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Undergraduate Study


Having a criminal conviction will not normally preclude you from studying at Cambridge. However, the University and your College ask for this information to enable us to discharge our safeguarding duties.

If you are studying Medicine or Veterinary Medicine, you will have provided this information to UCAS but you agree to inform the University and your College if you are subsequently convicted of any offence. For all other courses, if you have a relevant unspent criminal conviction at the time that you confirm your acceptance of this offer, you agree to inform your College. You agree to permit the University and your College to share the information with each other and that if you are subsequently convicted of an offence, after accepting an offer and during your time studying at the University of Cambridge, you agree to inform the University or your College and to permit the University and your College to share the information with each other.

A relevant unspent criminal conviction is deemed to include convictions, cautions, admonitions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar involving one or more of those listed below:

  • Any kind of violence including (but not limited to) threatening behaviour, offences concerning the intention to harm, or offences which resulted in actual bodily harm
  • offences listed in the Sex Offences Act 2003
  • The unlawful supply of controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking
  • Offences involving firearms
  • Offences involving arson
  • Offences listed in the Terrorism Act 2006

The definition of ‘spent’ is complex, being affected by such factors as the type of the offence, the age at which the person was found guilty and the sentence received. “Spent” generally means the criminal conviction has lapsed over time to the extent where you are not required to declare it for employment and other purposes. The Information Hub website provides useful information on when a conviction is spent.

If you are unsure whether a caution is relevant and/or unspent, you could also get advice from a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau, or the Probation Service. If you seek advice from a solicitor you may have to pay for that advice.

Disclosure and Barring Service check (Medicine and Veterinary Medicine only)

If you’re offered a place to study Medicine or Veterinary Medicine at Cambridge, you're required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Medicine offer holders will require an Enhanced Disclosure and Veterinary Medicine offer holders will require a Standard Disclosure.

Minor misdemeanours won’t necessarily prevent you from entering the medical/veterinary profession but you should declare these in your UCAS application and you’ll be sent the relevant forms to complete if you’re offered a place.

Overseas students will be asked to provide similar evidence.

More details can be found on the University's Rules and Legal Compliance webpage.