Culture 2017

Hull History CentreImage credit: gnomonic

The award "UK City of Culture" is given every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture. Hull was announced the winner of UK City of Culture 2017 in 2013 and will celebrate the unique character of the city, its people, history and geography for the year with an arts and cultural programme. 

If you are interested in the Arts and Humanities, why not have a look at what Hull UK City of Culture 2017 has to offer this year? This is a good opportunity to develope your academic interest in your field, so look out for talks, exhibitions and other interesting events in Hull!

Some suggestions that you might find interesting:

Do you like literature? Why not start getting your teeth into Dylan Thomas' poetry with a performance of the soundtrack to the film Set Fire To The Stars?

If you are interested in history, you could visit the Hull History Centre to view the Hull Charters. 

And in the exhibition Lines of Thought you will be able to see drawings by famous artists from Dürer to Degas, Michelangelo to Matisse and Rembrandt to Riley, so delve into the history of art with these great masters.

For more information see the Hull City of Culture 2017 website and especially their What's On page.

Date posted: 

Sunday 1 January 2017

Tags: 

Year 10 & 11 Languages Taster Day

Girton College

Girton College. Credit: Mihnea Maftei

If you enjoy learning languages and are in Year 10 or Year 11, do pass this on to your teacher:

Girton College, Cambridge invites schools and colleges in the UK to nominate up to two students currently in Year 10 or 11 for a Taster Day in Modern Languages on 21 October. Nominations are open until 21st September.

The programme includes:

• An introduction to studying languages at university
• Culture and Language workshops by University academics
• Question and answer sessions with Admissions Tutors and current undergraduates

See the full information and nomination form on Girton College website.

Date posted: 

Thursday 15 September 2016

Tags: 

Some reading in French!

Book cover

Credit: Chris Drumm

Here's the beginning of Germinal a novel by Emile Zola:

Dans la plaine rase, sous la nuit sans étoiles, d'une obscurité et d'une épaisseur d'encre, un homme suivait seul la grande route de Marchiennes à Montsou, dix kilomètres de pavé coupant tout droit, à travers les champs de betteraves. Devant lui, il ne voyait même pas le sol noir, et il n'avait la sensation de l'immense horizon plat que par les souffles du vent de mars, des rafales larges comme sur une mer, glacées d'avoir balayé des lieues de marais et de terres nues. Aucune ombre d'arbre ne tachait le ciel, le pavé se déroulait avec la rectitude d'une jetée, au milieu de l'embrun aveuglant des ténèbres.

L'homme était parti de Marchiennes vers deux heures. Il marchait d'un pas allongé, grelottant sous le coton aminci de sa veste et de son pantalon de velours. Un petit paquet, noué dans un mouchoir à carreaux, le gênait beaucoup; et il le serrait contre ses flancs, tantôt d'un coude, tantôt de l'autre, pour glisser au fond de ses poches les deux mains à la fois, des mains gourdes que les lanières du vent d'est faisaient saigner. Une seule idée occupait sa tête vide d'ouvrier sans travail et sans gîte, l'espoir que le froid serait moins vif après le lever du jour. Depuis une heure, il avançait ainsi, lorsque sur la gauche, à deux kilomètres de Montsou, il aperçut des feux rouges, trois brasiers brûlant au plein air, et comme suspendus. D'abord, il hésita, pris de crainte; puis, il ne put résister au besoin douloureux de se chauffer un instant les mains.

A level plain, on a starless night, with a lone man walking along a straight road. This is how Zola begins Germinal. First the plain, then the darkness, then the man, and finally the plain again.In this novel, as in the others of the Rougon Macquart series, Zola devotes considerable attention to descrption, which he calls in Le roman expérimentale "un état du monde extérieur qui détermine et complète l'homme."
J.H. Matthews, 'The Art of Description in Zola's Germinal', Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures Vol. 16 , Iss. 4.

Date posted: 

Thursday 15 September 2016

Tags: 

Plenty of places still available for King's open afternoon next Tuesday

open day group

We still have plenty of places available for the King's open afternoon next Tuesday (20 September). This event is for students who will be applying to Cambridge this October.  Please see our open days page for further details and to book a place. This is an opportunity for you to get to know the college a little better. There will be a talk, subject sessions, the chance to chat to current King's students and a tour of the college.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Tags: 

Specimen papers for pre-interview admissions assessments

Note saying 'Register before you apply'

Your school will normally register you.

If you're applying to Cambridge this year then you may have a pre-interview admissions assessment at your school or test centre on 2 November - it depends what course you are applying for.

Information is available on the admissions assessment page, and specimen papers are available if you would like to practice.

Important: Don't forget to make sure that you're registered in time! The registration deadline is 1 October (at 17:00 UK time) if you're applying for Medicine or 15 October (at 18:00 UK time) if you're applying for another subject that requires a pre-interview assessment.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 14 September 2016

Tags: 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Literature and Languages