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Human, Social and Political Sciences


Number of students per year: 6 - 8


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.

Useful subjects: 

Candidates are not expected to have any particular subjects at A-level or IB or Higher level, and no previous study of a social science is necessary. Students in HSPS come from educational backgrounds in all of the humanities, social sciences, and science. We would normally expect candidates to have at least an A in GCSE Maths and English or the equivalent.

We do not expect students to be interested in all the subjects on offer in the degree.  Neither do we expect you to know exactly what you wish to do when you apply. It is more important that you show an intellectual curiosity and a passion for understanding the world in which we live as human beings than that you have any particular set of subject interests.

All applicants are required to send in a marked school essay or significant piece of writing.

HSPS at Clare 

Clare has a strong reputation in the constituent subjects of HSPS, especially Politics and International Relations and Social Anthropology where we have teaching fellows.


Our students in the HSPS subjects have traditionally done very well. Social Anthropology students have achieved consistently excellent results.


In Politics and International Relations, they have achieved some of the best exam results across the University over the past ten years and several of them were nominated for, or won, an inter-Faculty dissertation prize. 

Clare is very well positioned between the two main sites where HSPS teaching takes place. It is also extremely well situated for the University Library.

The eight weeks of each term revolve very much around supervisions and essay writing. A typical workload over a two-week period for a HSPS student is 16 hours of lectures and three essays for supervisions. Students are expected to work hard, but the college also works hard to support them as they do so.

Clare has a very active Politics Society to which many politicians and political journalists have come to speak. The Queens and Clare Overseas Education Fund organises debates and discussion events about development as well as voluntary educational projects overseas.

Key People

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Dr Sian Lazar

Director of Studies for Part II

Dr Lazar is a Reader in Social Anthropology. She researches collective and radical politics in Latin America. 

Most recently her work has focussed on labour movement activism in Argentina. See The Social Life of Politics: Ethics, Kinship and Union Activism in Argentina.


She is also interested in social movements and citizenship action more broadly, especially in moments of social upheaval. Her previous work was in El Alto, one of the most important centres of political radicalism in Bolivia in the early 2000s. See  El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia