Date of publication: 2017-08-23 10:27
As part of our programme for potential Oxbridge applicants, selected Year 67 pupils enter the essay competitions run by Oxbridge colleges. Amongst the most prestigious of these are the Kelvin (Science) and Vellacott (History) prize competitions run by Peterhouse.
In addition to the cash prize, all winners and highly commended entrants are invited to a presentation and celebration lunch at Peterhouse in the summer, where they will have the opportunity to discuss their essays with leading academics.
In its seven hundred and more years of existence, Peterhouse has made a contribution to the wellbeing of the society of which it is a part quite disproportionate to its size.
The Ward Library is the main library and one of the best college libraries in Cambridge. The library is massive, being able to fit at least half the college in it, and has most of the books anyone needs for their course. In addition the college is open to suggestions for new books, which are usually bought in within a week. The library also has computers, printers, a photocopier, and very fast WiFi.
Whatever your requirements for meetings or seminars, Peterhouse can offer a wide range of attractive meeting rooms, including our historic Theatre, available individually or in any combination.
We are aware that websites that purport to offer to write or complete essays for this and other competitions exist. Entries composed in this way are fraudulent and will not be accepted. It is also worth noting that many of the websites themselves appear to be scamming operations.
“If you're serious about your application to Cambridge, entering an essay competition can only help. There are a number of people at Peterhouse who, even if they didn't win a prize, still applied and got places,” George said.
What surprised me the most while I was up there was the sheer variety of essay styles that made it into the top selection in all the competitions. One had written their essay as an extended conversation with God the first place history essay was written by someone not doing a single humanity for A-Level, and others wrote theirs as an extended standard school-type essay. I wrote mine in the form of a truncated literature review. So for those reading this about to start on future Peterhouse essay titles, remember that there is no one specific style they are looking for! They are looking for absorbing, informative, well-researched essays.
After a restful nights sleep and a rather large breakfast, we loitered around a bit and waited for our guests to arrive. I had invited the head of the Chemistry department at my school. Peterhouse admissions staff then invited us into their offices, where we were able to ask them a whole host of questions relating to courses, admission policy, suggested reading and such fun. Current Peterhouse students then took us around on a tour of the college, which was also very informative. The fact that they had a full croquet set laid out on one of the lawns was a real plus for me!
Being a small college, you quickly get to know everyone, which means that you meet a wide range of people, not just those doing your subject or on your staircase. You can just turn up to hall, the bar, or JCR and be sure of finding someone to talk to. In that sense, you may well find that you can make more friends here than in a larger college.
Carrying out a piece of independent research and presenting your findings to Cambridge academics in an essay gives a small taste of what it is like to study here.