Written Work

As part of the application process, and depending on the Arts/Humanities subject applied for, applicants are asked to submit written work in advance of interview and by the deadline of 5 November. Shortly after the UCAS deadline of 15 October, applicants will be contacted with full details of how to send in their written work. Please have a read through the page below as it contains all the information you need about written work and the requirements.

Who needs to submit written work?

  • Only applicants who have applied for the following Arts/Humanities subjects and as listed in the table below: ASNC, AMES, Classics, Education, English, History, History & Modern Languages, History and Politics, History of Art, HSPS, MML, Music and Theology. If your subject is not listed below, you are not required to submit any written work.

Guidelines for submitting written work:

  • Written work submitted should normally be in the form of essays, pieces of coursework or project work that you have written as part of your routine studies at school and marked by a teacher. It must not be specifically written for your application. For this reason we do not give suggested word limits, but please avoid sending extended pieces of work. The content of your work may be discussed at interview (though this is not necessarily the case), so you should choose work on topics that interest you and on which you would be prepared to talk. At the same time, try to make sure that the work is representative of your work at or near its best and keep a copy of anything you send us, so that you can read it again before coming to interview. You will not be 'tested' on its content, but you should be reasonably familiar with what you have written. 
  • If you haven't got any written work that relates to the course you're applying for, work which shows your analytical writing will normally suite fine. Again, we don't want you to write anything specific for Cambridge - regular school or college work, teacher-marked, is what we're looking for. 
  • ​If English isn't your first language, please note that any examples of written work requested must be submitted in English – either translated into English (and then verified by your school or a suitable third party), or piece(s) originally written in English.

How should the written work be submitted? 

  • Shortly after the UCAS deadline of 15 October, applicants who have applied for an arts/humanities subject requiring the submission of written work, will be contacted with full details of how to send the written work to the College.  Please DO NOT send in any written work until you hear from us.
  • You will be asked to attach a signed coversheet to each piece of work that you submit. Further information on how to submit your written work to the College and to download the coversheet will be available in the Applicant Information Portal
  • Please see the table below for the subjects asking for written work and what to send in. If your subject is not listed below, you are not required to submit any written work.​ 
Subject Written Work Information
Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Submit two, preferably marked, essays on any historical, literary or linguistic topics.
Architecture For your portfolio, submit a PDF (6 A4 pages, and less than 15MB in size) of your own artwork prior to interview. Further information about the portfolio requirements is available here (under the entry requirements tab).
Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Submit two, preferably marked, essays (in any subjects).
Classics (3 years) Submit one or two recently marked essays, from Latin and/or Greek if you are taking either subject at A Level, or from one of the following subjects if not: Classical Civilisation, History or Literature (English Literature or literature pertaining to a modern language A level, e.g. French or German).
Classics (4 years) Submit one or two recently marked essays, from Latin and/or Greek if you are taking either subject at A Level, or from one of the following subjects if not: Classical Civilisation, History or Literature (English Literature or literature pertaining to a modern language A level, e.g. French or German).
Education (all tracks) Submit two, preferably marked, essays (in any subjects).
English Submit one or two, preferably marked, essays that you would be happy to discuss further in the interviews, if asked. They should be as recent as possible, to showcase your abilities more readily, but should not be specially written for this purpose.
History Submit two recent, preferably marked, essays (we prefer not to receive sources based answers but if you are sending this type of work be sure also to send the sources on which the answers are based).
History and Modern Languages Submit two recent, preferably marked, essays. If the applicant is applying to study History and an ab initio language, both essays can be written in English. If the applicant will study a language post-A level, one of the essays must be written in that language.
History and Politics Submit two recent, preferably marked essays. These will usually be pieces of work that you have done at school or college as part of your current studies.
History of Art Submit one or two pieces of completed and marked school work (essays) that we may use in the interviews. We don’t usually expect these to be Art History essays, most applicants will not be taking that subject.
Human, Social, and Political Sciences Submit two pieces of written work. These will usually be pieces of work that you have done at school or college as part of your current studies, marked by your teachers. Suitable essays would be on topics in the social sciences, or in subjects like History or English that involved critical, argumentative essays.
Modern and Medieval Languages Submit two recently marked essays, one essay to be in one of the languages the applicant is applying for. It should preferably be on literary texts, history or philosophy. If you don't have anything on literary texts, history or philosophy, any pieces of work in the language(s) they intend to study are acceptable. The other essay should be in English. If an applicant is applying for an ab initio language (one started from scratch), please send an essay in English for that language, preferably written on English Literary texts or on a historical subject. 
Music Submit one recently marked essay and examples of composition work on disc and in manuscript.
Theology Religion & Philosophy of Religion Submit one or two examples of your written work from a relevant A Level/IB (or equivalent) course. These should be as handed in to, and marked by, your teachers. A discussion of this work may then form part of your interview.

Frequently asked questions?

Q: According to the information on the webpage, I am required to send one or  two examples of my work. Will there be any disadvantage during my application process if I send one work instead of two? 
​A: 
It won’t disadvantage your application if you only send one example of your work, but if you send two it will give a good overview of your abilities.

Q: I have one other quick question about submitted work: is it advisable to submit one unseen literary comparison and one more focused essay? Or would you prefer two essays on texts that have been formally studied?
​A: 
We would prefer to receive two essays on texts that have been formally studied. But, should you decide to submit one unseen literary comparison, you should include the texts that are being commented on. 

Q: I am considering sending a Spanish essay as part of my written work to study Education. Would a translation into English by myself and signed as correct by my teacher alongside the original be alright? 
A: Yes, this will be acceptable to submit.