Literature and Languages

Oxford and Cambridge Year 12 Student Conferences around the UK

Students in a College

Student conferences are a good opportunity to find out more from subject specialists, students and admissions staff

Bookings are open for the 2016 Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences, which will take place in Swansea, Birmingham, Merseyside, Newcastle, Lisburn, Edinburgh and Surrey during March.

The conference covers courses available at Oxford and Cambridge (sessions led by subject specialists), Applying to Oxford and Cambridge (including student life) talks, and plenty of opportunities to chat with current students and admissions staff at both universities and find out what studying at Oxford and Cambridge is really like. You will need a teacher to book a ticket for you if you would like to attend - do read the information on the Oxford and Cambridge Student Conference website and ask a teacher to book your place (see the links to the different events on the right-hand side of the webpage linked above).

tracking our migratory birds to Africa and back

Date posted: 

Tuesday 5 January 2016

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Year 12 Architecture, English and Classics events on 27 February!

Find out what studying your subject at Cambridge is really like
Credit: Robert (cropped)

Would you like to experience typical undergraduate teaching at Cambridge and explore topics of interest beyond what is covered within your school syllabus? Then you might be interested in attending a Saturday Masterclass on 27 February.

 We advise you to read about these events and book as soon as possible if you are interested:

If you study at a state school in one of the areas tagged at the bottom of this post, please consider using the King's Year 12 Link Area Accommodation Scheme to request a room in King's College on the night of Friday 26 February (this is subject to availability). Details of how to request a room are in the grey box in the link. 

If you are interested in other subjects, please explore the full list of upcoming events, and consider registering your interest (on the right of the page) so that you receive an email when further events in other subjects are advertised.

Date posted: 

Monday 4 January 2016

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Competition: Communicating the Ancient World through film

Credit: Giovanni

The Faculty of Classics at Cambridge is well known for putting the Ancient World on screen. With Mary Beard, Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, and others on the staff, Cambridge’s Classics academics are some of the most familiar faces on TV documentaries.

This new competition invites you to take part in this mission of communicating the Ancient World through film (YouTube, not BBC1 just yet!). We are looking for creative and interesting films which explore a classical object or topic in less than 4 minutes. There will be a prize fund of £500 for the best entries and the winning videos will be put on our unique website – The Greeks, The Romans & Us  – which features a range of videos of Cambridge’s well-known and up-and-coming Classicists.

How to take part

For full details, please see the Video Competition page on The Greeks, The Romans & Us website. The deadline for entries is 15 March 2016. Do send any questions about the competition to the Classics Faculty Schools Liaison Officer.

Good Luck and we look forward to watching your film!

Date posted: 

Sunday 3 January 2016

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Subject Masterclasses

students outside the faculty of classics Students outside the Faculty of Classics

Subject Masterclasses provide academically-able Year 12 students with the opportunity to explore subjects they are interested in studying at university and may not have previously experienced. Each event includes two lectures, an introduction to the admissions process, and the chance to hear about student life from current undergraduates.

A range of subjects are offered each year, currently bookings are open for February 2016 Masterclasses in:

 

  • Archaeology: Saturday 06 February 2016
  • Genetics and Biochemistry : Saturday 06 February 2016
  • Physics: Saturday 06 February 2016
  • Theology and Philosophy: Saturday 06 February 2016
  • Architecture: Saturday 27 February 2016
  • Classics: Saturday 27 February 2016
  • English: Saturday 27 February 2016

Please be aware there are only a limited number of spaces available so we advise students to book their places quickly. Masterclasses are continually added throughout the year so please register your interest for future events on the Masterclass website.

Date posted: 

Sunday 3 January 2016

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Cambridge interviews

Supervision

Cambridge interviews are very similar to the supervisions that you have every week as a student here (see how you are taught).

If you apply to Cambridge, you send your UCAS application by the 15 October deadline (Cambridge and Oxford have an earlier deadline than for most UK universities), and most (though not all) applicants are invited for interviews, which take place in early December.

We don't suggest that you worry too much about the details of the application process when you're in Year 10, Year 11 or at this stage of Year 12, but it is useful to get a sense of what interviews are about (they are academic interviews). The important point to understand when looking at interviews, is that if you would like to study at Cambridge in the future, you may already be thinking about whether you can achieve the grades we require (see our entrance requirements), but it is equally important to enjoy your studies and explore and develop your academic interests

When you come for interview, we will be looking for intellectual ability, aptitude for the subject, curiosity and commitment. So the interviewers (specialists in the subejct you have applied for) ask a range of questions relating to the work or reading you have done, both at school and outside it. We we will encourage you to talk about your academic interests and ideas. We encourage you to watch this film about Cambridge interviews.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 18 November 2015

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Interested in languages? literature? politics? history?

If you are studying a language and are also interested in the world (i.e. you enjoy subjects such as politics, history, or literature, for example), then one exciting course that is worth looking at is Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. It's a very flexible course which can be tailored to your interests, so you can study areas from Japan in the East to Morocco in the West, and everything from classical times to the present day.

Studying an asian or middle eastern culture through its language enables you to develop a set of practical skills and knowledge that can be used later in many different ways (graduates go onto some very interesting careers indeed after this course!), and intellectually, you will engage with different ways of understanding our shared world.

There are no specific subject requirements for Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, though we will obviously be very interested in your aptitude for language learning. Most applicants study a foreign language at school. Many applicants have studied social sciences such as Economics or History, but it is also possible to apply and do well with a background in maths and sciences.

There's a very good opportunity to explore this course further if you can get to Cambridge on Saturday 21 November - do book a place on the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Masterclass, which will include two taster lectures, an opportunity to hear about what studying at Cambridge is like from current students, a introduction to the Cambridge admisisons process, and chance to ask questions.

Date posted: 

Friday 13 November 2015

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Mary Renault essay competition (Years 12 & 13)

Credit: Giovanni

St Hugh's College, Oxford is running an essay competition in memory of author Mary Renault (best known for her novels set in ancient Greece) for sixth form students who are not studying Greek or Latin to A level or equivalent.

Essays can be from any subject area and should be on a topic relating to the reception of classical antiquity. This includes Greek and Roman literature, history, political thought, philosophy, and material remains in any period from the Middle Ages to the present.

For full information, please see the Mary Renault prize flyer. The deadline for submissions is 16 January 2016.

Date posted: 

Friday 16 October 2015

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Subject Masterclasses - Year 12 Students

Inside a college library

Subject Masterclasses provide academically-able Year 12 students with the opportunity to explore subjects they are interested in studying at university and may not have previously experienced. Each event includes two lectures, an introduction to the admissions process, and the chance to hear about student life from current undergraduates.

Booking is now open for November 2015 Masterclasses in:

  • Engineering - 14 November 2015
  • Physics - 14 November 2015
  • History - 14 November 2015
  • Medicine - 21 November 2015
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies - 21 November 2015
  • Genetics and Biochemistry - 21 November 2015

Please be aware there are only a limited number of spaces available so students are advised to book their places quickly.

Masterclasses are continually added throughout the year and you can register you interest for future events here.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 30 September 2015

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Essay Writing - Where To Begin?

tapping a pencil on a black writing pad

Credit:Rennett Stowe
 

Getting those first words on the page when you’ve got an essay to write can seem daunting. There are a few useful tools and guides online that can help you get started and even develop your essay writing skills.

Essay Map is a very straightforward tool for mapping out your key ideas before you begin writing and helps you to create a structured plan from introduction to conclusion.

And if you find graphic plans useful when it comes to mapping out essays, there are lots of different designs online that you can use to organise your ideas.

For something more advanced, Harvard College Writing Centre provides various guides to essay writing. Their guides to writing in different academic disciplines are especially useful if you’re starting to study a subject in greater depth than you ever have before (History? Philosophy? English Literature?).

Date posted: 

Friday 25 September 2015

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What does an Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic dissertation look like?

manuscript in anglo saxonLucinda, an Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic student at Christ’s College, Cambridge, shares her thoughts on her undergraduate dissertation which asks: To what extent did the Anglo-Saxon Church condemn contemporary medical practices, and for what reasons?

She writes that “Although very niche, the Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic degree (or Tripos as it’s known in Cambridge) allows very flexible study in the range of papers it offers. Students can choose to focus on purely literature and language or on history, or as is most popular, they can mix the two together. Students have two opportunities to write a dissertation: it is optional in Second Year (Part I of the Tripos), and compulsory in Third (Part II). The beauty of the dissertation is that it allows you to either expand on an area you've already studied or to tackle something new which isn't covered in lectures or supervisions. For my Part II dissertation I chose the route of challenging myself with something I knew nothing about: Anglo-Saxon medicine.”

You can read more about Lucinda’s dissertation here.

Image: Tim Ellis

Date posted: 

Thursday 17 September 2015

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