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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS)

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The BA degree in Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS) offers the opportunity to study a range of social science subjects in the first year, and to specialise in one or two disciplines in the second and third years. Students also have the option to maintain a multidisciplinary approach throughout the three years of the degree. The great thing about this flexible course is that it allows you either to continue exploring a number of subjects throughout the three years, or to focus on what you already know you like – the choice is up to you. More details about the course can be found on the University website.

At Murray Edwards we admit around eight to ten undergraduates a year, making for a community of around 25 to 30 undergraduates at any one time.  HSPS is thus one of the largest subjects in College and we are a College with one of the largest numbers of HSPS students in the University.  We have a vibrant student community, and our student-run subject society, the Murray Edwards Social Sciences Society (MESSS), organises a range of subject-related events throughout the academic year, such as talks and film screenings, as well as an annual dinner. We do not require any specific subjects at A Level (or equivalent) as HSPS can be approached successfully in a number of different ways.


Studying HSPS at Murray Edwards

We have two Fellows and Directors of Studies in HSPS.  Dr Paola Filippucci is a social anthropologist with a background and continuing interest in archaeology. Her research focuses on social memory and on the remembrance of war, especially in relation to the First World War. She teaches the main first and second year Social Anthropology papers.  

Dr Evaleila Pesaran works on the Politics and International Relations of the Middle East, and she is particularly interested in questions of sovereignty and the consequences of foreign economic involvement in modern Iran. Dr Pesaran teaches the first year Politics and International Relations papers, and she also teaches on Comparative Politics and the Politics of the Middle East in the second and third years.

In addition to teaching Murray Edwards students in their subjects, the Directors of Studies organise supervisions for other subjects with colleagues from across the Faculty, and they provide guidance and assistance throughout all aspects of the degree. They also run a reading group for the first year students, to discuss subject-relevant texts. 

Admissions Assessment and Interview Arrangements

As with all applicants for HSPS, if you apply to Murray Edwards then you will be required to sit the HSPS Admissions Assessment in your school, college or a registered test centre in early November.  You will also be required to submit written work from you studies at school. If you are invited to interview you will have two subject-specific interviews with our Directors of Studies and Fellows in HSPS or related disciplines. For one of these interviews, you will be asked to summarise and/or answer questions on a brief subject-related text that you will be given to read just before the interview.

Offer Levels

If you receive an offer from Murray Edwards College then it is likely to be the standard University offer of A*AA at A Levels, 40-42 points in the International Baccalaureate (IB) with 776 at Higher Level (HL) or equivalents in other qualification.  We will usually ask you to achieve an A* (or equivalent) in a specific subject if we believe that subject to be especially relevant to studying HSPS.

Fellows in this subject