Lucy Cavendish aims to admit two to three undergraduates in History each year, and recent students have made exceptional progress in both Part I and II of the course. We also currently have six MPhil and seven PhD Historians, making for a warm and supportive subject community in college.

The BA in History is internationally renowned, and the breadth of teaching expertise within the Faculty is such that it can accommodate many different interests and approaches to historical study. Cambridge History graduates are highly employable and the course provides a springboard into a huge variety of careers, from journalism and broadcasting to law, business and finance.

Further information about the course can be found on the Faculty and University websites.

Director of Studies

Dr Duncan Needham

Course Requirements

There are no subject-specific entrance requirements for History and we have in the past accepted applicants with a range of British and international qualifications. Some prior formal study of History is highly desirable, but not absolutely essential.

See the general Entrance Requirements and FAQ for more information about our academic conditions. You can also contact our Admissions Office with queries.

Admissions Assessment

Applicants to Lucy Cavendish will not be required to sit a pre-interview assessment.  Applicants invited for interview will be asked to sit a written assessment on the day of their interviews. This assessment will last no longer than one hour, and will be similar in content and format to the assessment used by other colleges, prior to interview. Specifications can be found in the Entry Requirements section here.

Sam was a self-taught A-level student who initially trained in accountancy before taking a role with the Birmingham Museums Service and realizing that history, not numbers, excited her. We have a small but brilliant community of historians at Lucy, undergraduate and postgraduate, they are a phenomenal resource. I have been privileged to have the most wonderful Director of Studies during my time here. Her door is always open and she cares passionately about her students. The College feels like home rather than the student accommodation I was dreading and the variety of the history course at Cambridge has been great. I came wanting to read all political history and in the end read none as the sheer diversity of the papers available inspired me to learn about places and periods I would never have had a chance to study somewhere else.

Kate grew up in Northern Ireland and worked in waitressing, hospitality and the airline industry for ten years prior to completing an Access to HE Diploma at Southern Regional College. Studying at Lucy Cavendish is an opportunity I never thought I would have; it still amazes me that there is a place for me at Cambridge and the College has greatly exceeded my expectations. At Lucy I have been able to indulge my passion for history and learn about topics I would have little access to otherwise. The supportive environment has allowed me to study what I love whilst juggling the challenges of life as a single parent at the same time.  My advice to anyone interested in coming here is: believe you have the ability within yourself to achieve great things, no matter what your background or circumstances are.

Alicja is from Poland, and came to Lucy Cavendish with the International Baccalaureate, having also spent a foundation year at the School of Oriental and African Studies. History at Cambridge is an academically demanding programme, but Lucy Cavendish offers a wonderfully supportive community that allows students to fully benefit from the opportunities available. I have been able to challenge myself throughout my studies, and it has been a true privilege to have one-to-one supervisions with experts in the field. My particular area of interest lies in modern South Asian history, and the international network at Lucy meant I benefited from debates with students from the region about the issues discussed during lectures. I really encourage prospective historians to go beyond the comfort zone - subjects you were not comfortable with at the beginning may become your new academic passions! 

Cherish is from Norfolk, and has a background in environmental educational consultancy and web design, as well as an AQA Baccalaureate. Studying History at Lucy Cavendish has been a hugely enriching and rewarding experience. The weekly supervisions have been invaluable. I have come away from them buzzing from discussions with world-leading experts in the field, which have changed my thinking, both in understanding topics and presenting an argument. There is a wealth of resources, ranging from a well-stocked college library, to the Seeley and University Library 15 minutes away. Whilst as one would expect, the course is intensive and demanding, the College provides an incredibly supportive environment. The History community here is small, but there are many opportunities to discuss historical topics with those in other disciplines, whose perspectives shine new light on debates. Prospective historians, be prepared to be intellectually stimulated at a College whose own history is inspiring and thought provoking.