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Undergraduate Study


How to apply

All applicants to the University of Cambridge must submit an application to UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) by the relevant deadline.

In addition to a UCAS application, applicants from outside the European Union (EU) must submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA). Please note that there is an overseas application fee of £30 associated with the COPA. See COPA fees for further details.

In both your UCAS application and COPA, you should indicate the Cambridge College to which you wish to apply.

  • It is essential that your choice of Cambridge College on your UCAS application and COPA match. If there is a discrepancy, your choice of College on your UCAS application will take precedence.
  • If you have no preference for a particular College, you can choose the 'open' application option in both your UCAS application and COPA, and your application will be allocated to a College by computer. Please note that there is no open application route for affiliated applicants and they must apply to a College.
  • Please note that it is not possible under any circumstances to change your choice of Cambridge College/open application once you have submitted your UCAS application and COPA.

If you would like to be considered for interview in one of the countries where we conduct overseas interviews, please refer to our application timetable.

Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ)

Once you’ve submitted your UCAS application, you’ll receive an email from us directing you to complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) – please check your email (junk/spam folder as well as inbox) regularly during this time.

The SAQ deadline for most students is 22 October – if another deadline applies, you’ll be advised by your Cambridge College. All applicants must complete the SAQ to make a valid application to the University.

If you’re applying from outside the EU and have submitted a COPA, you’ll receive a COPA reference number which you should enter on the SAQ. It can take up to 24 hours for your COPA Reference Number to come through and a while for your UCAS application to be processed so you will not receive details of the SAQ immediately.

Academic transcripts

You may be required to submit academic transcripts for your application to the University of Cambridge to be valid. To determine whether you are required to submit transcripts, please see our transcripts page.


Everyone with a realistic chance of being offered a place is invited to attend an interview. A reasonable standard in spoken English is required at the time of interview. See English language requirements for details.

Information on why we interview, what to expect and how to prepare can be found on our main interviews pages.

The University also conducts a number of interviews overseas – see overseas interviews for details.

Admission assessments

All applicants interviewed overseas will sit the same format of admissions assessments as candidates seen in the UK. Pre-interview written assessments are organised by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing and should be taken at an authorised centre. Many schools and colleges are authorised centres or can easily become one, so speak to your teacher/exams officer to find out if you can take the pre-interview assessment at your school/college. If your school/college is not already an authorised centre they can apply to become a test centre.

If you won’t be able to take your pre-interview assessment at your school/college, or if you’re not currently in/have left school/college, you’ll need to find an open authorised centre where you can take the pre-interview assessment instead. Details of open authorised centres are available on the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website.

There's an entry fee for students to take the BMAT – you can find details on the BMAT website – but you don't have to pay an entry fee for any of the other pre-interview assessments for Cambridge. However, please be aware that some assessment centres (including some schools/colleges) may charge candidates an administration fee.

For 2018 entry, the pre-interview written assessments will be taken on 2 November 2017 in the UK. Applicants taking the pre-interview written assessments overseas must check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing website as the scheduled start times for international centres may vary. Please note that for some overseas interview locations, these assessments may take place after your interview. In this situation, your written assessment will still be considered by your Cambridge College along with your overseas interview report.

At-interview assessments will be administered in your Cambridge College if you are invited to the UK for interview. For candidates interviewed overseas, at-interview assessments will usually take place in the same week as interviews in that country. Details of at-interview admissions assessments are normally supplied to shortlisted applicants together with details of their interview.

Please note that all of our admissions assessments are designed to supplement the information in your application and provide a gauge of your abilities – to assess skills (such as comprehension and thinking skills) and, where appropriate, levels of current knowledge and understanding relevant to the course applied for. They are part of a holistic assessment of your application and are not a pass/fail exam.


We'll advise you of our decision before the end of January. If you're offered a place, you'll be informed by the College and through UCAS – you must reply, observing UCAS requirements and deadlines.