Best colleges for history? Watch

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zoem
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Just beginning to think about applying to Cambridge or Oxford for History (or joint with languages at Ox) and I'm trying to work out the college by college variations for history. How do I tell which are 'good' for hstory or is there little difference? Teachers have pointed me towards Emmanuel/Clare at Cambridge and Magdelen/University/Merton/Lincoln at Oxford. But to be honest they don't sound much different subject wise to anywhere else. Am I missing something???
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by zoem)
Just beginning to think about applying to Cambridge or Oxford for History (or joint with languages at Ox) and I'm trying to work out the college by college variations for history. How do I tell which are 'good' for hstory or is there little difference? Teachers have pointed me towards Emmanuel/Clare at Cambridge and Magdelen/University/Merton/Lincoln at Oxford. But to be honest they don't sound much different subject wise to anywhere else. Am I missing something???
Well, I've applied for History at St. John's College, Cambridge. (I got rejected).I chose St. John's because it was extremely beautiful. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how you can find out which colleges are good for history. I mean, with some, it's obvious, i.e. Churchill (Camb) is specialised in natural sciences, so I wouldn't go there for history. I'd say, visit the places, talk to the students there and make a decision. It also depends on whether you like the college or not, not only if it's good for history. Remember, you all do the same course, although tuition in the first and second year is going to be college-based, they'll send you all over the place in the third year to have supervisions/tutorials with fellows from other colleges. Hope this helps.
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fred86
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(Original post by zoem)
Just beginning to think about applying to Cambridge or Oxford for History (or joint with languages at Ox) and I'm trying to work out the college by college variations for history. How do I tell which are 'good' for hstory or is there little difference? Teachers have pointed me towards Emmanuel/Clare at Cambridge and Magdelen/University/Merton/Lincoln at Oxford. But to be honest they don't sound much different subject wise to anywhere else. Am I missing something???
i'm not up on the history thing but i do advise not to do a joint honours at oxford, i know someone who did and you just don't get a social life. you are practically doing a hist degree and a languages degree, there's no joint about it. although u should really talk to people at oxford etc, that's just what i've heard
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
Well, I've applied for History at St. John's College, Cambridge. (I got rejected).I chose St. John's because it was extremely beautiful. To be honest, I'm not quite sure how you can find out which colleges are good for history. I mean, with some, it's obvious, i.e. Churchill (Camb) is specialised in natural sciences, so I wouldn't go there for history. I'd say, visit the places, talk to the students there and make a decision. It also depends on whether you like the college or not, not only if it's good for history. Remember, you all do the same course, although tuition in the first and second year is going to be college-based, they'll send you all over the place in the third year to have supervisions/tutorials with fellows from other colleges. Hope this helps.

I would suggest that it matters little which college is best for a given subject (if we are defining best as number of subject students). In fact, a History student at Churchill, Cam, may have a better social life than a History student in a 'History' college as he would be mixing with scientists with whom he does not study with????? Just a thought.
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B00kwOrm
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I just took Churchill as an example. I'm not saying it's a bad college. But I wouldn't like to go to a college specialised in science to do an arts subject.
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by zoem)
Just beginning to think about applying to Cambridge or Oxford for History (or joint with languages at Ox) and I'm trying to work out the college by college variations for history. How do I tell which are 'good' for hstory or is there little difference? Teachers have pointed me towards Emmanuel/Clare at Cambridge and Magdelen/University/Merton/Lincoln at Oxford. But to be honest they don't sound much different subject wise to anywhere else. Am I missing something???
....also, I have found that teachers sometimes point students in the direction of a college for questionable reasons.....such as 'I know someone there who is having a great time', or 'college X likes applicants from our school'.

I think it is best to decide to what it is you are looking for from a college, put the list in order of importance, and go along and see as many colleges as you can and score each one on the indicators on your list. Obviously, you will need to have a shortlist of colleges though

IMO, if a college offers a subject, then it is 'best' for that subject. Most colleges offers most subjects. So, I would think it doesnt matter a great deal which is 'best'.

That said, you may want to consider colleges that have 'links' with important people in your discipline......Dont know how relevant this is to History......
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
I just took Churchill as an example. I'm not saying it's a bad college. But I wouldn't like to go to a college specialised in science to do an arts subject.

Tell my why you wouldn't? What disadvantages do you think there are of such a situation?
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Tell my why you wouldn't? What disadvantages do you think there are of such a situation?
There wouldn't necessarily be any, I'm just saying I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting with plenty of scientists in hall and not understand a word of what they're talking about.
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nero076
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
There wouldn't necessarily be any, I'm just saying I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting with plenty of scientists in hall and not understand a word of what they're talking about.
Yeh that's a fair point. People studying for subjects like philosophy, history, english, economics and other "arts" subjects would be a lot more interesting to talk to. Scientists are geeks.
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
There wouldn't necessarily be any, I'm just saying I wouldn't feel comfortable sitting with plenty of scientists in hall and not understand a word of what they're talking about.
Do ya think during leisure time every scientist talks about science? Damn, I think scientists must be interested in flims, sports, sex etc.???

Anyway, I sort of see what you're saying, but I still do think one historian amongst a mass of scientists isnt neccessarily a bad thing.
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scanner
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(Original post by zoem)
Just beginning to think about applying to Cambridge or Oxford for History (or joint with languages at Ox) and I'm trying to work out the college by college variations for history. How do I tell which are 'good' for hstory or is there little difference? Teachers have pointed me towards Emmanuel/Clare at Cambridge and Magdelen/University/Merton/Lincoln at Oxford. But to be honest they don't sound much different subject wise to anywhere else. Am I missing something???
First the disclaimer - I'm not a historian but having lived in the same house as three Oxford variants of that species for a year and a half I do have some assorted second or third hand information.

A general view at Oxford seems to be that with one or two possible exceptions there are no colleges that are bad for history. However for some it is a more important subject. One rule of thumb is to look for how many history fellows there are in a college and how many students per year they take. So these will have three or four fellows and perhaps 12 or more students per year inc joint schools. A list of so called history colleges would usually include:

Balliol
Magdalen
Christ Church
Lincoln
Jesus
Merton
Hertford

But I'd suggest you look beyond that as there are some really good tutors in other colleges - Keble, Somerville and St Annes are not specifically known for history but I'm told have some excellent history tutors. I'm sure others can add to that list.
Most of the college websites will mention the particular interests/fields of the tutors and you need to factor that into your thinking.
Like most subjects, some colleges are more oversubscribed than others. Merton, New and Magdalen all have reputations for tough competition for history although there's often an element of myth about this. Treat admission stats with caution - they give an idea about the numbers who applied a couple of years ago but they don't reveal much about the calibre of candidates or hidden stats like how many get passed on to other colleges. If only we knew!
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Do ya think during leisure time every scientist talks about science? Damn, I think scientists must be interested in flims, sports, sex etc.???

Anyway, I sort of see what you're saying, but I still do think one historian amongst a mass of scientists isnt neccessarily a bad thing.
Not for the scientists... I mean, I have nothing against scientists, my best friend is a scientist :eek: I just hate sciences. And I don't want to have to hear their talks on it all the time. I know scientists also talk about other things. But you get the idea. I do think that there should be more exchange between different academic departments, everyone can learn from each other (in many cases anyway).

Also, I don't want to hear stuff like: "Oh, so what's history good for then, apart from becoming a teacher?" and similar comments :mad: I get these remarks from scientists sometimes... the stupis ones, I admit.
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by nero076)
Yeh that's a fair point. People studying for subjects like philosophy, history, english, economics and other "arts" subjects would be a lot more interesting to talk to. Scientists are geeks.
:eek: :eek: :mad:
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
:eek: :eek: :mad:
Sorry, MadNatSci. We're just arts people. We need to have a go at the science people from time to time Don't be mad. I like scientists, really, like I said my best friend is a scientist and I like talking to scientists. It was fun to talk to you and Helenia about St. John's!
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
Sorry, MadNatSci. We're just arts people. We need to have a go at the science people from time to time Don't be mad. I like scientists, really, like I said my best friend is a scientist and I like talking to scientists. It was fun to talk to you and Helenia about St. John's!

Humph. It was fun talking to you too! Apologies for the teasing
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Humph. It was fun talking to you too! Apologies for the teasing
No problem, I'll tease you back! That's what arts people are there for! lol...
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
No problem, I'll tease you back! That's what arts people are there for! lol...

Well, they don't have much else to do...!
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B00kwOrm
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Well, they don't have much else to do...!
At least they don't blow up Chemistry labs Yes, we arts people are very lazy, especially those at Cambridge (I won't be one of them unfortunately ), who do 2,400 words a week plus a ridiculous amount reading, plus lectures and supervisions... A history student I visited did "only" 3 timed essays on that day, each one hour long... lazy people...
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Alaric
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(Original post by B00kwOrm)
I just hate sciences. And I don't want to have to hear their talks on it all the time. I know scientists also talk about other things. But you get the idea.
I just hate the arts. And I don't want to have to hear their talks on it all the time. I know arts students also talk about other things. But you get the idea.

*sigh*

That isn't true btw :rolleyes:
Anyone talking in detail about their subject if you don't have an interest in it is intensely dull. Whether they are a scientist or an arts student.
I much prefer people to be able to make conversations on other topics entirely.

Which is why which college is 'best' for history is practically a moot question. What is much more important is that you choose a college that suits you, has nice accomodation, food, entertainment, whatever...
I would say Clare or Emma would be a good choice in that respect, but then I a biased .

Alaric.
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B00kwOrm
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Alright, fair enough, I'll shut up. I agree with your criteria for choosing colleges. I apologise to all scientist out there! MadNatSci knows I like talking to scientists... Don't you?
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