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History & Politics at Oxbridge

Hi there!
Cambridge History & Politics joint honours has a ~20% admissions rate yet Oxford has an 11% admissions rate. I am curious what the reason is behind this large - is the Oxford course a 'better' course, or is this large difference merely random?
Thank you! :smile:
Original post by Joseph0254
Hi there!
Cambridge History & Politics joint honours has a ~20% admissions rate yet Oxford has an 11% admissions rate. I am curious what the reason is behind this large - is the Oxford course a 'better' course, or is this large difference merely random?
Thank you! :smile:


I'd say there are three reasons:

1. Oxford has that reputation for being the more 'humanities' uni of the two (in reality, the quality of humanities teaching is the same).
2. The Cambridge HSPS (Human, Social, and Political Sciences) course attracts lots of History/ Politics students, and so evens out competition.
3. Maths is, in practice, essential for PPE at Oxford, meaning History/ Politics students (who usually hate maths) flock to the HisPol course.

As a side note, I'd recommend HSPS above HisPol -- the (few) HSPSers I know have loved the course, and some have even found it life-changing.

Hope that helps :smile:
Original post by Blue Guitar
I'd say there are three reasons:

1. Oxford has that reputation for being the more 'humanities' uni of the two (in reality, the quality of humanities teaching is the same).
2. The Cambridge HSPS (Human, Social, and Political Sciences) course attracts lots of History/ Politics students, and so evens out competition.
3. Maths is, in practice, essential for PPE at Oxford, meaning History/ Politics students (who usually hate maths) flock to the HisPol course.

As a side note, I'd recommend HSPS above HisPol -- the (few) HSPSers I know have loved the course, and some have even found it life-changing.

Hope that helps :smile:

Thank you! Very helpful in clearing this up. What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I'm probably going to go down the history route but will keep my mind open 100% :smile:
Original post by PianoMan1973
Hi there!
Cambridge History & Politics joint honours has a ~20% admissions rate yet Oxford has an 11% admissions rate. I am curious what the reason is behind this large - is the Oxford course a 'better' course, or is this large difference merely random?
Thank you! :smile:

The Oxford course is a bit smaller, and also bear in mind Oxford has lower entry criteria so may be more likely to attract more applicants as a result (the A*AA requirement of Cambridge may serve to filter out some of the chaff before it comes to interview). I think Oxford is also a tad more popular with international students usually, across the board, so that may inflate applicant numbers somewhat (and reduce the success rate overall simply due to the numbers).
(edited 1 year ago)

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