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Application and Interview

Applying to Cambridge

The process of applying to Cambridge is much the same as that for other universities. However, there are two key differences that you should be aware of. At Cambridge, the application process starts earlier to allow time for interviews to be organized. You will also be asked to specify a College as well as naming your chosen degree subject in the application.

Choosing a College

In your College you will have a Director of Studies who will be responsible for your academic welfare and for your progress. In most other subjects your Director of Studies also arranges your supervisions, but in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies supervisions are arranged by your teachers in the Faculty.

Students doing Japanese Studies and wondering which College to apply to should be aware that members of academic staff teaching on Japanese Studies are Fellows of the following Colleges. In most cases they also act as Director of Studies for all students reading Japanese as well as other AMES subjects. In other colleges your Director of Studies is likely to be a specialist in Chinese Studies, Middle Eastern or South Asian Studies.

  • Corpus Christi: Dr Kushner
  • Downing: Dr Steger
  • Emmanuel: Dr Moretti
  • Peterhouse: Dr Shores
  • Robinson: Dr Shin
  • Selwyn: Mrs Laurie
  • Trinity: Dr Morris, Prof Adolphson
  • Trinity Hall: Dr Kawabata

Preparing for your interview

In addition to talking to you about your personal statement, interviewers will want to know why you want to study the language on which you will be spending the next four years of your life (at least). Before your interview you will need to do some exploratory reading about China and Japan or Korea and to be prepared to talk about your reading in the interview. This can include general histories, literature in translation, contemporary politics and culture, and other reading that relates to your main interest in Japan. Wikipedia (which is not a trustworthy scholarly source) and other internet sources alone are not good enough!

You will find some reading recommendations in our section on 'Preparatory Reading'.