Your Applicant Journey

So, you’re thinking the Cambridge Foundation Year could be the course for you? Brilliant! We really look forward to receiving your application. This page will talk you through the next steps in your applicant journey. We want to support you as much as possible to understand if this is the right course for you and to make your application as strong as possible.

To get the most out of this page, we suggest setting aside 30 - 40 minutes to allow you to watch the video links and take any notes.

Understanding the course

Firstly, you must take the time to understand the Foundation Year course offered at the University of Cambridge before applying. Lots of institutions offer Foundation Year courses and they are all very different – the entry and eligibility requirements, along with the content of the course, vary enormously.

The Cambridge Foundation Year differs from other foundation years. It has been set up to specifically support those that have experienced educational disadvantage or disruption and therefore would traditionally not meet University of Cambridge entry requirements. The free and fully-funded course offers a pathway to eighteen degrees in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge, such as Music, English, Law, Modern and Medieval Languages and many more!

As this course is focused on the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, it is important that your interests lie within these subject areas – your passion for the subject should shine through in your personal statement. If you are interested in STEM subjects, or subjects outside of the eighteen courses for progression, this course may not be for you.

Foundation Year students have the opportunity to progress onto one of eighteen different courses at the University of Cambridge. Applicants not wishing to continue their studies at the University of Cambridge will also be supported in applying to other institutions and provided help to understand their options. You can find out more about progression here.

The course is a multidisciplinary course in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. This means you will study papers that will cover multiple subject areas.
The short video below goes into more detail.

Check your eligibility

To be eligible to apply for the Cambridge Foundation Year, you have to meet certain criteria such as: having had a disrupted education, having been in care, coming from a low-income home, or having attended a school that meets certain criteria such as below-average attainment rates. It is really important you check these eligibility criteria on our website as we will not be accepting applicants who do not meet our eligibility criteria. There is a wide range of experiences that might make you eligible, so you might be surprised to find you can apply.

You must meet one or more criteria from two or more categories of characteristics. The categories, which can be found here, include individual characteristics, family characteristics and School/College characteristics. The video below covers how to check your eligibility but if you ever wish to receive clarification then please do get in touch.

You can find more information within our Eligibility Guidelines document which contains lots of useful information on each criteria and the evidence that will be required. We also have additional guidance for Mature applicants and applicants with a Refugee/Seeking Asylum Status which are packed with useful information and further support.

Applicant Support Programme

When you are ready to begin your application we would highly recommend signing up for our applicant support webinars and newsletter. We aim to support you to make a strong application and are also here to support you through the application process, which we understand can be a little more challenging than other institutions.

Each month we will be running webinars to support you on the applicant journey, including writing a personal statement, understanding the Foundation Year Supplementary Applicant Questionnaire (SAQ) and how to perform well in interviews. Attending these sessions is not compulsory, however, we expect them to be invaluable for your applicant journey. These webinars are free to attend and will offer opportunities to create a stronger application. You can find the latest webinars on our events page.

Start your application

You can start your application in the same way you would with any other institution via UCAS. You will need to select the Cambridge Foundation Year as one of your five options using UCAS Code FYC1 and Institution code C05. This course follows the January UCAS deadline (unlike most other courses at Cambridge) and therefore you must make sure your application is submitted by 25 January 2023.

Once you have submitted your application via UCAS, you will be sent a Foundation Year Supplementary Applicant Questionnaire (we like to refer to it as the FYSAQ!). Through the webinars outlined above and the newsletter you will receive each month we will provide extra support with this step. You can also find detailed guidance on the FYSAQ here and detailed guidance on the evidence required for eligibility here. Remember, each stage in any Cambridge application is simply a chance to show off how you are an incredible applicant, so make the most of each opportunity.


Ask questions!

Finally, we appreciate the application process for the Foundation Year may not be as straightforward as some other courses you may be considering, but please don't let this be a barrier. We are here for you throughout your journey. We hope to provide lots of support and information along the way, so please make the most out of it.

If you ever have a question, please feel free to contact our friendly team via or attend one of our events where you can submit your question anonymously - there is no question too small! You may also find the answers to your question on our FAQ question page here!

We look forward to seeing you at some of our applicant support events!

The information in this article is correct at the time of publishing. For the most up to date information about the Cambridge Foundation Year, visit our website. Last reviewed June 2022.