Meh. There aren't enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do, let alone everything I'd like to! I don't want to malign people at other unis, because that would be wrong. In terms of the mark scheme reference above, though, a) I've never seen one for History here, presumably because mark schemes were invented after 1900
and b) you'll need original thought to get anything above a III here, let alone above a high II.1!
Basically, I do have to say that what you're expected to do and what you actually do are two different things. CamRob is, clearly, more committed than I was; I was spending, back in my first year, 60-70 hours a week in the theatre and only 7 or 8 on the essay. It is possible to to, it's just not recommended!
In short, you CAN treat History as a doss degree. I have, for the past two years for weekly essays. I seriously love the subject; I can't imagine myself doing anything else. (with the possible exception of archaeology...) Yet I find it a slog not because I'm not passionate about it, but because the individual topics I've been doing havn't been that interesting to me. I have happliy spent 50+ hours reading for essays I've particularly liked; I've spent the summer vacation at uni reading fro my dissertation, and all the vacations bar one (Christmas 2005/6, when I worked full time) doing academic work because I loved the topics I was doing these extended essays on.
It really is swings and roundabouts. I'm procrastinating, even now, because I hate the process of writing my dissertation, even though I loved researching for it.
I'm trying to tread the fine line between saying how uniquely stressful the Oxbridge system is- and it really, really is, for many reasons!- but, at the same time, I don't want to malign those at other unis. The middle ground, as ever, is somewhere in teh middle. If I were to do all the work I was supposed to, I would be spending over 60 hours doing it. That's a silly amount for me- even though it might result in a First. I tend to muddle along, doing the bare minimum when I don't like the work and geeking out totally when I do. It works for me. I reckon in just depends on teh person; clearly if one particularly likes the subject, or is particularly conscientious, they'll do enough all the time.