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Human, Social, and Political Sciences - HSPS Tripos


The admissions process at the University of Cambridge is a little different to other Universities.

Key Information

  • Applications to HSPS are made through UCAS (Course Code L000). The deadline is 15 October, which is earlier than most other Universities.
  • If your application is considered competitive, you may be invited to attend an interview in December.
  • For complete application information, visit the University of Cambridge Undergraduate Study website.

Entry Requirements

The typical entry requirements for HSPS are A*AA (A Level) or 40-42 points with 776 at Higher Level (IB). There are no specific subject requirements, although essay-based subjects are considered an advantage.

There are no GCSE (or equivalent) requirements for entry to Cambridge. GCSE results are looked at as a performance indicator, but within the context of the performance of the school/college where they were achieved.

International students can check the equivalence of their grades as well as English language requirements on the Undergraduate Study website.

What are we looking for?

All Admissions Tutors are looking for the students who they believe have the most academic ability and potential, are best suited to the course applied for, and who will benefit from the learning environment we have to offer at Cambridge.

  • have exceptional academic ability and potential
  • will benefit from and flourish in the Cambridge learning environment
  • are well-suited to the HSPS course and can say why it's right for them


Since almost all of our applicants are predicted top grades, it's difficult to select fairly based on the UCAS application alone. Therefore, the University of Cambridge conducts admissions interviews, which:

  • contribute to our assessment of applicants’ academic potential and suitability for the course chosen – whether they have the potential to study it to a very high level, engage with new ideas and think conceptually, and how they'll respond to the teaching methods used at Cambridge
  • give applicants the opportunity to expand on the written elements of their application and show us how they think about their subject; and to demonstrate their interest in and commitment to their subject, and their ability to think critically and independently

If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, long-term health condition, injury or other particular need, the Colleges will make every effort to meet your requirements, but make sure you tell them well in advance of your interview.

My Cambridge Application

Shortly after submitting your UCAS application, you'll be emailed and asked to complete My Cambridge Application. It can take up to 48 hours for the email to arrive, as it takes a while to process your application. Check the inbox and junk folder of the email account used in your UCAS application on a regular basis.

We use My Cambridge Application to ensure we have complete and consistent information about all applicants. It helps us to collect information that's not in the UCAS application but is useful for assessing applications. For example, details of topics you've covered as part of your AS/A Level (or equivalent) courses may help our interviewers to decide which questions to ask. You can find out more here.

It also provides you with an opportunity to tell us specifically about which aspects of the HSPS course attracted you to apply to Cambridge, as your UCAS personal statement will likely be more general.

Choosing a College

In your UCAS application, as well as listing Cambridge (institution code CAM C05) as one of your options in the 'Choices' section, you'll need to enter the appropriate College (campus) code. There are 29 Colleges open to undergraduate students in Cambridge, each with their own accommodation, social spaces, clubs and societies.

You can either choose a particular College or, if you don’t have a preference, you can make an ‘open’ application and have a College allocated for you. The Cambridge University Student's Union (CUSU) has compiled a student-led factfile for all the colleges to help you make your decision. You can also visit the College websites for more information.

Further Questions

If you have any questions about the application process, first check the HSPS website and the application guides. You can then contact the Admissions Tutor or administrator at the College you wish to apply to (as the Colleges manage the undergraduate admissions process, rather than Departments).

Lastly, the Cambridge Open Days are held every July. They give you the opportunity to come and speak to a member of staff for more information about your application.

Fees and Funding