Staton Essay Prize 2016 – Now Open!

30 Mar Staton Essay Prize 2016 – Now Open!

The City

The Staton Essay Prize is now accepting entries on the theme of ‘The City’.


The Staton Essay Prize is an interdisciplinary essay competition open to all students currently studying in Year 12 anywhere in the UK (or its equivalent in the EU and internationally).

The interdisciplinary character of the competition reflects our specialism at Regent’s Park College, in teaching and research across the Humanities and Social Sciences, and the success of our students on joint degree programmes.

The aim of the competition is to give school pupils the opportunity to explore connections between the subjects they study or are interested in, to develop their independent research skills, and to encourage them to consider interdisciplinary courses at university.




The closing date for entries is Friday 29th July 2016; all will be acknowledged by letter in the autumn and entrants whose work is commended by the judges will receive certificates. One top prize will be awarded in each of three categories (contemporary worlds, historical worlds, and literary worlds); £250 for the best essay overall, and a further two £150 prizes. The three prize winners will be invited to a special awards dinner in College, to which they may bring guests, which usually takes place at the end of October.




In NO MORE than 2000 words, answer ONE question from this list:


Contemporary Worlds category:

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like contemporary history (1980s onwards), economics, philosophy, religious studies, and politics.

(1) Are humans destined to live in cities?

(2) Why do some cities never sleep?

(3) Does urbanisation encourage toleration?


Historical Worlds category:

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like ancient history, archaeology, classical literature, history (from the fall of Rome to 1979), philosophy, and religious studies.

(4) Are states made strong by having strong cities?

(5) Do successful protest movements have their roots in cities?

(6) Is urban transformation an expression of power?


Literary Worlds category:

In this category, entrants could combine subjects like classical literature, English language, English literature, history (any period), philosophy, and religious studies.

(7) Heaven is a garden but hell is a city.  Do literary texts endorse or challenge this view?

(8) What are the imaginative possibilities offered to writers by the city?

(9) Is the paradox of simultaneous belonging and alienation best explored through the representation of cities?




Your essay must bring together two or more subjects OR combine a subject you are studying with a personal interest.

Include a list of all the sources (including online resources and websites) that you have used to research and write your essay. This list is not included in the word count.

The competition will be judged by College tutors in the relevant disciplines; unfortunately, essays will not be returned and the judges cannot provide feedback (written or verbal) to entrants.

The judges will reward sophistication in the level of engagement between disciplines, clarity of thought and expression, and the careful choice of examples.

The judges’ decisions are final, and they reserve the right not to award a prize in any category if they consider that none of the entries reach the required standard.

Submit your essay as a Word document, with a completed title page, to:

Please ensure that ONLY your initials and date of birth appear on EACH PAGE of the essay.

To download a title page for your essay, click here.

The College cannot accept faxed entries.


Closing date: Friday 29th July 2016

Winners will be announced in the week beginning 26th September.