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Human, Social, and Political Sciences - HSPS Tripos

 

In the second and third year of the HSPS degree (Part II), students choose to specialise in either a single or joint track within the Tripos.

Choosing a 'track' is the main way that students tailor their HSPS degree, as each track determines which papers are available to take from different departments. This decision is made towards the end of the first year (Part I), and students can discuss their options with supervisors, personal tutors and Directors of Studies, as well as with peers in the second and third years.

Track Guides

The following guides provide an overview of the different paper options for second year (Part IIA) and third year (Part IIB) HSPS students, as well as the combinations in which those papers can be taken within the different tracks:

Paper Choices

In Easter term, current students are required to submit their paper choices for the following academic year via an online form.

Submit Paper Choices

Paper Options

Use the accordion sections below to see which paper combinations are available to students in 2021-22 within each track. Please note that paper options change from year to year and that some restrictions and prerequisites do apply. 

Politics and International Relations (Single Track)

Politics and International Relations (Single Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Descriptions for the Politics and International Studies Part II papers can be found on the POLIS website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • International Organisation (POL3)
  • Comparative Politics (POL4)
  • One paper chosen from History of Political Thought to c.1700 (POL7) or History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (POL8)
  • One paper chosen from Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations (POL5); Statistics and Methods in Politics and International Relations (POL6); Archaeology (A1, A3, A11); Biological Anthropology (B1-4); History (Paper 10 or Paper 11); History and Philosophy of Science (Paper 1 or Paper 2); Psychology (PBS 3-4); Social Anthropology (SAN8,9,11); or Sociology (SOC2-3). 
  • Conceptual Issues and Texts in Politics and International Relations (POL9)
  • Two papers chosen from History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (POL10); Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought since c.1890 (POL11); The Politics of the Middle East (POL12); British and European Politics (POL13); US Foreign Policy (POL14); The Politics of Africa (POL15); The Politics of Conflict and Peace (POL16); Politics and Gender (POL17); The Politics of the International Economy (POL18); Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations (POL19); Politics and Religion (POL20); The Idea of a European Union (POL21); or a disseration in Politics.
  • One paper chosen from Statistics and Methods in Politics and International Relations (POL6); (POL10-21); Biological Anthropology (B2-4); Social Anthropology (SAN8,9,11); or Sociology (SOC6-13, SOC 15); History (Paper 6); History and Philosophy of Science (Paper 5 or Paper 6); Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (EAS.2), Economics (Paper 8).
Social Anthropology (Single Track)

Social Anthropology (Single Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Descriptions for the Social Anthropology Part II papers can be found on the Social Anthropology website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • Foundations of social life (SAN2)
  • Anthropological theory and methods (SAN3)
  • Anthropology of an ethnographic area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g)
  • One paper chosen from Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science and environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory and visual worlds (SAN11); Archaeology (A1, A3, A11); Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Paper J9); History and Philosophy of Science (Paper 1 or Paper 2); Politics (POL3, POL 4); Psychology (PBS3); or Sociology (SOC2-3, SOC 5). 
  • Ethical life and the anthropology of the subject (SAN5)
  • Power, economy and social transformation (SAN6)
  • One paper chosen from Anthropology of an ethnographic area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g); Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science & environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory & visual worlds (SAN11);  Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Paper J9); History and Philosophy of Science (Paper 5); Politics (POL13, POL17); or Sociology (SOC5–13, SOC15).
  • One paper chosen from Social Anthropology (SAN8,9,11) or a dissertation in Social Anthropology.
Sociology (Single Track)

Sociology (Single Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Paper guides for the Sociology Part II papers can be found on the Sociology website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • Social Theory (SOC2)
  • Global Social Problems (SOC3)
  • One paper chosen from Concepts and Arguments (SOC4) or Statistics and Research Methods (SOC5)
  • One paper chosen from Sociology (SOC4-5); Archaeology (A1, A3, A11); Biological Anthropology (B1-4); Criminology (CRIM1); Education (ED3); History (Paper 10 or Paper 11); History and Philosophy of Science (Paper 1 or Paper 2); Politics (POL3-4); Psychology (PBS 3-4); or Social Anthropology (SAN8,9,11). 
  • One paper chosen from Statistics and Research Methods (SOC5); Advanced social theory (SOC6); Media, culture and society (SOC7); War and Revolution (SOC8); Global capitalism (SOC9); Gender (SOC10); Racism, race and ethnicity (SOC11); Empire, colonialism and imperialism (SOC12); Health, medicine and society (SOC13).
  • Two papers chosen from Sociology (SOC5-13); Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System (SOC15) or a disseration in Sociology.
  • One paper chosen from Sociology (SOC5-13, SOC15); Biological Anthropology (B2-4); Politics (POL13, POL17); Psychology (PBS6-8); Social Anthropology (SAN8,9,11).
Politics and Sociology (Joint Track)

Politics and Sociology (Joint Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Descriptions for the Politics and International Studies Part II papers can be found on the POLIS website. Paper guides for the Sociology Part II papers can be found on the Sociology website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • One paper chosen from International Organisation (POL3) or Comparative Politics (POL4)
  • One paper chosen from History of Political Thought to c.1700 (POL7) or History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (POL8)
  • Two papers chosen from Social Theory (SOC2), Global Social Problems (SOC3) or Statistics and Methods (SOC5)
  • Two papers chosen from POLIS - Statistics and Methods in Politics and International Relations (POL6); History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (POL10); Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought since c.1890 (POL11); The Politics of the Middle East (POL12); British and European Politics (POL13); US Foreign Policy (POL14); The Politics of Africa (POL15); The Politics of Conflict and Peace (POL16); Politics and Gender (POL17); The Politics of the International Economy (POL18); Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations (POL19); Politics and Religion (POL20); The Idea of a European Union (POL21).
  • Two papers chosen from Sociology - Statistics and Research Methods (SOC5); Advanced social theory (SOC6); Media, culture and society (SOC7); War and Revolution (SOC8); Global capitalism (SOC9); Gender (SOC10); Racism, race and ethnicity (SOC11); Empire, colonialism and imperialism (SOC12); Health, medicine and society (SOC13); Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System (SOC15).
  • One paper can be swapped for a dissertation in either Politics or Sociology.
Sociology and Social Anthropology (Joint Track)

Sociology and Social Anthropology (Joint Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Paper guides for the Sociology Part II papers can be found on the Sociology website. Descriptions for the Social Anthropology Part II papers can be found on the Social Anthropology website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • Two papers chosen from Social Theory (SOC2), Global Social Problems (SOC3) or Statistics and Methods (SOC5)
  • The Foundations of Social Life (SAN2)
  • One paper chosen from Anthropological Theory and Methods (SAN3) or Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g)
  • Two papers chosen from Sociology - Statistics and Research Methods (SOC5); Advanced social theory (SOC6); Media, culture and society (SOC7); War and Revolution (SOC8); Global capitalism (SOC9); Gender (SOC10); Racism, race and ethnicity (SOC11); Empire, colonialism and imperialism (SOC12); Health, medicine and society (SOC13); Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System (SOC15). 
  • One paper chosen from Social Anthropology - Ethical Life and the Anthropology of the Subject (SAN5) or Power, Economy and Social Transformation (SAN6)
  • One further paper chosen from Social Anthropology -  Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g); (SAN5-6); Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science & environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory & visual worlds (SAN11)
  • One paper can be swapped for a dissertation in either Sociology or Social Anthropology
Sociology and Criminology (Joint Track)

Sociology and Criminology (Joint Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Paper guides for the Sociology Part II papers and the Criminology papers can be found on the Sociology website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • Social Theory (SOC2)
  • Global Social Problems (SOC3)
  • Foundation in Criminology and Criminal Justice (CRIM1)
  • One paper from Statistics and Methods (SOC5/CRIM2) or Two essays on a Criminology topic (CRIM3)
  • Two papers chosen from Sociology - Advanced social theory (SOC6); Media, culture and society (SOC7); War and Revolution (SOC8); Global capitalism (SOC9); Gender (SOC10); Racism, race and ethnicity (SOC11); Empire, colonialism and imperialism (SOC12); Health, medicine and society (SOC13)
  • Criminology, Sentencing and the Penal System (CRIM4)
  • Social Order, Violence and Organised Forms of Criminality (CRIM5)
  • One paper can be swapped for a dissertation in either Sociology or Criminology
Social Anthropology and Politics (Joint Track)

Social Anthropology and Politics (Joint Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Descriptions for the Social Anthropology Part II papers can be found on the Social Anthropology website. Descriptions for the Politics and International Studies Part II papers can be found on the POLIS website.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • The Foundations of Social Life (SAN2)
  • One paper chosen from Social Anthropology: Anthropological Theory and Methods (SAN3); Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g); Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science and environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory and visual worlds (SAN11).
  • One paper chosen from International Organisation (POL3) or Comparative Politics (POL4)
  • One paper chosen from History of Political Thought (POL7 or POL8)
  • One paper chosen from Social Anthropology - Ethical Life and the Anthropology of the Subject (SAN5) or Power, Economy and Social Transformation (SAN6)
  • One further paper chosen from Social Anthropology - Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g); (SAN5-6); Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science & environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory & visual worlds (SAN11)
  • Two papers chosen from Politics - Statistics and Methods in Politics and International Relations (POL6); History of Political Thought from c.1700 to c.1890 (POL10); Political Philosophy and the History of Political Thought since c.1890 (POL11); The Politics of the Middle East (POL12); British and European Politics (POL13); US Foreign Policy (POL14); The Politics of Africa (POL15); The Politics of Conflict and Peace (POL16); Politics and Gender (POL17); The Politics of the International Economy (POL18); Themes and Issues in Politics and International Relations (POL19); Politics and Religion (POL20); The Idea of a European Union (POL21)
  • One paper can be swapped for a dissertation in either Social Anthropology or Politics

 

Social Anthropology and Religious Studies: Modern Religion (Joint Track)

Social Anthropology and Religious Studies: Modern Religion (Joint Track)

All HSPS students take four papers in their second year (Part IIA) and four papers in their third year (Part IIB).

Descriptions for the Social Anthropology Part II papers can be found on the Social Anthropology website. Please see the Divinity website for more information on Religious Studies papers.

Part IIA Part IIB
  • The Foundations of Social Life (SAN2)
  • One further paper chosen from Social Anthropology - Anthropological Theory and Methods (SAN3) or Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g)
  • One paper from Divinity - Intermediate Hebrew (B1a); Intermediate New Testament Greek (B1b); Intermediate Sanskrit (B1c); Qur’anic Arabic (B1d); Israel in Exile: Literature, History and Theology (B2); The Shaping of Jewish Identity: 332 BCE – 70 CE (B3); The letters of Paul (B4); The Johannine Tradition (B5); Christianity in Late Antiquity to circa 600 (B6); Themes in World Christianities: Context, Theology and Power (B7); Christ, Salvation, and the Trinity (B8); Philosophy of religion: God, freedom and the soul (B10); Ethics and faith (B11); Theology and Literature (B13); Modern Judaism: Thought, Culture, and History (B14); Introduction to Islam (B15); Life and thought of religious Hinduism and of Buddhism (B16); Philosophy: Meaning [from the Philosophy Faculty] (B17).
  • One further paper from Divinity - (B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B10, B11, B13, B14, B15, B16, or B17).
  • Ethical Life and the Anthropology of the Subject (SAN5)
  • One paper chosen from Social Anthropology - Anthropology of an Ethnographic Area (SAN4b, SAN4f, SAN4g); Power, economy and social transformation (SAN6); Development, poverty and social justice (SAN8); Science & environment (SAN9); Anthropology of digital, auditory & visual worlds (SAN11) or a dissertation in either Social Anthropology or Religious Studies.
  • One paper chosen from Divinity - Intermediate Hebrew (B1a); Intermediate New Testament Greek (B1b); Intermediate Sanskrit (B1c); Qur’anic Arabic (B1d); Advanced Hebrew (C1a); Advanced New Testament Greek (C1b); Advanced Sanskrit (C1c); Advanced Arabic (C1d); Creation and Covenant (C2); New Testament Christology (C3); Topic in Christian Theology: Charity (C5); Disputed Questions from Medieval and early modern Theology (C6); The Jewish Tradition and Christianity: From Antiquity to Modernity (C8); Islam II (C9); Hinduism and Buddhism II (C10); Truth, God and Metaphysics (C11); Theology and the Natural Sciences: God and Creatures (C12); or a dissertation in either Social Anthropology or Religious Studies.
  • One further paper chosen from Divinity - (C2, C3, C5, C6, C8, C9, C10, C11, C12); New Testament Special Subject - Jesus and Paul in the Second Century (D1b); Contemporary Systematics (D1c); The Doctrine of God (D1d); Conversion and Abrahamic Religions (D1f); Self and Salvation in Indian and Western Thought (D1g); Apocalypse (D2b); Philosophy, Ethics, and the Other (D2c); Judaism and Hellenism (D2d); Topic in World Christianity: Decolonising Christendom: the Complex Legacies of Global Christianity (D2e); Topics in Christian ethics (D2f); The Play of Imagination (D2g); or a dissertation in either Social Anthropology or Religious Studies.