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Undergraduate Study


What is Adjustment?

Adjustment is an optional UCAS service for students who meet and exceed the conditions of their firm choice. It gives them an opportunity to reconsider where and what to study, without losing their secured place.

Why is Cambridge using Adjustment?

The University wants the best-qualified students to study here in Cambridge. Adjustment will allow some students who have out-performed the terms of their firm choice offer the opportunity for further consideration.

How do I become eligible for UCAS Adjustment?

If you have met all of the conditions of your conditional-firm choice, and exceeded at least one of them, you can look for another place without losing your original offer. More information is available on the UCAS website.

To be considered by Cambridge during Adjustment you must also have applied and been interviewed during the 2020/21 cycle, meet the relevant widening participation criteria and have achieved at least the typical offer for the Cambridge course you applied for.

My decision letter says that I can apply to Cambridge through Adjustment – why?

Information was sent to all applicants who were interviewed by a Cambridge College as part of the 2020/21 admissions cycle and not made an offer in January, but whose application was flagged as meeting our widening participation criteria. 

My decision letter says that I can apply through Adjustment - what do I need to do now?

Once you have your results, please check carefully that you are eligible for UCAS Adjustment (having met all of the conditions of your offer and exceeded at least one) and that you have achieved at least the typical offer for the Cambridge course you applied for. If you are both eligible for UCAS Adjustment and have achieved at least the typical offer for the Cambridge course you applied for, you can choose to register your interest via the online form in order to be considered (see the Adjustment 2021 page for futher information).

Will you contact me again in August if I achieve the right grades and there are places available on my course?

No. We are unable to contact you again, therefore you must register your interest via the online form if you wish to be considered (see the Adjustment 2021 page for futher information).

I applied for Mathematics / Mathematics with Physics - will STEP be a requirement if I wish to be considered via Adjustment?

Yes. Applicants wishing to be considered via Adjustment for these courses will need to have taken STEP 2 and 3. Details of how to register for STEP this year are available on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.

The entry requirement for applicants to be considered during Adjustment is:

  • A*A*A (with A* in both Maths and Further Maths) with at least grade 1 in STEP papers 2 and 3


  • A*A*A* (with A* in both Maths and Further Maths) with at least grade 1 in STEP paper 2 or 3 (both papers to be taken)

Free online resources are available via the University’s STEP Support Programme:

I am unable to exceed my conditional-firm offer of A*A*A* (or equivalent). Am I eligible for Adjustment?

Please contact us by email to for further advice. 

Will those who secure a place through Adjustment be considered for a bursary?

Yes. Students securing a place through Adjustment will be assessed for the Cambridge Bursary and all eligible students will receive the relevant payment. See for further details, including information on eligibility and award value.

Will accommodation be available to those who secure a place through Adjustment? 

Yes. Cambridge Colleges provide accommodation to all single undergraduate students for at least three years of study. See for more information.

Will I be interviewed again? 

No. Adjustment applicants will not normally be required to undertake a further interview.

I don't meet the widening participation criteria; can I still be considered?

No. We will only consider applications through Adjustment from applicants who meet our widening participation criteria.

I meet a number of widening participation criteria but was not notified of Adjustment in my decision letter, what shall I do? 

We will consider Adjustment applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria which support our ongoing commitment to the Office for Students. This involves meeting at least three of five contextual flags or having spent time in local authority care or being eligible for Free School Meals or being a mature applicant from an underrepresented background. Those who meet these criteria will have received information regarding Adjustment in their decision letter; please check your emails carefully. If you have misplaced the email, or believe it has gone astray, please contact  clearly indicating your name and UCAS Personal ID.

I applied to Cambridge this year and I have significant extenuating circumstances which means the address provided on my application is not reflective of my current circumstances. What should I do?

If you can demonstrate that the address provided on your application is not reflective of your usual living situation (for example if you are homeless) please contact us via for further advice. 

I am from a background traditionally under-represented at Cambridge and other universities but I didn’t apply to Cambridge – can I apply through Adjustment?

We will only consider applications from those who applied to, and were interviewed by, Cambridge in the main application cycle. These applicants will have undertaken the full Cambridge application process including any admissions assessments and written work.

Why is Cambridge only considering students from backgrounds which are under-represented during Adjustment?

Cambridge wishes to increase the number of students from widening participation backgrounds attending the University. Where students from WP backgrounds whose original applications were not successful go on to achieve outstanding results, we want to open up the possibility for them to be reconsidered.

Why were students from under-represented backgrounds not offered a place as part of the main admissions cycle?

Students apply to Cambridge a year before the start of the course. Some students on an upward academic trajectory may not be demonstrating their full potential at this point. Adjustment provides students who go on to achieve very highly with an opportunity to be reconsidered once they have their final results.

If I move house between now and August, will I still be eligible?

Eligibility is based upon the address held when decision letters were sent in January 2021. Therefore subsequent changes of address will not impact upon eligibility.

Will places be available for all courses?

A list of courses with places available through Adjustment in 2021 will be available on the Adjustment 2021 page in August 2021. 

Can I apply for a different course from the one I originally applied?

No. We will only consider applications for the course originally applied for. This is to ensure that the application has been fully considered for the appropriate course of study, including the relevant admissions assessment and interview.

My firm choice offer is unconditional. Am I eligible for Adjustment?

Adjustment is available to those who meet and exceed the terms of their conditional-firm offer, therefore those selecting an unconditional offer as their firm choice are not eligible. If you are unsure of the status of your firm choice offer, please contact UCAS for further advice. 

Apply via Adjustment

Applications to Cambridge via Adjustment in 2021 are now closed.