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Human, Social, and Political Sciences - HSPS Tripos


The HSPS Tripos is a flexible degree that can be customised according to your interests

Over the course of the three-year HSPS degree, students can either specialise in one core subject (such as Politics, Social Anthropology, or Sociology) or keep their options open with a two-subject track.

First Year

In the first year (Part I), all HSPS students gain a broad foundation in social science disciplines, taking four introductory papers in different subjects over the course of the year:

  • The Modern State and its Alternatives (POL1)
  • International Conflict, Order, and Justice (POL2)
  • Social Anthropology: The Comparative Perspective (SAN1)
  • Introduction to Sociology: Modern Societies I (SOC1)

Alternatively, students can select three papers from the list above, and one paper from the list below:

  • World Archaeology (A1)
  • Introduction to the Cultures of Egypt and Mesopotamia (A3)
  • Humans in Biological Perspective (B1)
  • Social, Applied and Individual Differences (PBS2) - From 2024-25

To find out more about the content of each paper, read our Part I Paper Guides.

Second and Third Year

In the second and third year (Part II), students can choose to specialise in a single or joint track within the HSPS Tripos. Single tracks allow students to dig into one subject and choose from a wide range of papers in that discipline. Joint tracks allow students to pursue multiple interests and continue to study at multiple departments. The track options include:

Single Track Joint Track
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Social Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Politics and Sociology
  • Social Anthropology and Politics
  • Social Anthropology and Religious Studies (Modern Religions)
  • Sociology and Social Anthropology
  • Sociology and Criminology

Prospective students don't have to decide which track they want to take before making an application. This decision is made towards the end of the first year on the HSPS programme.

Track Options