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Undergraduate Study


Interviews in 2021

If you are an international applicant invited to interview in 2021, this will take place virtually with either the admissions team in the College you applied to (or were allocated to), or the international interviews team. You will be given the opportunity to choose as part of the application process.

Regardless of who interviews you, the aims and format of the interview will be the same. You will be expected to meet the same expectations around submission of written work (if required for your course), and to take any pre-interview or at-interview assessments. Your College will notify you of any arrangements for any at-interview assessments, and you should arrange to register for the early November pre-interview assessment, if your course requires it.

Throughout the admissions process, Admissions Tutors and interviewers will be assessing your English language skills as well as your academic ability. You will be expected to have a good standard of spoken English to take part in the interviews. Please check our English language requirements page for more detail.

For more general information on what a Cambridge interview entails, please see our Interviews pages.

College or international team interview?

Interviews with the international interviews team are offered in high-demand subjects (listed below) so that as many candidates as possible receive an interview.

The international interviews team generally conducts interviews earlier (in October and November), which increases the number of interview slots available.

By applying to be interviewed by the international interviews team, you must be willing to be interviewed either by that team or by the College. We will confirm who will interview you when you receive your interview invite. 

International Interviews Team subjects

Interviews with the international interviews team are only available to applicants for the following subjects:

  • Computer Science - except for applicants to Jesus, Queens' or Trinity College.
  • Engineering (including Chemical Engineering) - except for applicants to Trinity College.
  • Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) - except for applicants to St John's or Trinity College.
  • Mathematics - except for applicants to Downing, St John's or Trinity College.
  • Natural Sciences (Biological) - except for applicants to Downing, St John's or Trinity College.
  • Natural Sciences (Physical including Chemical Engineering) - except for applicants to Downing or Trinity College.

If your subject is not listed, you are not eligible for an international interview and should apply by the 15 October deadline to be considered for interview by your chosen or allocated College.

Please note that some Colleges would rather interview applicants themselves for the above subjects and these are indicated. Applicants to these Colleges should not select to be interviewed by the international interviews team.

Interview dates and application deadlines

Interviews by the international interviews team generally happen in October and November. Interviews by the Colleges take place in December. We will try to schedule your interview during the daytime or evening in your time zone but please note that College interviews are normally scheduled between 9.00am and 5.00pm UK time.

There is an earlier application deadline of 20 September 2021 for the October interview slots with the international interviews team, which are reserved for candidates in time zones of GMT + 7 hours or more, excluding China and Hong Kong. This includes, but is not limited to, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, the Philippines, Macau and Japan. These interviews are scheduled from 6.00am to 2.00pm UK time.

Candidates in China, Hong Kong, the USA and Canada should apply by 15 October 2021 for interviews in November with the international team or December with the College.

If you qualify for the October interview slots because you are a resident in a country of GMT+7, and you do not apply by the 20 September deadline, you can still apply by the 15 October deadline and your application will be considered by the College you apply to (or are allocated to, in the case of Open applications).

In-Country interviews

In previous years, we have conducted in-country interviews in some locations for international applicants. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all interviews will be conducted virtually for candidates applying for 2022 entry (or deferred 2023 entry). This means the in-country interviews won’t be happening in their usual format this year, but may go ahead again in future years.