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Applying as a care leaver

The application process for care leaver students is exactly the same as for all other applicants – you must apply online through UCAS and by the relevant UCAS application deadline.

When applying it’s important that you indicate in your UCAS application that you’ve spent time in local authority care. This is to ensure that you receive all of the support available to you. This information is held in strict confidence by the University.

When completing your UCAS application, after you’ve entered your personal details you’ll be asked whether you’ve spent time in care in the ‘Additional information’ section. If you have spent time in care please select 'Yes'.

If you have answered 'Yes' please also complete the 'Duration in care' question to indicate the total length of time you have been in care for.

For more information, see the PDF icon UCAS Care Leavers Guide.

Indicating that you’re a care leaver doesn’t mean that you’ll be singled out or separated from other applicants – the information simply enables us to ensure we have appropriate support in place.

Applying as an estranged student

Currently, prospective students cannot indicate on their UCAS application that they are estranged. If you’re an estranged student we advise that you use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to let the University know that you are estranged and living independently. This form is completed around the same time as your UCAS application and more information can be found below.

Extenuating Circumstances Form

If you’ve had significant educational disruption or disadvantage that you feel may impact on your application to Cambridge, it may be appropriate for your school/college to provide us with relevant information by completing the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

If your school/college is unaware of the circumstances, your doctor or social worker can complete and submit the form instead.

Mature student care leavers

If you'll be aged 21 or over by 1 October in the year in which you hope to come to Cambridge, then you'll be applying as a mature student. For further information on applying as a mature student, please see our Mature and Affiliate students pages.

Cambridge life as a care leaver/estranged student


Events for care leavers


Contact Us

Advice and support for care leavers and estranged students:

The Realise Team
T 01223 766872
E realise@admin.cam.ac.uk