• A Tripos (/ˈtraɪpɒs/ , plural ‘Triposes’) is an academic examination that originated at the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England.

  • Degree regulations state that, to be awarded a degree, a student must have passed two honours examinations (i.e., two Tripos examinations) – this could include a Part I and
    a Part II, two Part I exams, or (in some cases) a Part I and a Part IA.

  • The English, History and ASNaC Triposes have preliminary rather than full examinations at the end of the first year, though History and English have recently scrapped Preliminary
    exams in the first year and moved to an IA, IB, II structure with classed examinations in all years.

  • A student requesting to graduate (technically, ‘admitted to a degree’) is assessed mainly on two criteria: not only the Triposes they have completed (requirements laid by
    the statutes and ordinances of Cambridge), as recorded in the Cambridge University Reporter (Cambridge’s gazette newspaper), but also the number of terms kept (at least nine required for a BA; 10 for an undergraduate master’s degree).

  • • Type: Bachelor’s degree (BA), Master’s degree (MSci, MEng, MMath); Duration: 3 or 4 years; Countries / regions: University of Cambridge; Languages: English language Etymology
    The word has an obscure etymology, but can be traced to the three-legged stool candidates once used to sit on when taking oral examinations, known as tripods.

  • Students already holding a BA degree from Cambridge are not permitted to collect a second BA from the university.

  • [4] The origin and evolution of the Cambridge Tripos can be found in William Clark’s Academic Charisma and the Origin of the Research University.

  • From October 2011, students can only be awarded an honours degree if they have been awarded honours in a Part II or Part III examination;[6] a combination of Part I examinations
    will allow a student to graduate with an Ordinary degree.

  • Students who already possess a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from another university are generally permitted to skip Part I, and thus can complete a Cambridge bachelor’s
    degree in two years or less.

  • Most subjects are examined in all three years; for example, the Natural Sciences Tripos has examinations for Part IA, Part IB, Part II, and in some subjects, Part III.

  • Although a classical tripos was created in 1822, it was only open to those who already had high honours in mathematics or those who were the sons of peers.

  • Some Part III courses allow the student to graduate with both a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree: for example, scientific Part III courses allow the student to graduate
    with an M.Sci.

  • Management Studies, Manufacturing Engineering, and Linguistics (prior to October 2010) – exist only as Part II, and can be preceded by any manner of Part I subject.

  • In most traditional English universities, a student registers to study one field exclusively, rather than having “majors” or “minors” as in American, Australian, Canadian,
    or Scottish universities.

  • Students are examined formally at the end of each part and are awarded a degree classification for each part.

  • There is also an optional Part III offered in some subjects, such as the Mathematical Tripos; these are not required to complete a bachelor’s degree.

  • More exotic combinations are possible, with the permission of the student’s college and prospective department, but some combinations create a four-year bachelor’s degree.

  • List of Triposes Below is the list of Triposes offered by the university (Latin numerals in brackets indicate the Parts available): • Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Tripos
    (ASNaC) (I, II) (two year part I) • Archaeology Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Architecture Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (formerly Oriental Studies Tripos) (IA, IB, II) • Chemical Engineering Tripos (“Chem Eng”) (I, IIA,
    IIB) (part IIB completion leads to M Eng in addition to BA) • Classical Tripos (IA, IB, II) (pre IA year available to those without A-level Latin/Greek) • Computer Science Tripos (“Comp Sci”) (IA, IB, II, III) (part III completion leads to
    M Eng plus BA) • Economics Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Education Tripos (I, II) (two year part I) • Engineering Tripos (IA, IB, IIA, IIB) (part IIB completion leads to M Eng in addition to BA) • English Tripos (I, II) (two year part I) • Geographical
    Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Historical Tripos (I, II) (two year part I) • Historical Tripos (from 2022) (IA, IB, II) • History and Modern Languages Tripos (IA, IB, II) (two year part II) • History and Politics Tripos (IA, IB, II) • History and Philosophy
    of Science Tripos (HPS) (IB, II) • History of Art Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Human, Social, and Political Sciences Tripos (HSPS) (I, IIA, IIB) • Land Economy Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Law Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Linguistics Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Management
    Studies Tripos (“Part II” only; the Management Studies Tripos is a one-year course) • Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (I, II) (part III completion leads to M Eng in addition to BA) • Mathematical Tripos (IA, IB, II, III) (part III completion
    leads to MMath in addition to a BA) • Medical Sciences Tripos (MedST) (IA, IB) • Modern and Medieval Languages Tripos (MML) (IA, IB, II) • Music Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Natural Sciences Tripos (“Nat Sci”) (IA, IB, II, III) (part III completion
    leads to M Sci in addition to a BA) • Philosophy Tripos (IA, IB, II) • Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Theological and Religious Studies Tripos (I, IIA, IIB) • Veterinary Sciences Tripos (VetST) (IA, IB) Triposes
    recently abolished, renamed or restructured[edit] • Oriental Studies Tripos • Education Studies Tripos • Linguistics Tripos (Old Regulations) • Archaeology and Anthropology Tripos • Politics, Psychology and Sociology [PPS] Tripos • Medical
    and Veterinary Sciences Tripos (MVST); split into separate Medical and Veterinary Sciences Triposes (MedST/VetST) from October 2018.


Works Cited

[‘o “The Jargon | Queens’ College”. Queens’ College, Cambridge. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
o ^ “Structure of our courses”. University of Cambridge.
o ^ “Essay on Triposes” in The Classical Journal, Volume 13; p. 83; No. XXV, March 1816.
o ^ Smith,
Jonathan C. (2002). Teaching and learning in nineteenth-century Cambridge. Ipswich: Boydell Press. pp. 207–208. ISBN 0-85115-783-1.
o ^ Clark, William (2006). Academic Charisma and the Origin of the Research University, chapter 4, University of
Chicago Press.
o ^ “Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on the requirements for the B.A. Degree by Honours”. Cambridge University Reporter, Thursday 23 July 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
o ^ “Joint Report of the Council and the
General Board on the future of Ordinary Examinations and the Ordinary B.A. Degree”. Cambridge University Reporter, Wednesday 24 November 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
Photo credit:’]