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    Hello!The Peterhouse Admissions Team (including Scott Mandelbrote, Admissions Tutor for History), along with our interviewers in History and related courses are back for another thread. We'll be here until 2nd August answering any questions about admissions in History or the two new courses, History and Politics and History and Modern Languages. Ask away!Please note this thread is for prospective applicants in these subjects. We're always happy to answer other questions, but these should be PMd/posted on our profile or sent to [email protected] rather than posted here.Offer holders, our Admissions Coordinators will be back for a thread in August to answer questions about results day, confirmation and starting at Cambridge.
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    At the moment I understand that only Russian is available ab initio for History and Modern Languages, will more languages be available ab initio in the future?

    If an applicant for History and Modern Languages doesn't have a language at A level, are their chances of admission reduced? What would you advise an applicant without a language A level do to maximise their chances of an offer?
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    In a typical eight-week term, how many essays and seminar papers will a first-year History undergraduate have to submit? How long should they be?
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    Hi there,
    I am a post-qualification IB applicant (received my results two weeks ago), looking to go for History and Modern Languages.
    How stringently will the new admissions tests be used, especially as they have just been introduced? Also, am I correct in assuming that the auto-pool criteria for PQA IB applicant remains 42 overall with 776hl?
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    Hello!

    I'm currently doing extra reading around favourite historic areas. I have a particular affinity for the reformation, especially the effect it had on society and how it, to this day, gave 'birth' to a world we are more familiar with today. So I have been reading books regarding the reformation, along with the typical 'What is History' that almost every History applicant seems to read. I have short books, brief books, large books, overview books, and a book by Saint Augustine (City of God). However, in my History course we do the German Reformation and England 1509-1603, so it has a lot of religion in it already. I was wondering if I would be disadvantaged because there is so much religion surrounding my Historical interests? I am also doing the French Revolution for my EPQ, which is somewhat more diverse, and in Year 8 I taught myself the Modern History A-Level course that my local sixth form also do.

    I guess I am just worried that the Historical interests I pursue in my free time are too religion based, and it will seem too narrow in the eyes of the interviewer. I love all types of History and aspire to be a History academic myself, but my A-Level history course has sparked an interest in the extent to which religion (and revolution - hence the EPQ) has effected the world, and a desire to read up more about it.

    (Although by 2017 it could be a whole new chapter of the past completely unrelated to religion. I just really really love History, I wish I could just full my brain up with everything that has ever happened!)

    Have a good day
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    At the moment I understand that only Russian is available ab initio for History and Modern Languages, will more languages be available ab initio in the future?

    If an applicant for History and Modern Languages doesn't have a language at A level, are their chances of admission reduced? What would you advise an applicant without a language A level do to maximise their chances of an offer?

    It is the intention to expand the languages offered under History and ModernLanguages in the future. It is very possible that this will include more ab initiolanguages.

    For most languages, success at an A level language in the language to be studied will be required for admission to take History and Modern Languages. The exception is Russian, for which ab initio study of the language at university is a possibility
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    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    In a typical eight-week term, how many essays and seminar papers will a first-year History undergraduate have to submit? How long should they be?
    At present, most first-year historians will write one essay for a supervision each week, some may also be asked to prepare written work for classes held in College or, in Lent and Easter Term, in the Faculty. Length in all cases is a matter for negotiation, although 2,000 words might be thought a fairly standard length for a supervision essay.
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    (Original post by francais123)
    Hi there,
    I am a post-qualification IB applicant (received my results two weeks ago), looking to go for History and Modern Languages.
    How stringently will the new admissions tests be used, especially as they have just been introduced? Also, am I correct in assuming that the auto-pool criteria for PQA IB applicant remains 42 overall with 776hl?
    The new admissions assessments will be used alongside all other available information. They will be no more and no less important than anything else. It is quite possible that we will interview more applicants than usual this year as we all get used to the new assessments. It is always our policy to give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant and to interview all with a realistic chance of admission (we also have a duty to not waste the time of those who are regrettably very unlikely to receive an offer and this is why we don't interview 100% of applicants).

    The compulsory pool criteria will very likely remain the same.
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    Hello!

    I'm currently doing extra reading around favourite historic areas. I have a particular affinity for the reformation, especially the effect it had on society and how it, to this day, gave 'birth' to a world we are more familiar with today. So I have been reading books regarding the reformation, along with the typical 'What is History' that almost every History applicant seems to read. I have short books, brief books, large books, overview books, and a book by Saint Augustine (City of God). However, in my History course we do the German Reformation and England 1509-1603, so it has a lot of religion in it already. I was wondering if I would be disadvantaged because there is so much religion surrounding my Historical interests? I am also doing the French Revolution for my EPQ, which is somewhat more diverse, and in Year 8 I taught myself the Modern History A-Level course that my local sixth form also do.

    I guess I am just worried that the Historical interests I pursue in my free time are too religion based, and it will seem too narrow in the eyes of the interviewer. I love all types of History and aspire to be a History academic myself, but my A-Level history course has sparked an interest in the extent to which religion (and revolution - hence the EPQ) has effected the world, and a desire to read up more about it.

    (Although by 2017 it could be a whole new chapter of the past completely unrelated to religion. I just really really love History, I wish I could just full my brain up with everything that has ever happened!)

    Have a good day
    This is all fine. Whilst it is good to have a broad interest, it is also perfectly understandable to find particular aspects or periods particularly fascinating. Just bear in mind that you might have to talk about other periods at interview.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    This is all fine. Whilst it is good to have a broad interest, it is also perfectly understandable to find particular aspects or periods particularly fascinating. Just bear in mind that you might have to talk about other periods at interview.
    Thank-you very much!

    Is there any particular way you would recommend approaching historical wider reading, or is the act of doing it good enough (which, of course, anybody interested in the subject should be, and will be, doing)?
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    (Original post by SteamboatMickey)
    Thank-you very much!

    Is there any particular way you would recommend approaching historical wider reading, or is the act of doing it good enough (which, of course, anybody interested in the subject should be, and will be, doing)?
    Follow your interests! We're not prescriptive at all and there's no 'must-read' list as we know there are a lot of ways to approach the subject. It can be useful to research a particular topic in depth, as though you were entering an essay prize or doing something like an EPQ on it.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    For most languages, success at an A level language in the language to be studied will be required for admission to take History and Modern Languages. The exception is Russian, for which ab initio study of the language at university is a possibility
    Thanks for the reply. I already knew Russian was offered ab initio, I just wondered how you would assess an applicant's aptitude for languages if they haven't taken any languages at A level. Would a History and ab initio Russian applicant who had no language A levels be less likely to get an offer than someone who had studied French or German, for example?
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    (Original post by Snufkin)
    Thanks for the reply. I already knew Russian was offered ab initio, I just wondered how you would assess an applicant's aptitude for languages if they haven't taken any languages at A level. Would a History and ab initio Russian applicant who had no language A levels be less likely to get an offer than someone who had studied French or German, for example?
    If you wish to study Russian ab initio, we would like to see some evidence of language ability (e.g. a modern or classical language to A level or equivalent).
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    Hello! Just a quick question: seeing as there are now university-wide admissions test, am I correct in thinking that there will no longer be a test at interview? Also, what scores are you looking for in the admissions tests?
    Thank you
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    (Original post by niamh1607)
    Hello! Just a quick question: seeing as there are now university-wide admissions test, am I correct in thinking that there will no longer be a test at interview? Also, what scores are you looking for in the admissions tests?
    Thank you
    Colleges can still set tests if they want, but should make prospective students aware of them. Final final decisions on what each college will be doing in December aren't quite done yet but we won't be using a College-set test at interview for Historians at Peterhouse. It might also mean that we ask for fewer pieces of written work as we can use the long-answer portion of the pre-interview assessment as one of the pieces.
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    (Original post by Peterhouse Admissions)
    Colleges can still set tests if they want, but should make prospective students aware of them. Final final decisions on what each college will be doing in December aren't quite done yet but we won't be using a College-set test at interview for Historians at Peterhouse. It might also mean that we ask for fewer pieces of written work as we can use the long-answer portion of the pre-interview assessment as one of the pieces.
    Thank you, I hadn't thought about perhaps having to provide fewer pieces of written work. What scores are you looking for on the university admissions tests? I know there's no 'cut off score' but what would you be looking for in a strong applicant?
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    (Original post by niamh1607)
    Thank you, I hadn't thought about perhaps having to provide fewer pieces of written work. What scores are you looking for on the university admissions tests? I know there's no 'cut off score' but what would you be looking for in a strong applicant?

    It's important to stress that these are assessments, not tests. This subtle but important distinction reflects the fact that there's no pass mark and the results will be used as part of our holistic assessment and only considered alongside everything else we know about you.

    A strong applicant would probably have a strong score, but what exactly this is depends on the candidate, their age, background, schooling and lots of other things. The philosophy is very different from A levels where only the exam papers are considered and there's no account made of contextual factors.
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    Just a reminder that today is the last day for this thread!
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    Thanks everybody! We have to bring this thread to a close now. We'll be back with another thread from our Admissions Coordinators in a weeks time, answering questions about results day, the admissions process and how things are handled. We'll have another thread for 2017 entry with the whole Admissions Team from the 5th-19th September.

    Remember you can PM questions or email [email protected]
 
 
 
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