Essay competitions at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
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Essay Competitions

Entries for the 2020 essay competitions are now open!
Each year, Fitzwilliam College runs essay competitions for Year 12 students in a variety of subjects, allowing talented students to explore their interests beyond the school curriculum.
The University of Cambridge seeks out students with a passion for their subject; those who have investigated it outside the classroom. Our essay competitions provide students with an opportunity to engage with their interests in this way, allowing them to demonstrate their enthusiasm for their subject.

Essay competitions 2020

The essay competitions for Ancient World and Classics, Archaeology, and Land Economy have now closed for 2020.

We are also running an Architecture design competition. The deadline for entries is midnight 11 May 2020. The Architecture design brief can be found at the following link, as well as more information about the College's buildings and a detailed plan:

Please ensure that you read all of the competition rules and ensure that you are eligible before entering. To enter you must fill in an online form and either upload an electronic version of your essay or post a hard copy (see below for the link to the online form and more submission details).

Competition rules

These essay competitions are exclusively for students in their penultimate year of school (Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland, and Year 13 in Northern Ireland). They are open to students in any country but submissions must be written in English.

Submissions should strictly adhere to the word limit set out in the brief (2500 works for Ancient World, Archaeology, and Land Economy; 500 words for the Architecture narrative), and contain a bibliography at the end. The bibliography is excluded from the word limit but footnotes are included. Applicants must ensure that pages are numbered and that their full name is on each page. The submission must be entirely the individual student's work and must not have been submitted to an exam board as part of any coursework or extended essay, either in part or in full.

Students are only permitted to enter one competition and may only submit one entry to that competition. There is a strict limit of five submissions per school for each competition. If more than five students from the same school enter the same competition, a teacher from that school will be contacted and asked to select the five entries; failure to do so will result in all submissions from the school to that competition being disqualified. When submitting an essay, the student will be asked to provide the name and email address of a teacher who will be contacted in order to verify the submission. Without this verification, the submission will be considered incomplete.

Further particulars for each competition can be found on the links above.

Submission guidelines

All entrants must complete an online form.

On the form entrants must submit their own details and contact information for a teacher who may be contacted to verify the submission. The entrant should inform the teacher and gain their permission before supplying their details.

Essays and portfolios can be submitted either electronically or as a hard copy. Electronic submissions must be in a pdf format and uploaded to the above form. If the file is too big to submit to the online form then please email it as a pdf to If you wish to submit a hard copy instead, please post it to: Schools Liaison Officer, Fitzwilliam College, Storey's Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DG. Even if you intend to post or email your submission, you must still complete the online form; without the form your submission will be incomplete and not considered.

Contact us

If you have any questions relating to the competitions please contact us on