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Summer Postgraduate internships

This summer, Hughes Hall was delighted to host four interns on research placements at Cambridge University’s School of Arts and Humanities.

Set up by the School and the University’s Postgraduate Widening Participation Team, the internship programme is designed to provide research experience to students wanting to apply for postgraduate study who have experienced educational disadvantage.

Find out more & apply for 2024 internships.

Evie Nash, our Outreach Officer, spoke to the interns about their experience.

The four interns were all current students in their penultimate year of study of humanities degrees at other UK universities. This opportunity aimed to provide them with skills to strengthen their applications and exposure to the wider Cambridge research landscape.

Interns Hannah and Marina in the Hughes Hall library. Marina said: ‘It has been a summer to remember!’

During the placements, two students worked in the Faculty of English, exploring themes like gender and the role of women in different forms of literature such as poems and plays. The other two interns experienced life in the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, exploring the impact and possibilities for AI in areas like criminal justice and mental health.

Intern, Faye, said of the programme: “The summer internship was a great experience, the support we had in writing our research project was beyond expected. We were really looked after by everyone, and it was an incredible introduction to applying for postgraduate studies at Cambridge University.”

“Our mentors and supervisors supported every step of the way, and we had a lot of fun doing it. I am excited to now apply for an MPhil next year and am more confident to enter into postgraduate studies.”

“I now feel that I have the knowledge and confidence to apply for a Master’s programme” said Zoe.

As well as aiming to give the interns research experience within their chosen fields, the programme also aimed to provide an insight into what it is like to study as a postgraduate at Cambridge, as Zoe reflected:

“I have found this internship to be an incredibly positive experience. It has opened my eyes to what life is like in a collegiate university which I am not used to whatsoever. As well as this, through the brilliant support I have had throughout the programme, I now feel that I have the knowledge and confidence to apply for a Master’s programme.

“Before this internship I had no idea what a Master’s degree, application, or funding involved and so I feel incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity!”

As well as receiving access to world-leading research in their departments, the interns also experienced college life by living on our campus for six weeks, eating meals in the dining room, and using the library, gym, and study spaces, living the life of any Hughes Hall student. They also had the chance to speak to admissions staff and current students, who helped to explain the application process, and the accommodation and funding available to postgraduate students.

Interns stayed in Hughes Hall’s Gresham Court for the duration of the programme.

Zoe appreciated the location and culture of Hughes: “Living close to Cambridge City Centre, whilst avoiding the chaos that comes with being in a college in the middle of town, has been a huge blessing. Indeed, the atmosphere at Hughes has felt so much more relaxed than at the other colleges I have visited which I something I have really appreciated, as it has offered a welcome contrast to the busyness of the academic side of life at Cambridge.”

“I would definitely consider applying to Hughes Hall for my Master’s and would recommend anyone to do the same!”

Marina added: “Hughes Hall were exceptional hosts for the programme, always ensuring we had whatever support we needed and making the experiencing all the more enjoyable. It has been a summer to remember!’

This was the first year that this programme ran, and we look forward to working with the School of Arts and Humanities and the Postgraduate Widening Participation Team in the future to deliver more opportunities such as this.

Further information

If you are interested in applying for an internship like this, keep an eye on the School of Arts and Humanities website, where you can read about studying an arts or humanities degree at the University of Cambridge. You can also learn more about applying for postgraduate study on our website.

To contact our Outreach Officer, email: outreach@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

To visit Hughes Hall or talk to one of our Admissions Tutors, see: www.hughes.cam.ac.uk/applying/open-days-and-visits.