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Undergraduate Study

preparing to apply with laptop and notepad

You apply to Cambridge through UCAS. Your school or college will be able to help you with this. You can also find general information on completing your UCAS application on the UCAS website. Once you submit your UCAS application, you can check on its progress through the UCAS Hub.

Your UCAS application is just one part of the application process. For more information, see Applying to Cambridge.

Top tips

Here are some top tips for completing your UCAS application for Cambridge.

  • Make sure you’ve checked the deadline for your application. For most applicants, the deadline for 2025 entry (or deferred entry in 2026) will be 15 October 2024 (6pm UK time). There are some later application deadlines for mature students and Foundation Year applicants.
  • You can only submit one application to the University in a year. Make sure you’re happy with the course you’re applying for and with your College choice.
  • You will need to know our institution code (CAM C05) and your College’s campus code (you can find this on your College’s profile page). If you’re submitting an open application you should select ‘9’ as the campus code.
  • Take a look at our advice on how to write a great personal statement.
  • Make sure your school or college referee has looked at our advice about what we’re looking for in a reference.
  • Has your education has been significantly disrupted or disadvantaged? If so, it may be appropriate for your school or college referee (or your doctor or social worker) to tell us about this. To do so, they will need to complete and submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form.
  • You can nominate someone to act on your behalf in relation to your UCAS application. But we won’t automatically communicate with this person. If you want to nominate someone to act on your behalf in relation to your Cambridge application, contact the College that’s assessing your application.
  • If you’re applying for the Graduate Course in Medicine or an Organ Scholarship you’ll need to complete an additional application form. Make sure you are ready for this.

How to apply to Cambridge without choosing a specific College

Making an open application

If you don’t mind which College you attend then you don’t have to choose. You could make an open application instead.

After the closing date, your application will be allocated to a College. You’ll be allocated to a College which has received fewer applications per place for your course that year.

If you’re aged 21 or older, you will be allocated to one of the 3 mature Colleges (Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s, or Wolfson).

Colleges treat open applicants in the same way as applicants that apply directly to them and you won’t be asked about College choice at interview.

  • If you decide to make an open application, you should select '9' as the campus code on your UCAS application.
  • Entry requirements can differ between Colleges. You may be allocated to a College with a higher typical offer or that will make an offer based on particular grades in certain subjects.

We recommend that you don't make an open application if you’re an applicant with:

  • unusual qualifications (check our qualifications page)
  • a mobility and/or sensory impairment
  • other considerations that require particular support.

Please be aware that if you make an open application and have applied to the University before, then you may be allocated to the same College that assessed your previous application.

How to write a great personal statement

Your personal statement gives you the chance to tell us:

  • why you’re interested in the course you want to study and what excites you about it
  • about your academic interests
  • how you’ve explored your interests outside of school. For example, books you’ve read or podcasts you’ve listened to

Use the answers to these questions to start writing concise sentences. Flesh these out into paragraphs. Organise them into a logical structure to make the case for why you would be well suited to the course.

  • Aim for one idea per sentence, and one major theme per paragraph.
  • Include common themes that tie your whole statement together.
  • Don’t forget to include a brief introduction and a summarising conclusion.

Once you’ve got a draft statement together, start to rework it.

  • Develop your most important points. Don’t be afraid to remove things that don’t fit into your overall statement.
  • Avoid sweeping statements – be specific. Make every word count and always link your skills and interests back to the course.
  • Your final statement should be a concise, logical argument, not just a list of ideas.
  • Make sure it sounds like you – you don’t have to use a thesaurus for every word!

It’s important to remember that the information in your statement might be used as a basis for discussion at your interview. Make sure you know the topics you’ve covered well and that you’re ready to talk about these at interview.

You should also check the UCAS guidance on how to write a personal statement.

School or college references

Your UCAS application will ask for a reference. The reference is helpful because it tells us about your abilities and potential. Admissions Tutors look for indications that your academic strengths are well suited to the course and to the style of study at the University.

The reference is an important part of your application. We normally expect that it will be provided by a teacher or tutor in your school or college who can speak about your academic profile and suitability for admission to university. If you’re having difficulty securing a referee, please check the UCAS guidance on references.

References should be provided to you free of charge. If you wish to apply to Cambridge and are finding it difficult to obtain a reference or are being asked to pay for one, please contact the College that you are planning to apply to (or Student Admissions and Access if you’re making an open application).

Your application cannot be submitted until your chosen referee has completed and added your reference to the application.

Information and guidance for teachers on references can be found on our teachers' page.

Cambridge application deadlines

15 OCT

UCAS application deadline:
15 October 2024
(6pm UK time)