Cambridge University Academics and Courses
The historic university of Cambridge has had some of the world’s most influential people graduate from there. The courses offered by Cambridge University are demanding but are very highly regarded around the world. In this guide we shall look at Cambridge University academics and courses.
Cambridge University Academic Reputation
Cambridge University is regarded as one of the world’s leading universities. Its academic reputation is what attracts some of the world’s brightest minds to its lecture halls.
In both the 2001 and 2008 British Government Research Assessment Exams, Cambridge University was ranked top in the UK. It was also discovered that Cambridge University has more successful PhD students than any other university in the UK – and over 30 percent more than Oxford University, which came second.
Cambridge University regularly ranks within the top five of global university lists – and it is particularly renowned for its mathematics and science courses (Sir Isaac Newton was a graduate from Cambridge). The university is best known for its research, and we shall look at this in more detail later on.
Schools at Cambridge University
If you choose to study at Cambridge University you will be studying a course in one of six different schools. Within each school there are more specific study areas.
The six different schools at Cambridge University are: arts and humanities; biological sciences; clinical medicine; humanities and social science; physical sciences; and technology.
A school is a very broad grouping that is made up of a range of faculties and other units, with each having its own elected Council of the school.
Academic Levels at Cambridge University
Within Cambridge University there are different levels of study to choose from. The lowest level is an undergraduate degree– which is a first degree that people usually start straight after high school. Once you have completed an undergraduate degree you can go on to do postgraduate study either in the form of a masters, postgraduate diploma or several other qualifications. The most advanced teaching level at Cambridge University is the PhD, which can be started after successful completion of both an undergraduate and postgraduate degree.
What can you study at Cambridge University?
There are a large number of subjects and courses that you can study at Cambridge University. As we mentioned before, all the subjects are divided into six broad separate schools, but within these schools there are dozens of courses to choose from.
Within the Arts and Humanities school you can choose from subjects such as geography, modern and medieval languages, philosophy, linguistics, law and economics. Some of the science subjects include neuroscience, pathology, astrophysics, mathematics, medicine and chemical engineering.
Courses can also be much more specific such as Egyptology (the study of ancient Egypt); Palaeography; Persian and Land Economy to name just a few.
Structure of Cambridge University Courses
Cambridge University courses are taught differently to most other universities. They tend to start teaching the chosen subject very broadly over the first year or so and then specialise very heavily during the final part of the course. This allows students to know about the whole subject area before choosing to specialise in a particular area of it.
All Cambridge University courses are divided into parts, which usually last between one and two years. The main method of assessment for undergraduate students at Cambridge University is by written examination. For each ‘part’ you can expect to sit between four and eight examinations – each lasting around three hours. Science subjects will also require a large amount of practical assessments throughout the course.
Courses at Cambridge University are very challenging and students are required to spend a lot of time on study. Because of this, students at the university are not allowed to take part in any paid work during term time.
Research Academics at Cambridge University
As we mentioned earlier, Cambridge University is best known for its research faculties. Some of the world’s most important discoveries have been made my students and graduates of Cambridge University – including the discovery of hydrogen and the splitting of the atom.
There are research departments in almost all academic areas and the number of research laboratories and facilities increased significantly during the 1990’s.