Number of students per year: 8 - 10 


Typical offer: A*AA at A-level or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) in the IB. For other qualifications, please click here.


Essential subjects: None. Applicants will normally have taken History at A level or equivalent, although this is not a formal requirement.


Useful subjects: History and other essay-based subjects will prepare you well for studying History at Cambridge.

Submitted work: Please send in two history essays. We will not accept short answers based on document exercises or non-history essays; nor will we accept exam answers. The essay should be on a topic which has engaged your interest, and on which you feel you have something to say. Above all it should contain an argument.

History at Clare 

Clare has a strong teaching side in History, which covers a wide range of specialisms. This encourages lively seminars on historical method that we also run. In common with other Cambridge colleges, though, we do not expect to be able to cover all interests, and so where appropriate arrange for students to be supervised by fellows in other colleges.


Clare is ideally situated for historians: it is just five minutes' walk from the History Faculty building, where most lectures are held, and which has a library for history students. Memorial Court, where most Clare first yesr students live, is home to the Forbes Mellon Library, and is also right next door to the main University Library.

We are proud of the academic successes of Clare history students and we have a track record of students obtaining the top grades.  But while we expect our students to find their work challenging, and so to study hard, we also don’t want them to spend all their time in the library. 


Recent and current history students at Clare have achieved a ‘blue’ by competing in University sports, have tried rowing for the first time, sung in the world-famous Clare Choir, acted and worked back-stage, and taken a variety of roles in the Union of Clare Students. A succession of Presidents of the UCS have been history students. Clare historians enjoy regular social events, including an annual dinner and a garden party.

Above all in Clare, we try to provide our historians with a milieu that is both intellectually stimulating, and friendly and supportive. We appreciate that our students may come to university with diverse expectations and experience, and their needs as individuals may vary considerably. We take account of this, and provide an environment in which students of all kinds will be able to make the most of their abilities.

Key People


Dr Elizabeth Foyster

College Lecturer & Director of Studies (Part I)

Dr Foyster's field of research is the social history of Britain from the seventeenth to the mid nineteenth century. She specialises in family and gender history. 

She has published on topics such as children and marriage breakdown, remarriage, and parenting.  Her most recent research has been investigating the impact on eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century English families of caring for people with learning difficulties and mental illness.

Her most recent book examines the life of the 3rd earl of Portsmouth, who was the subject of a sensational Commission of Lunacy in 1823.