Missed the deadline to run a section? Fear not. Apply to write for one Varsity

Applications to contribute to Varsity in Michaelmas 2022 are now open.

Varsity is Cambridge’s oldest student newspaper. We’ve been printing since 1947, and in our time have seen some of British journalism’s greats pass through our pages. David Frost, Jeremy Paxman, Prince Charles...

Today, you have the chance to join them.

Below is your opportunity to write for a section. We’re looking for people who write in an interesting and authentic way. That means no sitting on the fence, no six clause sentences and, most importantly, no pretentiousness. The best applicants will be bold, original and take risks. Varsity is your chance to write something that isn’t your weekly essay, so show us who you really are, not who your supervisor wants you to be!

Please send your answers to the questions below to applications@varsity.co.uk. Applications close 12pm on August 10th.

Best of luck,

Fergal Jeffreys and Jacob Freedland

To apply please tell us:

  • Your full name, subject and college.
  • The role(s) you’re applying for.
  • Details of any academic and extracurricular commitments you have in Michaelmas.

…and answer the questions below for the role you’re applying for:

News correspondent

News is the beating heart of the paper, unearthing the goings-on around Cambridge and holding the University to account. News correspondents should have an eye for accuracy, know how to hunt down a good story and work well within a team – we meet every week to discuss leads.

Comment columnist

Comment gives our readers a ‘take’ on the news. Not all students see things the same way, so we need writers who reflect that. You’ll be writing a column once every week on the goings on in Cambridge. This can be commentary on an important issue, or something more personal or whimsical.

  • In 200 words, make the case that we don’t need the Student Union.
  • Why are students more left-wing today? 200 words.
  • What was your funniest moment as a fresher? 100 words.

Satire writer

Not everything in Cambridge needs to be taken seriously. Satire will poke fun at the news and lampoon figures in and outside of the University. We’re looking for people who can write funny pieces that elegantly bring down some of Cambridge’s more self-regarding folk back to earth.

  • Who would you invite if you were president of the Cambridge Union?
  • Write an entertaining letter to Varsity in response to a recent article.
  • Write a ‘day in the life’ of a well known Cambridge figure.

Interviews writer

Interviews writers will be responsible for a weekly long-form feature on a notable figure in or outside of Cambridge. Applicants need to be open-minded, curious and critical: nobody wants to read 1000 words of adoration for your hero.

  • What three questions would you ask the new vice-chancellor?
  • How can you make an interview interesting to read? 100 words.
  • What is your favourite interview Varsity has done from the past year? 200 words.

Science writer

Science writers will produce two different kinds of articles. The first will be news-style stories about the latest discoveries within Cambridge. The second will be science features: longer-form explorations of popular science relevant to students e.g. ‘why a Gardies’ kebab is healthier than a three-course formal’.

  • What’s the most interesting piece of research to come out of Cambridge this year?
  • What impact would drinking every weekend have on your degree? 100 words.
  • Is punting a good form of exercise? 100 words.

Sports writer

As a writer you’ll be responsible for covering key fixtures, interviewing captains and profiling Blues. We’re also looking for weekly columnists to give readers a ‘take’ on the Cambridge scene.

Features writer

Features is going to look a little different this term. We want them to investigate something they’re interested in: secret university societies, iconic restaurants, ideological conflicts within colleges. Doing this will require a sharp eye for relevancy and good style for execution.

  • What three areas in Cambridge would you want to explore and why?
  • What is the difference between a news story and a feature? 100 words.
  • What’s a fun feature that could be published in our first print edition? 200 words.

Lifestyle writer

Lifestyle is where readers go to let their hair down. We’re looking for two types of writer: witty columnists to write about their personal lives – think Cambridge’s Adrian Chiles or Caitlin Moran – and feature writers up for writing about the weird and wonderful activities of Cambridge.

  • Write a 200 word funny column about your week.
  • What three weird activities would you want to write about trying?
  • What’s the most surreal thing that’s happened to you at Cambridge? 200 words.

Theatre writer

Theatre writers are responsible for producing punchy, accurate and punctual reviews for student and professional productions. We want brave reviews – judging your peers frankly is tough but essential. You’ll also be expected to write pieces beyond reviews: interviews with actors, first-person perspectives about what involvement looks like.

  • A 200 word review of a play you’ve seen recently.
  • How funny are the current Footlights? 100 words.
  • Three interesting questions we should ask students involved in the theatre scene.

Arts writer

The Arts section covers books, fine art and architecture. You’ll focus on producing a weekly column, profile and review, in a style that is accessible to the non-arts reader. Curiosity and clear style will be crucial for applicants to this job.

  • Who is the most overrated artist to graduate from Cambridge and who is the most underrated?
  • If nobody reads poems any more, why should we bother writing them? 200 words.
  • Is Churchill College as ugly as everyone says it is?

Film and TV writer

Writers are primarily responsible for reviewing films and TV shows. These reviews will be focused on popular culture given our broad readership. We're also looking for people to write a weekly opinion column about a TV show or film or profiles of interesting filmmaker ideally young or at Cambridge.

  • What actor would play you in a film and why?
  • Should colleges offer students free Netflix? 100 words.
  • Should TV shows always end after one series? 200 words. 

Music writer

Music writers are primarily responsible for reviewing new songs and albums. These reviews will be focused on popular music given our broad readership. Top 10s and Varsity Playlists will also be a staple in print. We're also looking for people to write a weekly opinion column about music more generally, and profiles of student musicians at Cambridge.

  • What explains the revival of the jazz scene in Cambridge? 100 words.
  • Why is Taylor Swift cool again? 200 words.
  • What's the best venue in Cambridge? 100 words.

Fashion writer

Fashion writers will be producing a style column (what’s in, what’s out, why is this brand trending). Crucially, we want you to step out of the section’s traditional confines by experimenting with different themes and subjects for shoots – we want to introduce a Cambridge spin on Queer Eye where a fashionista picks an outfit for a student whose wardrobe needs a revamp. If you think you’re the person who can shake it up, apply!

  • Does our generation have worse style than our parents when they were our age? 100 words.
  • Who’s the best dressed college master? 100 words.
  • Which Cambridge subculture has the most interesting fashion?


Quite simply, newspapers need photos. We’re looking for passionate, talented photographers to work for the paper in a role that can be as little or much as you make it. One day you might be photographing a climate protest or visiting celebrity, the next a fashion shoot or gig. You’ll also have the opportunity to pursue creative projects you’re interested in.

  • Send us three photos you’ve taken from the past year.
  • What subjects would most suit your skills? Protests? Sports games? Fashion shows? 


Illustrations make every section better. As an illustrator you’ll be worked to commissions from the editorial team. This could be anything from a cartoon of the vice-chancellor for the Satire section to a drawing of the Backs for the Arts section.

Podcast host

Next term will see a revamped podcast featuring well-known students, funny guests and some of the newest music from the Cambridge scene. Interested in hosting? Got charisma, wit and love to talk to people? This is your chance. Successful applicants will be auditioned the week beginning Monday 15th August. You’re also welcome to apply in a pair.

  • Explain why you would be a good host for the podcast in 200 words.
  • Tell us two guests you would bring on the show. 100 words.
  • Suggest three new segments you would like to trial on the podcast.

Contributing to a section is a commitment. You’ll be expected to be responsive to messages, attend meetings at the office and take on assignments from your editors. But trust us, you’ll gain more than you give. Varsity is an incredible place for you to develop your skills as a journalist and be around Cambridge’s most dynamic students. We also offer remedial support for HSPS students.