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School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

 

Applicants will be selected based on their academic achievement and potential in the context of their education to date and benefit which the programme might provide.

Applicants will be assessed competitively, on the basis of both academic achievement and academic potential in the context of their education to date. In the circumstances where all other things are equal, priority will then be given to those who are from groups that are currently underrepresented and/or who have experienced some form of educational disadvantage, using positive action under the Equality Act 2010 where appropriate. The University will monitor the impact of any positive action taken and intends to use positive action only where appropriate.

Applicants must meet all of the criteria in Part A. We particularly encourage applications from students who meet one or more of the widening participation criteria in Part B.

Part A - Eligibility

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria: 

  1. Be settled in the UK on 1 July 2022, with no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK or be a national of the Republic of Ireland.
    This does not include any non-UK national holding any type of time-limited UK visa, including international students on Tier 4/Student visas and EU citizens with pre-settled status.
  2. Have been ordinarily resident in the UK (but not mainly for full-time education) since 1 July 2019.
  3. Be currently undertaking an undergraduate degree at a UK or Irish university.
    You do not have to be a Cambridge undergraduate to apply. We particularly encourage applications from undergraduates currently studying at higher education institutions where research experience may not be as readily available as in more research-intensive institutions. You can check if your institution appears on the Sutton Trust 30 list of most highly selective universities. Students who do not have previous significant research experience and who would not otherwise have the means to access such experience will benefit most from the programme.
  4. Be in the penultimate year of your course.
    Applicants must be undergraduate students who are in their second year (or third year of a four-year course) at the time of application.
  5. Have proven and potential academic excellence.
    Applicants would usually be on track to achieve a final undergraduate degree grade of a strong 2:1 or First in humanities or social sciences. If your transcript shows year on year grade progression towards the upper range of a 2:1 or above, then we’d encourage you to apply.  
  6. Have an interest in undertaking a research postgraduate degree (MPhil or PhD) in the humanities or social sciences.
    As part of your application, you will need to demonstrate an interest in and potential for conducting research in the humanities or social sciences.
  7. Consent to abide by the terms and conditions of the offer, should you be made one.

Part B - Widening Participation

The University will be using positive action under the Equality Act 2010 to tackle the underrepresentation of, and overcome the disadvantage experienced by, certain groups.

The number of these widening participation criteria you select are not the primary assessment measure, as we are looking for evidence of academic potential within the context of your education and circumstances to date. Click on each criterion below for information.

We will ask you to describe your circumstances in your application, and you should make reference to the relevant criteria below. In some cases, we will ask for further documentation to support your application. Any information you share with us will be held securely and confidentially by our applications team.

Underrepresented Ethnic Group

To meet this criterion, you must identify as belonging to an underrepresented ethnic group.

Currently underrepresented ethnicities in the social sciences at Cambridge are: Black British, Mixed Black British, British Bangladeshi, British Pakistani, British Arab, and British Indian.

Please note that SHARE is open to students of all ethnicities, so you can qualify on grounds other than ethnicity.

Refugee Status

To meet this criterion, you must have been granted refugee status in the UK.

First Generation Applicant

To meet this criterion, you must be in the first generation of your family to go to university.

Care Background

To meet this criterion, one or more of the following must apply:

  • You entered university at undergraduate level from a Care background or as a Foyer resident. We will ask you to provide a letter from the Local Authority or Foyer as part of your application if you select this criterion.
  • You are estranged from your family. Someone under the age of 25 who is not communicating with their parents/guardians due to a breakdown in their relationships. You may also have been assessed as independent by Student Finance during your undergraduate study.
  • You were a young carer (that is, you had caring responsibilities for an ill or disabled family member who could not manage without this help).
Mature Student

To meet this criterion, you must have entered undergraduate degree as a mature student (that is, 21 or over at the start of your current undergraduate course).

Single Parent or Guardian

To meet this criterion, you must be either a single parent, or lone guardian of a young person who is aged under 18 and/or is still in full-time education.

Free School Meals

To meet this criterion, you must have been in receipt of Free School Meals at secondary school.

We will ask you to provide a letter or other notification from your school as part of your application if you select this criterion.

Where you lived when you applied for your undergraduate course

To meet this criterion, at the time of applying to your undergraduate course, you must have been living in either
(1) one of the most deprived areas of the country, or
(2) an area where it is unusual for young people to go to university.

 

1. Your postcode at point of entry to undergraduate study ranks within one of the 50% most deprived neighbourhoods (i.e within deciles 1 - 5) on the relevant government Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) search tool. Check here: EnglandScotlandWales, and Northern Ireland

 

2. Your postcode at point of entry to undergraduate study falls into Quintile 1 or Quintile 2 of the governments’s POLAR4 classification. Please search for the postcode of your home address in the final year of your secondary education (usually in the final year of your Sixth Form/FE college at age 18). Check here: POLAR search tool


 

We will ask for evidence of your postcode at point of entry to undergraduate study as part of your application if you select this criterion.

State Support

To meet this criterion, you must have received full state support for maintenance for your course of undergraduate study.

We will ask you to provide a scanned copy of the Student Finance (or Student Awards Agency Scotland) Notification of Award letter for the full amount of maintenance received if you select this criterion. This should detail any loan/grant in addition to the standard government loan that all UK resident students are eligible for. Any screenshot must include:

  • your name;
  • the name of the issuing authority (ie, Student Finance England); and
  • the amount of funding received and confirmation of this.