Human, Social, and Political Sciences
Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) is a multidisciplinary subject covering Politics, International Relations, Sociology, and Anthropology.
Below you will find information about the specific degree course offered by Cambridge University to study HSPS, how to prepare, and how Oxbridge Interviews can help you with your application.BOOK COURSE
Human, Social, and Political Sciences is a course unique to Cambridge University. It begins broad, with students expected to take modules from 4 different subject fields in Year 1, before specialising in Years 2 and 3.
Getting in is tough - this is one of Cambridge’s most competitive courses – only 1 in 6 applicants are successful. To be offered a place, you generally need to get A*AA at A Level (or equivalent). There are no essential A Level subjects for this course but an essay-based subject is strongly recommended.
Human Social and Political Sciences is not offered by Oxford University.
Students looking to apply to Oxford are encouraged to consider other social sciences such as Human Sciences or Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
To prepare for your HSPS application, you must demonstrate your motivation for the subject and specific interests. You can do this by reading beyond your school curriculum. Our interviewers recommend:
- 'Women and Power' by Mary Beard
- 'Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union' by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin, and Paul Whiteley
- 'The Lost Majority' by Michael Ashcroft
Practice interviews for HSPS applications are critical. You wouldn’t sit an exam without doing a mock, so don’t place yourself in an interview without having experienced a practice interview first.
James (HSPS, Cambridge)
James has a degree in HSPS from Cambridge University, where he founded his College’s Social Sciences Society.
He now works as an Associate Political Consultant at the Whitehouse Consultancy, providing clients in the healthcare, education and third sector with political insight and policy guidance, as well as wider communications and PR advice.
"The students who stand out are those which are most original, who find creative and exciting examples to explain their ideas, and can balance understanding of theory with how it can be applied. Those that shine have a critical eye, and can compare different ideas with one another. Most of all, future HSPS students have a real flare for debate, to challenge norms, and a want to understand how and why society is structured the way it is."
Applicants to Human, Social, and Political Sciences at Cambridge are not required to sit a written admissions test.