Year 10

The Subject Matters open for booking

stack of books

Credit: Alberto G.

The Subject Matters is an event for Year 10 and 11 students, run by the University of Cambridge each autumn. Practical and informative sessions will highlight the importance of suitable A Level (or equivalent) subject choices when making an application to a selective, research-led university, and help students access information to make informed A Level choices. In addition, students are provided with information about the University of Cambridge, higher education and career opportunities as well as an overview of the application process and next steps. All sessions are delivered by Admissions Tutors and students have the opportunity to ask questions.

When will the sessions be held?

The Subject Matters sessions will take place in Cambridge on the following dates:

  •     Saturday 15 October 2016 AM
  •     Saturday 15 October 2016 PM
  •     Friday 28 October 2016 PM
  •     Saturday 29 October 2016 AM
  •     Saturday 29 October 2016 PM
  •     Saturday 12 November 2016 AM
  •     Saturday 12 November 2016 PM

How do I make a booking?

To book your place please use the online booking form.

 

Posted: 25 September 2016

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.

Posted: 15 September 2016

What's it really like to study Geography?

Posted: 30 August 2016

What's it really like to study History?

Abdulla

The latest King's student perspectives piece is written by Abdulla, who has just finished his first year studying History here at King's.

King's Student Perspectives: History

It includes topics such as:

For more student perspectives written by students studying a range of subjects, see the King's Student Perspectives page.

Posted: 25 August 2016

What's it like to study Linguistics?

Posted: 24 August 2016

What's it like to study History?

Students in a supervision

The latest King's Student Perspectives piece is written by Joel, who has just finished his first year studying History here at King's:

In his account, Joel writes about the History course, how the teaching works, how he found the transition from school to university, and the social life in Cambridge.

Posted: 22 August 2016

What's it like to study Geography?

Adam

The latest King's Student Perspectives piece is written by Adam, who has just finished his first year studying Geography here at King's:

In his account, Adam writes about the Geography course, how supervisions work, how he found the application process, what he likes to do when he's not working and the social life in King's.

Posted: 17 August 2016

What's it really like to study Human, Social and Political Sciences?

Posted: 22 July 2016

What's it like to study Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic?

Posted: 21 July 2016

Want to visit Cambridge during the summer?

King's

Prospective students are always welcome to visit

Remember that you are welcome to visit any time, even if there's not an official open day on.

  • If you would like to look around a college, it is best to introduce yourself at the porters' lodge (the reception). Porters are normally happy for prospective students to walk around the public areas and will give you any maps / information available. There's also a map of Cambridge, which shows where the colleges are. You'll see that the middle of Cambridge is quite small, so you will be able to walk between most colleges easily.
  • If you would like to visit King's, do introduce yourself at the porters' lodge when you arrive. The college will be open to prospective students and we have a self-guided tour that you can use.
  • You may like to visit on a day when we're running an informal meeting for prospective students. Do email us with your name and the subject you are interested in if you would like to book a place one one of these meetings.
  • There are some great museums and teaching collections which you might like to explore, most of which are free to visit. Or you might like to check the 'what's on' list for the day you are visiting - there are often talks and exhibitions on, as well as the Shakespeare Festival.

Posted: 20 July 2016

Cambridge Shakespeare Festival 2016

Fellows Garden

King's College Gardens

The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival takes place in July and August, with eight plays performed outside in some of the beautiful College gardens. Do see the website for full details.

11 July - 30 July 2016:

Character from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Credit: Cambridge Shakespeare Festival

1 - 20 August 2016:

1 - 27 August 2016:

Posted: 19 July 2016

How is Britain Changing?

london central

Credit: Pedro Szekely

The competition for the Young Geographer of the Year Award provides students with the opportunity to explore geographical change from many different perspectives, at both local and national scales.

To enter, sixth form students must produce a 1500 word essay. Entries which illustrate how students have collected and used data from a variety of sources, including the collection of first-hand data through fieldwork, are encouraged. You can find full information, including details for how younger students can enter, on the entry form.

The deadline for all entries is 9:00 Friday 14 October 2016.

Posted: 15 June 2016

The Charles Darwin Papers

primate skeleton in the museum of zoologyThe University's Museum of Zoology holds some specimens from Darwin's famous voyage on the Beagle

Credit: Andrew Griffin

The Charles Darwin Papers in Cambridge University Library hold nearly the entire existing collection of Darwin’s working scientific papers. Among these documents are Charles Darwin’s Evolution Manuscripts, his papers on the transmutation of species. Using these notebooks, annotations, and portfolios, Darwin wrote the nine of his fifteen books that set down, enlarged and defended the theory of evolution by natural selection. You can find the papers online at the Darwin Manuscripts Project.

The Darwin Correspondence Project also holds online resources for students, including a Darwin Timeline showing the key moments in Darwin's life and what was happening in Britain at the time, plus a series of audio clips and videos on Darwin's work. For example, the Face of Emotion series discusses Darwin’s work on expression in the context of current research in artificial intelligence, autism, and neuroscience. You can even try Darwin's Emotion Experiment for yourself here.

Posted: 12 May 2016

Want to sing while you study?

When people think of Cambridge, they perhaps think first of the academic side of studying here - students taking challenging courses and working hard for their degree. But students also have lots of opportunities to do the things they enjoy outside of their studies here. Did you know that there are more than 25 choirs just across the Cambridge Colleges, as well as university-wide choirs like the Cambridge University Chamber Choir (CUCC) and CUMS Chorus? King's has two main choirs - King's College Choir (male voice) and King's Voices (mixed voice) - as well as an active music society, flute choir, and student bands and club nights.

Whatever sort of music you're into, or whatever instrument you play, there's something for everyone. And if you want to pursue music formally while studying here, there are also instrumental awards and choral awards that you can apply for. These are assessed separately from your application for a place at the university, which is based purely on your academic potential for your chosen course.

For those interested in singing in a choir, The Cambridge Choral Experience is designed to give students a chance to sample the rich choral culture that Cambridge has to offer and to experience singing in some of Cambridge's amazing chapels. Please note that these events are only open to students attending non fee-paying schools:

  • Saturday 18 June 2016: Years 7-11
  • Sunday 19 June 2016: Years 12 and 13

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 17 May 2016.

Posted: 29 April 2016

What is it really like to study Engineering?

Fraser

Many thanks, Fraser!

We're pleased to introduce the latest King's Student Perspectives piece, which is written by Fraser, a first year studying Engineering:

King's Student Perspectives: Engineering

Fraser's account gives a detailed insight into his experiences on the Engineering course, as well as College life in general and his thoughts about the application process. It includes topics such as:
 

For more student perspectives written by students studying a range of subjects, see the King's Student Perspectives page.

Posted: 25 April 2016

Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon avonThe Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Credit: Phil Dolby

You may have read in the news recently that 23 April 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

On last week's BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live, Edward Wilson-Lee (Faculty of English) and Victoria Bartels (Faculty of History) contributed to the commemorations of the death of Shakespeare.

The BBC Shakespeare Festival has lots more TV & Radio programmes coming up, as well as articles on historical performances, and Much Ado Near Me, which features regional Shakespeare resources, including clips and articles for Newcastle, York and the Tees.

There are also upcoming events in and around London as part of Shakespeare400, a season of cultural and artistic events throughout the year celebrating Shakespeare's creative achievement and his profound influence on culture across the centuries. Events include theatre, music, opera, dance, and exhibitions. Some highlights:

Posted: 24 April 2016

What is it really like to study HSPS at King's?

Punting

The latest King's Student Perspectives piece is written by Ceylon, who is studying Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) here at King's:

In her account, Ceylon writes about why she chose the course, what  the teaching is like, the workload and what she likes to do when she is not working, the social life in King's and College families, where and how she likes to do her work, and her thoughts on admissions interviews.

Posted: 21 April 2016

11 April - Physics talk in Oxford

Are you interested in Physics? Do you live near Oxford?

  • Talk: Investigating the origins of magnetic fields using the largest laser on Earth
  • Speaker: Dr Jena Meinecke
  • Date: 11 Apr 2016 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
  • Venue: Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU
  • Audience: General public (Age 14+)
  • Further information and booking: Oxford University Physics Department website

Posted: 1 April 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).

Posted: 5 February 2016

Veterinary Medicine Open Day

The Department of Veterinary Medicine, perhaps surprisingly, has a long tradition of studying infectious diseases. Their work is wide-reaching, and combines leading experts in veterinary and biological sciences, public health and social sciences, ecology and wildlife health. - To find out more you can book a place on their open day (Bookings will open at 10.30am on Monday 8 February)

For more science events, do browse the Cambridge Science Festival programme. Booking opens at 10:30am on 8 February

Posted: 29 January 2016

Computer Science at Cambridge Science Festival

Do browse the festival programme now. Booking opens at 10:30am on 8 February

The programme has just been published for this year's Cambridge Science Festival, which will run from Monday 7 March to Sunday 20 March. Events which may be of interest to prospective Computer Science students include both talks and activities, and the opportunity to visit some of the University's facilties. Here are some examples:

Mon 7 - Happier and healthier - smartphones (15+, booking)
Tues 8 & Wed 9 - Historical letterpress printing (15+, booking)
Wed 9 - The intersection of society and technology (15+, booking)
Thurs 10 - Turing's imitation game (15+, booking)
Sat 12 - Be a Computer (12+, booking)
Sat 12 - Alan Turing and the Enigma Machine (12+, booking)
Sat 12 - Big data: the missing link (15+, booking)
Mon 14 - Data: how can cities become smarter? (15+, booking)
Mon 14 - Back to the future: computing history (12+, booking)

Bookings for the Cambridge Science Festival open on 8 February at 10:30am. Please see the Cambridge Science Festival website.

Posted: 25 January 2016

Physics at Cambridge Science Festival

Posted: 22 January 2016

Chemistry at Cambridge Science Festival

Test tubes

Do browse the festival programme now. Booking opens at 10:30am on 8 February

The programme has just been published for this year's Cambridge Science Festival, which will run from Monday 7 March to Sunday 20 March. Events which may be of interest to prospective Chemistry students include both talks and activities, and the opportunity to visit some of the University's facilties. Here are some examples:

Mon 6 - Choral Evensong (all ages, booking)
Tue 8 - FameLab Cambridge final (15+, booking)
Tue 8 - Solar energy: past, present and future (15+, booking)
Tue 8 - SciBar Cambridge (15+, booking)
Wed 9 - Look what chemistry has done for me (15+, booking)
Thurs 10 - Climate science (15+, booking)
Thurs 10 - A sustainable future: finding your way (15+, booking)
Thurs 10 - How proteins fold, my research career. (15+, booking)
Sat 12 - Structural data and molecular design (all ages, booking)
Thurs 17 - Plants to drugs (12+, booking)

Bookings for the Cambridge Science Festival open on 8 February at 10:30am. Please see the Cambridge Science Festival website.

Posted: 22 January 2016

Biology and Medicine at the Cambridge Science Festival

Science Festival pin badges

Do browse the festival programme now. Booking opens at 10:30am on 8 February

The programme has just been published for this year's Cambridge Science Festival, which will run from Monday 7 March to Sunday 20 March. Events which may be of interest to prospective students for Biology and Medicine include both talks and activities, and the opportunity to visit some of the University's facilties. Here are some examples:

Mon 7, Tue 8, Mon 14, Wed 16 -  Parasite (15+, booking)
Mon 7 - What Darwin did next (12+, booking)
Mon 7 - Artificial intelligence vs. the human brain (15+, booking)
Tues 8 - Organ transplantation: dilemmas (15+, booking)
Wed 9 - Pregnancy as a compromise (15+, booking)
Thus 10 - What population genetics can teach us (15+, booking)
Fri 11 - The brain: how we really make decisions (15+, booking)
Sat 12 - Structural data and molecular design (all ages, drop in)
Sat 12 - What can a tiny nervous system do? (15+, booking)
Sat 12 - Your primate relatives (8+, booking)
Sat 12 & Sun 13 - Biology challenges (all ages, drop in)
Sat 12 & Sun 13 - Cells in the know (all ages, drop in)
Sun 20 - Computing in molecular and cell biology (12+ booking)
Sun 20 - A real operating room (8+, booking)
Sun 20 - Using the immune system to fight cancer (12+, booking)
Sun 20 - Making new medicines for old diseases (12+, booking)
Sun 20 - Surgical simulation techniques (12+, booking)
Sun 20 - Brain injury and new technology (15+, booking)
Sun 20 - Pregnancy, diabetes and research (15+, booking)

Bookings for the Cambridge Science Festival open on 8 February at 10:30am. Please see the Cambridge Science Festival website.

Posted: 21 January 2016

Durham: Find out about research in Antarctica

Durham

Keep an eye out for interesting local exhibitions and events!

There are a number of exhibitions and events at Palace Green Library, Durham University on the Polar Regions, focusing particularly on the discovery, exploration and ongoing work taking place in Antarctica.

You will find full details of the following events on the Palace Green Library website.

  • Exhibition: Antarctica: Exporers, Heroes, Scientists
  • Exhibition: With Scott to the Pole
  • Exhibition: Antarctic Witness
  • Exhibition: Antarctic Science Today
Antarctic peninsula

The Northern Antarctic Peninsula. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

As well as visiting the exhibitions, do take the opportunity to talk to scientists from Durham University's Department of Geography about research in Antarctica  and ask any questions that you have about what current research is happening and why this is important for our understanding of climate change - they will be available every Saturday at the 'Ask a Scientist' events (next event: Saturday 23 January 12 noon until 3pm).

There is also a talk on Antarctic Exploration on Wednesday 27 January 2016, using the Royal Geographical Society archives. NB. If you would like to find out about using archives in academic research, you may find the King's Introduction to Archives useful to look at in advance of this talk.

Posted: 21 January 2016

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!

Posted: 3 January 2016

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.

Posted: 18 November 2015

York - Exploring Light

Light bulbs

Credit: Faith Goble

How is light used in scientific research today?

On Saturday 31 October,  the University of York, The Institute of Physics, York Hackspace, Illuminating York and York Explore  are presenting a day of hands-on, fun activities and talks from artists and physicists focusing on light.

Posted: 20 October 2015

Ways into Shakespeare: Pocket Merchant

Shakespeare books on a shelf

Credit: Helder da Rocha (cropped)

Pocket Merchant is a one hour production which offers an inspiring introduction to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. If you're looking for a way into Shakespeare, do go along, and think of a question to ask the actors afterwards, as you'll have the chance to meet them.

  • NORWICH: Playhouse - Wed 30 Sept at 7.30pm and Thurs 1 Oct at 3pm.
  • BARNSLEY: The Civic Barnsley - Fri 2 October at 7.30pm
  • LUTON: Library Theatre - Tues 6 October at 1.30pm
  • CANTERBURY: The Gulbenkian - Wed 7 October at 1.30pm and 7.30pm
  • BRISTOL: Wickham Theatre- Wed 14 October at 7.30pm
  • HAVANT: The Spring -Thurs 15 October at 7.30pm
  • COVENTRY: The Belgrade - Mon 19 October at 2pm and 7pm
  • HARTLEPOOL: The Town Hall - Wed 21 October at 1pm and 7pm
  • DURHAM: The Gala Theatre - Thurs 22 October at 1pm and 7.30pm

For further information and booking please see the Pocket Merchant website.

Posted: 26 September 2015

Modern Languages Taster Day - Girton College, Cambridge

works in neon lightsGirton College and the Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages will be running a Taster Day aimed at pupils who are currently studying Modern Languages at GCSE, aimed at introducing the study of these courses at university level. The programme, which will take place at Girton College, will include workshops by University academics designed to inspire and enthuse Year 10 and 11 students who will already be considering languages within their A Level choices and possibly studying this vibrant subject at university.

Please see this advert for more information and to complete the nomination form, which should be returned to: Schools Liaison Assistant, Girton College, Cambridge, CB3 0JG or by email to by Monday 21st September.

If you have any enquiries about the Taster Day, please do not hesitate to contact Erin at

Image: Chris JL

Posted: 16 September 2015

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.

Posted: 25 August 2015

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.

Posted: 20 August 2015

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:

Posted: 14 July 2015

What do Cambridge scientists read?

Middlemarch book cover

Credit: Chris Drumm

Do you enjoy literature and science? Are these interests compatible? Do you think that fictional works can be useful and interesting to scientists? Or is fiction too different to science?

As you think about these questions, here's a series of films in which Cambridge scientists talk about fictional texts that have inspired or helped them in various ways.

Novel Thoughts:

Article on the Novel Thoughts series.

Posted: 23 June 2015

Introduction to Archives

Rupert Brooke in uniformRupert Brooke in uniform, at Blandford, Dorset. 1914. Archive Centre, King’s College, Cambridge. RCB/Ph/262

Why not access and use primary sources to explore and develop your academic interests this Summer?

King's College Archive Centre has developed an Introduction to Archives, using the papers of King's student and First World War poet Rupert Brooke as a case study.

The website is divided into two parts:

  1. Introduction to archives: What archives are, the key principles of archival research and how to access primary sources (sections 1-6).
  2. Rupert Brooke case study: How these ideas apply to the papers of Rupert Brooke, through interpretation activities focussing on different aspects of his life and a few of his most famous poems (sections 7-10).

Once you've worked through the online resources, you'll be ready to visit an archive near you to do some research of your own.

Posted: 12 June 2015

History of Art with the Tate

Gallery at Tate St. IvesA gallery at Tate St Ives. Image credit: Herry Lawford

Tate galleries host the national collection of British art from 1500 to the present day, along with international modern and contemporary art.

If you'd like an introduction to the History of Art, or an opportunity to explore and develop your existing interests in the field, try their free online courses.

If you have the opportunity, visit the Tate:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art offer similar free online resources.

Posted: 29 May 2015

Spotlight on HSPS: Archaeology

Archaeological excavation at Hierapolis, TurkeyArchaeological excavation at Hierapolis, Turkey. Image Credit: Chris Parfitt

Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Cambridge offers a unique range of related disciplines, which can be studied in many combinations, or with a concentration on a single discipline: you can work on Politics and International Relations, Social Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Archaeology and / or Sociology. Many (or all) of these subjects will be new to you, so how do you know what's involved?

As the course website explains, Archaeology is the study of the human past. Archaeologists investigate the origins of our species, document the diversity of ancient cultures, and explore the emergence of the first cities and empires. Archaeologists study material remains (from stone tools to monuments) and settlements (from villages to cities) to answer questions including: How did tool use affect evolution of the modern human brain? What can the earliest art tell us about interaction and cognition of early humans? How did daily life change with domestication of plants and animals? What are the sources of social inequality? When - and why - did leadership emerge? How did early empires encompass such vast territories, and why were their rulers so powerful?

Specialist courses in Ayssyriology (the study of Mesopotamia) and Egpytology are also available as part of the HSPS degree.

Find out more:

Posted: 22 May 2015

Bite the Ballot? Voting Age and Youth Political Participation

Polling stationWould voting online increase youth participation? Image credit: Martin Bamford

Today is polling day in the United Kingdom General Election 2015.

The Electoral Commission will fill you in on who is eligible to vote. For those who are registered to vote, they advise on how to vote today.

How old should you be to vote? 18, as in UK General Elections, or 16, as in the Scottish Independence Referendum?

Younger people remain less likely to vote than older people.  Does it matter? How can youth political participation be boosted? Should we even try?

Posted: 7 May 2015

Women, Count! (And other Mathematics Operations) - Year 10

St John's College

St John's College is one of the larger Colleges. What is a College?

St John's College is running a brand new event targeted at Year 10 girls who have the potential to get an A or A* in Mathematics GCSE.

Through a fascinating day of practical sessions, panel discussions and research talks from a wide range of Mathematical fields, this day will provide a real insight into the many realms in which Mathematics can be used, both at University and beyond.

Schools are invited to bring up to 5 students plus the required members of staff. Students can also make their own way to Cambridge.

The day will run from 9:45-16:00 and include a buffet lunch and tours of St John's College.

Full information and contact details are  available on the St John's College website.

Posted: 6 May 2015

Year 10 Women in STEM Event: Friday 27 February

Lab coatsLab coats. Image credit: Upupa4me

King’s College Student Union invites Year 10 girls at UK state schools to attend a Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics workshop on Friday 27 February in Cambridge.

The programme has been put together by our female mathematicians, scientists, and engineers to inspire young women to continue their study of STEM subjects at A Level and beyond.

Our current students will lead small groups in hands-on sessions in Maths, Natural Sciences, and Engineering.  There will also be a panel of current students who will lead a Q&A on studying sciences and living at university.

The workshop will begin at 10am and finish by 3pm.  We ask schools to cover transport costs, but once your group arrives at King’s all parts of the visit (including a sandwich lunch) will be free of charge.

Teachers who would like to book places (up to a maximum of 30) for their Year 10 girls are asked to email Eleanor (Schools Liaison Officer) for more information.

Posted: 10 February 2015

Royal Shakespeare Company broadcasts in local cinemas

Did you know that the Royal Shakespeare Company broadcasts performances to local cinemas around the UK and beyond?

If you are studying any works by Shakespeare, do visit the RSC onscreen website to find out about broadcasts in cinemas.

If you go to the cinemas and tickets page, you can look up what you could see near to where you live. For example, venues in Northumberland include The Maltings in Berwick upon Tweed, The Forum in Hexham, The Alnwick Playhouse and Vue cinemas in Cramlington.

Further information about the Royal Shakespeare Company is available on their website.

Posted: 4 February 2015

The Cambridge Science Festival programme is published

Hands-on activity

Science Saturday - a hands-on Engineering activity assisted by Cambridge undergraduates

Bookings open on Monday 9 February at 10.30am for the large 2015 Cambridge Science Festival running from 9 - 22 March 2015

There is a Cambridge Science Festival app, which you can search for on iTunes or Google Play.

Examples of talks:

  • Mon 9 March (17:30 - 18:30) - There's no business like flow business (age 15+)
    Inreasingly cells are providing us with answers. Scientists at the Babraham Institute carry out vital research on cells and cellular processes to learn how the body works and how it changes as we age. In this lecture, Rachel Walker and Becky Newman explain flow cytometry and how how it takes us a step further in understanding cells and cell populations.
    (Booking required)
  • Tues 10 March (17:00 - 18:00) - Colour, new dimensions, and the geometry of physics (age 15+)
    Professor Frank Wilczek from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the leading theoretical physicists of our time. Known for his discovery of asymptotic freedom, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 2004, his research ranges across particle physics, astrophysics and condensed matter physics.
    (booking required)
  • Thurs 12 March (18:00 - 19:00) - Melioidosis:biothreat infection and paddy-field disease (age 15+)
    Professor Sharon Peacock is a clinical microbiologist in the Department of Medicine, and works closely with Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Intitute. In this talk, Professor Peacock shows how sequencing techniques can be applied to to study of Melioidosis, an infectious disease of tropical climates.
    (booking required)
  • Fri 13  March (18:00 - 19:00) - Searching for intelligence in the legs: robots that walk, run and dance (age 15+)
    Although there is enormous success in the use of robotic arms for the automation industry, robotic legs are very challenging to be engineered and used in our daily lives. Dr Fumiya Lida discusses why legs are so special, and whether we will see robots running around in the near future.
    (booking required)

Posted: 31 January 2015

Cambridge GCSE Computing Online

A raspberry piImage credit: Teardown Central

The OCR Exam Board, the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and Cambridge University Press offer a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) based on the Cambridge GCSE Computing curriculum. The course is free, open to all, and offers an introduction to how computers work, how they are used, and develops computer programming and problem-solving skills. Whilst completion of the course does not lead to a GCSE qualification, you will receive a 'Statement of Participation' to record your achievement. Find out more on the Cambridge GCSE Computing Online website, beginning with their FAQs.

Posted: 26 January 2015

Going deeper into Mathematics

Lines and curves on an athletics track

Lines and curves.
Credit: See-Ming Lee

If you like (or dislike!) mathematics, what is it about the subject that makes you feel this way? What does studying mathematics at unviersity level involve, and how can you work out if you will enjoy it?

We advise students who are curious about maths (and subjects related to maths) to read the following explanation of rich mathematics:

If the kind of maths that makes you think and encourages you to go deeper inside the subject appeals to you, make sure you explore the NRICH Mathematics website:

  • Stage 5 material is for students in the last two years of school (normally aged 16-18).
  • Stage 4 material is for students in Year 10 and Year 11 (normally aged 14-16)
  • If you have a particular interest, you may also find the curriculum content section helpful
  • Or have a go at some of the live problems and see if you can get your solution published!

Posted: 12 December 2014

Excellence Hub for Yorkshire and Humberside

York Campus

University taster events show you what studying a subject in depth at university-level would be like. Credit: John Robinson

The Excellence Hub for Yorkshire and Humberside is an exciting collaboration between the universities of Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and York to provide enrichment events through the year for students who have been identified as high achieving by their schools or colleges.

Look at the list of upcoming Subject Taster Events.

The events are open to students across the UK. You can apply to attend the events as an individual, or one of your teachers can apply for a group from your school to attend. Priority for places is given to students who meet one of the criteria below, then the remaining places are given to students who do not meet the criteria. Some events are for Year 12 students, others are for younger students.

Priority criteria:

  • eligible to receive free school meals.
  • no history of higher education (studying at university level) in your immediate family (including any siblings).
  • living in local authority care.

Do keep an eye on this project. Further events will be advertised on the Excellence Hub website in due course.

Posted: 13 November 2014

Cambridge Sculpture Trails

Double Helix Sculpture

Double Helix sculpture in Clare College. Credit: Nige Brown

Did you know that Cambridge has lots of 20th and 21st century sculptures in and around the city? You will find both pieces by major international figures and work by up-and-coming sculptors.

Come and explore for yourself! There are three Sculpture trails that you can use, and if you follow the links and information on the website, you can find out more about the sculptors and their work.

Posted: 27 October 2014

Chemnet

Chemicals

Credit: Horia Varlan

If you're aged 14-18 and you enjoy Chemistry, why not join the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemnet? It offers free support and advice for all Chemistry students including:

The link to join Chemnet is here.

Posted: 6 October 2014

Cambridge Science Centre: Extreme Engineering

Ant hill

Have you ever thought about ant hills? Credit: Elroy Serrao

If you are visiting Cambridge, do look up the Public Extreme Engineering exhibition and activities at the Cambridge Science Centre (18 Jesus Lane, CB5 8BQ). This runs until March 2015.

As well as the exhibitions, there will be lots of opportunities to meet research engineers in Cambridge and get a feel for the projects that they are working on. For details, please see the Extreme Engineering website and twitter feed.

Coming up:

  • 24 August - Robogals (Engineers from Cambridge University) will be running a workshop about programming and robotics using Lego
  • 29 August - Find out more about the ingenious structures created by animals with the Museum of Zoology
     

Posted: 11 August 2014

James Dyson Foundation Challenge: Geodesic Domes

Geodesic dome

Biosphere in Montreal. Credit: Nic Redhead (cropped)

Do you know what a geodesic dome is? It is a structure named in 1949 by an American Engineer called Richard Burkminster Fuller. Amongst the interesting features of geodesic domes is their structural strength and that they are relatively easy to construct.

To build your own geodesic dome out of jelly sweets and cocktail sticks and explore the structure, see this challenge designed by Neil, an electronics engineer at Dyson. Can you describe in as much detail as possible why the geodesic dome is a strong structure?

Posted: 28 June 2014