Courses

Pembroke admits students to study all the Honours Degree courses (known as ‘Triposes’, apparently because the examiner used to sit on a three-legged stool) available at Cambridge, except for Geography and Education Studies.

The Cambridge Tripos courses are distinctive for their breadth and flexibility. Most courses cover their subject very broadly in the first year or two, and then become more specialised in the second or third year. This breadth allows you to choose from an exceptionally wide variety of options, and thus to a great extent, to design your own programme of study. Unlike at other universities, it is not necessary to have a very clear idea when you apply of the detailed options you may wish to study.

The Triposes are divided into blocks lasting one or two years. In some subjects there is a two-year Part I (sometimes divided into Part 1A and Part 1B), and a one-year Part II, while in others the Part I lasts for one year, and is followed by a two-year Part II. In order to achieve a Cambridge BA Honours degree, it is necessary to pass two parts, lasting not less than three years in all. In Engineering and in some of the science subjects, there is a fourth year course (Part II B or III) leading to a degree of MEng or MSci.

Changing Subjects

Most students take successive parts of the same Tripos. However, it is possible to change subject after Part I. Not all changes are clearly possible or desirable. If you think you might like to combine two different Tripos subjects, it is sensible to consult the Admissions Tutor about your choices before you apply.