Portal:University of Cambridge

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The University of Cambridge Portal

University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge (informally "Cambridge University", or simply "Cambridge"), located in the city of Cambridge, England, is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world and the fourth oldest in Europe. The name is sometimes abbreviated as Cantab. in post-nominals, a shortened form of Cantabrigiensis (an adjective derived from Cantabrigia, the Latinised form of Cambridge). The university grew out of an association of scholars in the city of Cambridge that was formed, early records suggest, in 1209 by scholars leaving the University of Oxford after a dispute with townsfolk there. The universities of Oxford and Cambridge are often jointly referred to as "Oxbridge". In addition to cultural and practical associations as a historic part of British society, the two universities also have a long history of rivalry with each other. Academically, Cambridge is consistently ranked in the world's top five universities and as a premier leading university in Europe by numerous media and academic rankings. The University's alumni include 88 Nobel Laureates as of 2012. (more...)
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An MA hood
In the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin, the degree of Master of Arts or "Master in Arts" ("MA") is awarded to Bachelors of Arts of those universities on application after six or seven years' seniority as members of the university (including years as an undergraduate). There is no examination or study required for the degree beyond those required for the BA. This practice differs from that in most other universities worldwide, for whom the degree reflects further postgraduate study or achievement, and these degrees thus are frequently referred to as the "Oxbridge MA" and "Dublin" or "Trinity MA" to differentiate them. The Oxbridge MA is based on a system of academic rank rather than academic qualifications. Once one has been incepted/promoted to MA, they technically are no longer a BA and cannot say that they are both at the same time nor wear the academicals pertaining to the BA degree. All three universities have other masters' degrees that require further study and examination, but these have other titles, e.g. Master of Letters (MLitt), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), Master of Science (MSc) etc. (more...)

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John Dee. Sixteenth century portrait, artist unknown.
John Dee was a noted British mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer and consultant to Elizabeth I. He also devoted much of his life to alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy. Dee straddled the worlds of science and magic. He studied at St John's College, Cambridge and he was a founding fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, where the clever stage effects he produced for a production of Aristophanes' Peace procured him the reputation of being a magician that clung to him through life. One of the most learned men of his time, he was lecturing to crowded halls at the University of Paris in his early twenties. He was an ardent promoter of mathematics, a respected astronomer and a leading expert in navigation, training many of those who would conduct England's voyages of discovery. At the same time, he immersed himself deeply in Christian angel-magic and Hermetic philosophy, and devoted the last third of his life almost exclusively to these pursuits. For Dee, as for many of his contemporaries, these activities were not contradictory, but aspects of a consistent world-view. (more...)

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The main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge.
Credit: Andrew Dunn
The main entrance to the Fitzwilliam Museum, the art and antiquities museum of the University of Cambridge.

Did you know...

  • ... that James Cumming was known for his entertaining chemistry lectures in Cambridge, during which he would literally shock the audience with a galvanic apparatus?

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The King, observing with judicious eyes
The state of both his universities,
To Oxford sent a troop of horse, and why?
That learned body wanted loyalty;
To Cambridge books, as very well discerning
How much that loyal body wanted learning.

(lines written on George I's donation of the Bishop of Ely's Library to Cambridge University)

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  • Adjust Cambridge College information Boxes to include the same information as Oxford College Information Boxes
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