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Undergraduate Study


 Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for prospective students

We'd like to reassure applicants that we're working hard to ensure a smooth and safe admissions process. Please read our latest advice for prospective students.

The application process

This section guides you through all the steps of the application process (which starts earlier at Cambridge) and explains what we’re looking for in prospective students and how we assess applications.

1. Course

You’re going to be studying to a very high level for several years so make sure you choose a course you’re personally interested in and will really enjoy studying! Check, also, that you meet the entrance requirements of the course you want to study.

2. College

Where would you like to live when you’re here? In your UCAS application, indicate if you have a preference College or if you’re making an open application.

3. Apply

UCAS application

If you want to apply to the University, you do so through UCAS. However, at Cambridge the process starts earlier to allow time for all of the application information to be gathered and considered.

Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)

Shortly after submitting the UCAS application, you'll be asked (via email) to complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) – a few extra questions requesting information not included in your UCAS application, which we find helpful, for example topics covered as part of your A Level/IB Higher Level (or equivalent) courses. You will also have the option to complete a Cambridge-specific personal statement as part of the SAQ. To make a valid application to the University of Cambridge, you must submit your SAQ by the relevant deadline.

Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA)

If you're living or attending school/college outside the UK/EU and/or applying for an Organ Scholarship, you need to submit the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA), and the deadline for submitting this may be earlier than 15 October (see the COPA webpages for details).


Some applicants will be required to submit an academic transcript.

4. Written assessment

Most applicants are required to take a written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview, if interviewed. Some applicants will also be asked to submit examples of their written work.

5. Interview

Everyone with a realistic chance of being offered a place is invited to attend an interview. That's around 75% of applicants each year on average (though the percentage varies between courses and interview locations). Interviews usually take place during the first three weeks of December.

6. Decision

We’ll advise you of our decision before the end of January.

External consultants

We're aware of private companies and individuals who offer, at a charge, information and advice on our admissions process, assessments and interviews. We DO NOT support or encourage any of these commercial enterprises. None of these companies/individuals has access to any information that's not already available free of charge to all schools, colleges and individual students from College admissions offices, the Cambridge Admissions Office or Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU); and we're unable to verify the accuracy of the information these companies/individuals may provide.

Cambridge Application Deadline

15 OCT

The application deadline is
15 October 2020, 6:00pm (UK time).

University term dates

8 Oct - 6 Dec 2019 (Michaelmas)
14 Jan - 13 Mar 2020 (Lent)
21 Apr - 12 Jun 2020 (Easter)

6 Oct - 4 Dec 2020 (Michaelmas)
19 Jan - 19 Mar 2021 (Lent)
27 Apr - 18 Jun 2021 (Easter)

5 Oct - 3 Dec 2021 (Michaelmas)
18 Jan - 18 Mar 2022 (Lent)
26 Apr - 17 Jun 2022 (Easter)