Essay Competitions

In recent years, our pupils have entered a number of prestigious essay competitions run by various colleges at Oxford University and Cambridge University.


Please find below a collection of these essays and some background information about the competitions and those awarded with prizes.

2017

RES Young Economist of the Year 2017

In the Spring term of each year, any school students studying UK GCSE, A level, SQC Intermediate 2/Highers or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are invited to write a unique essay of between 1,000 to 2,500 words, on a subject set by the President of the Royal Economic Society, calling on key elements of their studies, examples from the world around them and imaginative discussion. Applications for each year's essay topics are managed online through our partners tutor2u, the UK's leading online educational publisher who provide advice and resources to assist students.

Matt Thorne was named joint Young Economist of the Year 2017 with his essay
'A recent UK tribunal case has found that Uber drivers are not self-employed and so should be paid the minimum wage and holiday pay. Is this to the advantage of actual and potential drivers or not?'

Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Peter Cane Prize for Legal Reasoning by an Aspiring Lawyer

The prize seeks to promote engagement with the ideas and reasoning behind law and legal studies, and particular to encourage those from all backgrounds and walks of life to apply to study law, especially at University. The prize is named after the distinguished lawyer, Professor Peter Cane, an internationally acclaimed scholar of legal theory, obligations and public law, and Corpus’ first dedicated law fellow.

Patrick McSwiggan was this year's runner up with his essay
'The Occupiers' Liability Act 1957'



St Peter's College, Oxford
Edgar Jones Philosophy Prize

The aim of the prize is to provide for students in Year 12 or the Lower 6th an opportunity to write about a philosophical issue and thereby, it is hoped, enable them to develop their abilities for independent research and thought, and encourage them to apply for an undergraduate course with Philosophy as an element.

Will Cashmore was commended in this competition with his essay
'Can a rabbit be a person?'



Peterhouse, Cambridge
Kelvin Science Essay Competition

This is an annual competition set by the oldest Cambridge College and is designed to give prospective applicants a chance to show off the calibre of their thinking. The science essay competition attracts around 150 entrants.

Toby Vickers and Harry Cooper-Simpson were both commended in this competition with their essays
'I don't know how far away the moon lies, but here's how I re-discovered π'

and

'I don't know how far away the moon lies, but here's how I re-discovered Agogadro's constant'.



Peterhouse, Cambridge
Vellacott History Essay Competition


This is the most prestigious competition for Sixth Form historians. Students are asked to choose a topic that you have not previously studied at school from the long list of questions, which include a wide range of historical topics, also touching on a number of other subject areas, such as Classics, Theology, Art, Literature, Music, Politics, Architecture and Sociology.

Patrick McSwiggan was commended for his essay
'Why did early modern people accuse their neighbours of being witches?'


2016


Peterhouse, Cambridge
Vellacott History Essay Competition

Matt Thorne won this highly regarded competition in 2016 with his essay
'Why was child labour a problem for 19th century societies?'


2014


St Hugh's College, Oxford
Julia Wood History Essay Competition

Established in 1971, in memory of a St Hugh’s College alumna, the Julia Wood Prize is an annual History essay competition open to Sixth Form pupils who have not been in the Sixth Form of any school or college for a period of more than two years.

Josh Stickland was runner up in this competition with his essay
'Was the fall of the Romanov dynasty inevitable?'



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