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Undergraduate Study


Access to HE Diploma typical offers and requirements

Attainment of an Access to HE Diploma – with Distinctions in all relevant subject units – can be acceptable preparation for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences and most arts subjects (excluding Economics) at the University of Cambridge. Some subjects may have additional academic requirements, see below and also check for any further requirements/preferences with the individual Colleges.

In most instances, an Access to HE Diploma alone is not sufficient preparation to study a science subject (excluding Psychological and Behavioural Sciences) or Economics at Cambridge.

In all cases, you should contact a College admissions office to discuss your individual circumstances.

Certain subject-specific requirements may be included in conditional offers for particular courses at Cambridge as well:

  • Architecture – a good portfolio is required, and an ability to draw. An interest in the history of art is helpful. Mathematics is needed at least to good GCSE standard
  • Computer Science – A Level Mathematics is required
  • Economics – A Level Mathematics is required
  • Engineering – A Level Mathematics is required
  • Law – applicants will need to demonstrate an aptitude for logical thinking, as well as competence in essay writing
  • Mathematics – an Access to HE Diploma is not sufficient preparation.
  • Music – at least grade 5 piano is required
  • Natural Sciences – A Level Mathematics is required for the Physical Sciences and recommended for the Biological Sciences (although there is a Year 1 for those without A Level Mathematics, the better applicants' mathematical ability is before they come to Cambridge, the better they will get on)
  • applicants for the following subjects will need to demonstrate an aptitude for languages – Classics, History of Art and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Applicants for History should note that an aptitude for languages opens up greater choices within the History course at Cambridge. Applicants for Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion should be aware of the compulsory first-year scriptural language element.

For further information email the Widening Participation Team at the Cambridge Admissions Office.