Please note: This site currently contains information for those who applied for 2016 entry. Information for 2017 entry will be available in March.
If you'll be aged 21 or over by 1 October in the year in which you hope to come to Cambridge and haven't already completed a higher education course then you'll be applying as a mature student.
The University welcomes mature students who want to commit to a full-time course with the same demands, opportunities and facilities that our school-leaving students experience. The rewards of studying for an undergraduate degree may be personal or professional or both.
Cambridge is a collegiate university, meaning that students are based in Colleges for day-to-day living and go to the University’s academic faculties/departments for lectures, practical’s etc.
At Cambridge, all undergraduate students belonging to one of 29 Colleges. All Cambridge Colleges admit mature students, but there are four that only take mature or graduate students:
Mature students can apply to any of the undergraduate Colleges, though most choose one of these ‘mature’ Colleges, where they’ll be living with other students who also have a bit more life experience and aren’t straight out of school. This is a great support for anyone returning to education.
The social life in a mature College is a rich mix and it takes account of partners and families. At the same time, there are plenty of opportunities to meet the standard-age students in lectures and practicals and through the University’s clubs and societies.
The role of the Colleges and College profiles are detailed in our Colleges section, along with advice on things to consider when choosing a College. Mature students who choose to make an open application are allocated to one of the mature Colleges.
The personal teaching and support available within the Cambridge Colleges is the most distinctive feature of the collegiate system.
Details of the costs involved in going to university and the support available for UK and EU students can be found on our Fees and finance pages. In particular you will find information about:
Information about financial support for students from outside the EU (including Islands students, from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) can be found on the International financial support.
For students with children, the University’s Childcare Information Advisers can offer guidance on childcare, and some Colleges are able to provide family accommodation. More information for student parents can be found on the Student parents page.
The mature Colleges run a 'PREP course' for mature students who have successfully secured a place at Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, St Edmund's College or Wolfson College. Aimed at those returning to study, the course provides an opportunity to develop study skills and covers practical issues such using academic facilities and resources. If eligible, your College will invite you to attend the PREP course.