Essay competitions at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge
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Essay competitions

Each year, Fitzwilliam College runs essay competitions 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.

This year's competition has now run and we plan to announce next year's competition early next year.

Essay competitions 2018/19

Entries for all competitions have now closed.

The questions for this year's competitions were as follows:

The following document was also produced which may be of interest to students applying for the Architecture competition.

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 must be written in English.

Essays should be less than 2500 words long, and contain a list of works consulted and cited at the end. The bibliography is excluded from the word limit but any footnotes are included. Applicants must ensure that pages are numbered and that their full name is on each page. 

Students are only permitted to enter one competition. There is a strict limit of five submissions per school for each essay 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, submitting their own details and contact information for a teacher who will 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 you wish to submit a hard copy instead, please post it to: Schools Liaison Officer, Fitzwilliam College, Storey's Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DG.

Contact us

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