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Undergraduate Study


Admissions decisions at the University are based solely on academic criteria – your ability and your potential. We assess everyone individually, which means we look at – and for – different things in different people for different courses. Consequently, there's no magic formula that will guarantee you're offered a place. However, all Admissions Tutors are looking for the students who they believe:

  • have the most academic ability and potential
  • will benefit from and flourish in the Cambridge learning environment
  • are best suited to the course they applied for

Academic ability and potential

We're looking for students with the academic ability and potential to flourish at the University. Therefore, you should be aiming for excellent examination grades.

  • Typical A Level/IB offers and subject requirements are outlined on the relevant course pages
  • Entry requirements, as well as typical offers for a range of other examination systems/qualifications, can be found in the applying section.
  • Our Subject Matters leaflet gives advice to GCSE students about how to choose the most appropriate subjects and subject combinations at A Level.

Learning at Cambridge

We're looking for an indication of your ability to think critically and independently, and your willingness to argue logically while keeping your mind open to new ideas. You also need self-discipline, motivation, commitment, and the desire and potential to go beyond what you've learned so far.

Suitability and enthusiasm for your course

Finally, we're looking for students who really want to learn about the subject they've applied for and aren't just interested in the degree at the end, important though this is. Think carefully about your options and which course(s) and subject area(s) you're most enthused and inspired about studying for the next few years.

If you think you have these qualities, we're looking for students like you and hope you'll apply.

Don't let the prospect of not getting a place put you off applying. We can't offer you a place if you don't apply to us!

How do we assess applications?

There's no blueprint for an ideal Cambridge student and we want to give applicants as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate their strengths and potential. Therefore, each application is considered individually and holistically, using all of the following information:

What's the most important part of my application?

Admissions Tutors consider all of the information available together before making any decisions. While the most recent academic performance carries the greatest weight, the relative importance of each element varies because each student is different. No part of an application is considered in isolation; for example,  a student’s performance at interview alone doesn’t determine the outcome of their application. See other frequently asked questions.

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