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


Number of students per year
Typical offer

The minimum offer level is A*AA at A-level, or 7 7 6 (42+ overall) from Higher Level subjects in the IB. For other qualifications, please see the University entrance requirements page.

Essential subjects

There are no specific subject requirements.

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.

Written work

Two essays will be required. These should be essays you have written in English for school/college. They can be on any subject. You should choose the essays that you consider to be your best. They should have been marked by a teacher, if at all possible. Unless you are an overseas applicant who does not write essays in English at school, they should not be written specially for the occasion.

HSPS at Clare

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. 

Visit the University's subject page for more information.


Sarah Lockwood image

Dr Lockwood’s work lies at the intersection of comparative politics and the political economy of development, with a substantive interest in protest and other forms of democratic accountability. She uses a multi-method approach, combining in-depth qualitative fieldwork with statistical analysis, surveys, and experiments (field, natural, and survey), to answer two related questions: When and under what circumstances do individuals mobilize in pursuit of political, social and economic change? And what effect does this have on government accountability, resource allocation, and the quality of governance? 

SARAH LOCKWOOD Human, Social & Political Sciences
Director of Studies in Human, Social, and Political Sciences
Clare College

Dr Lazar researches collective and radical politics in Latin America. Most recently her work has focussed on labour movement 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. 

SIAN LAZAR Human, Social & Political Sciences
Director of Studies in Human, Social, and Political Sciences
Clare College

Helen has been a Director of Studies at Clare since 1995 and has taught Politics to every generation of Clare students since then. She is the Director of Studies for Part I Human, Social and Political Sciences and for Part II Politics and International Relations. Her most recent book is Oil and the Western Economic Crisis. She has published articles in recent years on Brexit, the euro zone crisis, and the 2007-8 financial crash. 


HELEN THOMPSON Human, Social & Political Sciences
Director of Studies in Human, Social, and Political Sciences