The History course at Cambridge covers every period of history from the most ancient to the most modern and ranges geographically from Britain, Ireland and the continent of Europe to America, Africa and Asia. Cambridge has long enjoyed a distinguished reputation in the field of political history and it also played a leading role in the development of social and economic history. More recently it has become a major centre for the study of intellectual history. The undergraduate course is divided into three parts and is designed to enable students to develop their own special interests throughout the degree.

Students admitted from October 2022 onwards will take a freshly redesigned course.  Through it, students will develop three key things across the three years:  their historical knowledge; their awareness of  the craft of history, and their awareness of historical thinking in different times and places.

In year 1 (part IA) students will choose two outline papers from a range of about 10 options, which will be taught through lectures and weekly supervisions. They will also undertake a historical sources option and a historical skills course. In college-based classes, they will tackle two books and in the process think about their writing, reception and legacy..

In year 2 (part IB) students will choose two topics papers and will pursue a research project. They will also take a further paper in the historical skills strand, on historiographies: different traditions of historical writing associated with particular periods or groups.

The final year (part II) provides for advanced topics papers and an intensive course based around historical sources and their close analysis. It also offers students the chance, if desired, to research a theme in greater depth through a dissertation.

History at Queens’ 

You will be required to take a Cambridge College registered assessment.  You will be requested to provide two marked essays following your application. Candidates have two interviews. These will focus on your understanding of your current courses and your ability to think about fresh problems. Interviews may well involve discussion of historical sources.

 Queens’ has a thriving college history society, the Erasmus Society, which meets several times a term to listen to talks by historians and for social events. In the first year the College organises a variety of events to help with the transition from school to university and to introduce students to major themes in the study of History.

Queens’ History Fellows 

Dr Gareth Atkins, Director of Studies

  • British History 1688-the present
  • Religious History

Dr Joseph Canning

  • Medieval History
  • Intellectual History

Professor Craig Muldrew 

  • Early modern History 
  • Economic, Social and Cultural 
  • History 1500 - 1700

Professor Richard Rex 

  • Early modern British and European 
  • History 

Dr Andrew Thompson

  • Modern British History 
  • Modern European History 


“What makes studying History at Cambridge so special are the seemingly endless opportunities you get to learn from world-class academics in an incredibly diverse range of topics. The close-knit comminity of historians at Queens' will give you the support and confidence to make the best of those opportunities”

– Will, 3rd year History 

"The quality of the History Faculty at Cambridge makes learning about any period of history really engaging and the unique supervision structure allows you to explore the full breadth of your interests while offering you support with your academic work at Queens'"

- Sam, 3rd year, History