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Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science, University of Cambridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

'The SPS archway' at the Old Cavendish Laboratory, Free School Lane
'The SPS archway' at the
Old Cavendish Laboratory,
Free School Lane
Alison Richard Building
Alison Richard Building

The Faculty of Human, Social, and Political Science at the University of Cambridge was created in 2011 out of a merger of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies. According to the Cambridge HSPS website: graduates pursue careers in "research (both academic and policy research), the Civil Service (including the Foreign Office), journalism, management consultancy, museums, conservation and heritage management, national and international NGOs and development agencies, the Law, teaching, publishing, health management, and public relations."[1]

The Faculty houses four departments: the Department of Archaeology,[2] the Department of Social Anthropology,[3] the Department of Politics and International Studies [4] and the Department of Sociology.[5] Each of these departments has a worldwide reputation for teaching and research, and the undergraduate curriculum (Tripos) is designed to serve not only students who have clear disciplinary commitments at the time of application but also those who want broader multidisciplinary degrees. Students with a passion for politics can take advantage of links with such departments as Economics and History, those with interests in Sociology can draw on Anthropology and Geography, while those dedicated to pursuing an archaeology career can specialise from the first year or combine Archaeology with Biological and Social Anthropology.

Undergraduate students study several disciplines in their first year and then specialise in one or two disciplines in their second and third years. Clearly specified tracks (Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, Politics, Psychology, Social Anthropology, Sociology, or a combination of disciplines) ensure that students graduate with appropriate intellectual and professional skills. Assyriology and Egyptology are also possible specialisations within the Archaeology track.

At the postgraduate level there are established one-year MPhils in Archaeology (including Assyriology and Egyptology), Biological Anthropology, International Studies, Social Anthropology, and Sociology. The sociology MPhil allows for specialisation in one of four areas: reproduction; political economy; marginality and exclusion; and media and culture. A new MPhil in Politics was launched in 2008.

For further postgraduate study PhD students conduct research within a wide range of subjects within Archaeology, Assyriology, Egyptology, Biological and Social Anthropology, Politics and International Studies, and Sociology.

The Faculty is currently spread across several sites. The SPS Library (now affiliated with the University Library) and the Department of Sociology are on Free School Lane at the New Museums Site. The Department of Politics and International Studies is in the Alison Richard Building on the Sidgwick Site. The Department of Archaeology and Anthropology is spread across the Downing Site, the New Museums Site and the Henry Wellcome Building.

Selected members of the Faculty

University and College Teaching Officers in the HSPS Faculty

Members of the Faculty elsewhere in the University


Tripos (BA)

An Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos has been taught at Cambridge for more than one hundred years. A Politics, Psychology and Sociology Tripos (previously known as Social and Political Sciences, "SPS") has been running at Cambridge University, in some form, since 1970. In 2013 the PPS and A&A Triposes were replaced by the Human, Social, and Political Sciences Tripos (HSPS), which offers students opportunities to explore a wide range of multidisciplinary options before specialising in one or two subjects, or to specialise from the first year, according to their interests.

Postgraduate (MPhil/PhD)

The Faculty teaches seven master's programmes in Politics, International Studies, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Social and Developmental Psychology, Archaeology (including Assyriology and Egyptology), and Biological Anthropology. The Faculty also has around 200 students studying for doctorates at any one time. According to the Cambridge HSPS website, graduates pursue careers in "research (both academic and policy research), the Civil Service (including the Foreign Office), journalism, management consultancy, museums, conservation and heritage management, national and international NGOs and development agencies, the Law, teaching, publishing, health management, and public relations".


The number of applicants per place for Politics, Psychology and Sociology has traditionally been one of the highest in Cambridge. On average there are six applications per offered place, though this ratio is better at some colleges such as Murray Edwards. Colleges with particular teaching strength in Human, Social, and Political Science include Selwyn, Gonville and Caius, Queens', King's, Sidney Sussex, Corpus Christi and Trinity.[7] Numbers of applications for the new HSPS BA course remain high across all colleges. Typical offers for the course are A*AA at A Level, or 40–42 points out of 45 with 776 or 777 at Higher Level in the International Baccalaureate.[8]

As of 2008–2009[9] the MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology received 66 applications, with 7 starting the course in October 2008. The MPhil in Modern Society and Global Transformations saw 99 applicants, with 26 starting the course in October 2008.[10]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Why choose HSPS?". Cambridge University.
  2. ^ the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology,
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Department of Politics and International Studies,
  5. ^ Department of Sociology
  6. ^ Members of the Faculty retrieved 2008-09-21
  7. ^ ;
  8. ^
  9. ^ [2][permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-08-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Timmins, Jerry (2007-07-05). "Kari Blackburn: World Service executive". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2008-05-26.
  13. ^ Wikipedia article on Jimmy Carr
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ Housden, Martha (2004-10-16). "Why politics still matters". The Guardian. London.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-14. Retrieved 2016-07-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^
  19. ^ BBC profile
  20. ^ Hetherington, Peter (2007-07-24). "More power to the regions". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2010-04-02.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-04-11. Retrieved 2009-04-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-04. Retrieved 2014-11-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2009-12-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2016-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Mayer, Jane (2018-03-05). "Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2018-03-06.
  29. ^ Leith, William (1993-03-07). "The experience of being Tilda: Tilda Swinton has spent her career in the cutlish, shoestring end of theatre, less involved in acting than in art. If fame means giving up her own weird way of doing it, is she interested?". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2010-04-02.

This page was last edited on 20 January 2021, at 10:37
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