Sidney is a small College and really friendly. You’ll get to know all the freshers really quickly as everyone lives together in one of a few sites across College, as well as plenty of other students and staff across College. There’s also the benefit of being right in the centre of town opposite Sainsbury’s, which makes everything really accessible! It’s also an amazing College to read law at, with a lovely community of students and Fellows. We have a dedicated law reading room alongside excellent Directors of Studies (DoSes) and teaching fellows to guide us through. Your DoS will be your first port of call for any academic issues or concerns, as well as overseeing your progress, and there’s also your tutor and the whole pastoral team at Sidney should you have any other problems at all.
In first year, you take four papers: Civil (Roman), Constitutional, Criminal and Tort Law. You will have lectures on all these papers and 1 supervision for each subject per fortnight (2 supervisions a week). I found all the first-year papers really accessible and engaging, and I particularly enjoyed reading Criminal and Tort Law. Lectures are all in the law faculty at the Sidgwick site; this is a 15 minute nice walk through King’s College, or a 5-10 minute easy cycle, and there’s also a coffee shop and the law library in the building with plenty of space for studying.
For Criminal Law, you will have one supervision per fortnight, and these will ensure that you develop a firm grounding in thinking about the Criminal Law from an analytical and technical perspective. I found the supervisions to be really helpful, especially when tackling problem questions and juggling some of the harder topics in the subject.
Whilst some may find Civil Law a tough subject to begin with, once you get your head around the Latin vocabulary, you will find Civil Law to be an intuitive subject that very much allows you to draw together different aspects of areas of law in ancient Roman society. Aspects of Civil Law still lingers around in English jurisprudence – ranging from the realm of Criminal Law to that of Land Law. Having knowledge of ancient Roman law will prove tremendously helpful in understanding further concepts of modern law in your future studies.
Finally, Constitutional Law is a subject that has evolved alongside Brexit developments. I found Constitutional law to be really interesting, as it has allowed me to appreciate the United Kingdom constitution in a more comprehensive manner. Thinking about the constitution through various normative theories, as well as charting its development with Brexit has enabled me to see the intertwining of law with modern day political and executive decisions.
Aside from academia, there is so much you can get involved with at Sidney and at the University of Cambridge. From College sports and societies, to University wide ones, there will be something for everyone! However, life at Cambridge can be busy and hectic, and you really don’t need to fill every spare minute of time with an extracurricular activity; sometimes just chilling in the JCR, bar, gardens, or in someone’s room and watching a movie or chatting is the best way to unwind. Formal hall is also another fun way to spend an evening, and a great part of college life.