Portal:University of Cambridge/Selected article

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Portal:University of Cambridge/Selected article/1

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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James Clerk Maxwell
From 1748 to 1909, the University of Cambridge published a list of the rankings of the mathematicians in each year. The Senior or Second Wranglers were those who obtained the top marks in the Mathematical Tripos, the undergraduate mathematics examination. The prestige associated with the position of Senior Wrangler gradually increased through the course of its existence. In its heyday, the 19th century, the results of the exams would be reported in the major newspapers, such as The Times. Second Wranglers (the runners-up) such as James Clerk Maxwell (pictured) and William Thomson, went on to make considerable contributions to their fields. The order of merit listings began in 1748 and ended in 1909. The two top colleges in terms of number of Senior Wranglers are Trinity and St John's with 56 and 54 respectively. Obtaining the position of a highly ranked Wrangler created many opportunities for the individual's subsequent profession. They would often become Fellows initially, but these were only short term appointments in most cases, before the individual moved on to other professions, such as law, the Church or medicine. (more...)

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