Lucy Cavendish aims to admit at least five undergraduates in Human, Social and Political Sciences each year, and a number of Erasmus students follow related pathways, making HSPS one of the most diverse and international subject communities in college. We also have a strong postgraduate presence, with over twenty MPhil and PhD Anthropologists, Criminologists, Sociologists and Political Scientists, alongside research and teaching staff.

The BA in Human, Social and Political Sciences is a broad, flexible degree, enabling students to sample new subjects such as Archaeology, Biological Anthropology and Psychology, as well as pursuing focussed pathways in Politics and International Relations, Sociology, and Social Anthropology. It offers a springboard into a huge variety of careers, from journalism and public relations to law, heritage management and international development.

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

Director of Studies

Dr Marissa Quie (Politics)

Dr Matthew Sparkes (Sociology)

Course Requirements

There are no subject-specific entrance requirements for Human, Social and Political Sciences and successful applicants have in the past come to us with a variety of British and international qualifications.

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.

Sarah originally dropped out of school before completing GCSEs; later, she worked in radio and completed an Access to HE Diploma at the Manchester College. Before coming to Cambridge I was a little uneasy about how I would relate to other students, but Lucy is a special college because many women have come from a non-traditional route like myself. The pastoral and academic support has been fantastic. You know that staff genuinely care about their students and their individual development. I have enjoyed the challenge of Sociology, in particular, and also the interactions with other students and supervisors. The supervision system is good because of how personalised it is. This makes sure areas that I need to cover in depth are discussed thoroughly. The course in first year was a huge change to anything I'd experienced academically before so it took time to adjust, but I learned to thrive.

Wan studied film-making at Ngee Ann Polytechnic and had made two documentaries in China when she decided she wanted to consider the social issues she had encountered there in more depth. Lucy Cavendish has a vibrant and non-pretentious atmosphere; the diverse mix and friendliness of international students and staff and the cohesiveness of college members are just the tip of the iceberg! I feel most at home here, the facilities are great, and I know that support will be given to me wherever and whenever I need it. The course has widened my perspective on life and made me more objective in assessing problems, situations and people. HSPS is really broad in scope and extremely relevant. My advice to anyone interested in studying it is: be inquisitive - question everything, even your questions.


Kari is Swedish, and worked in London, France and Taiwan before coming to Lucy Cavendish. She went on to do an MA in Public Policy at York University, and specialises in communications. I now work as a press officer at the European Commission which in practical terms means that I am given boring texts and make them interesting. My policy area is higher education.I loved the intellectual challenge of being a Cambridge student and would happily do it all over again! The first memory of College that springs to mind is rowing with the spectacularly bad Lucy rowing team on the equally spectacularly beautiful Cam at sunrise. I believe we aren’t half as bad anymore...