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If you'll be aged 21 or over by 1 October in the year in which you hope to come to Cambridge and you haven't already completed a higher education course, then you'll be applying as a mature student.

The application process for mature students is the same as that for standard-age students. However, the three mature Colleges also consider mature and affiliate applications for most subjects after the 15 October application deadline, as part of a second application round.

Application deadlines

The standard deadline for applications for 2022 entry (or deferred entry in 2023) is 15 October 2021. All mature applicants making an open application or applying to a standard-age College must submit their application by the 15 October deadline.

The three mature Colleges (Hughes Hall, St Edmund's and Wolfson) also consider mature and affiliate applications for most subjects as part of a second application round, the deadline for which is 1 March 2022.

Applications are submitted in the standard way via UCAS, requiring the use of a UCAS course choice.

Please note, the following subjects are excluded from the second round, and applications for these courses must be submitted by the 15 October deadline:

  • Architecture
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • History of Art
  • Medicine
  • Graduate Course in Medicine
  • Law (see below)
  • Music
  • Natural Sciences
  • Philosophy
  • Veterinary Medicine

For Law, applications to Wolfson College must be submitted by the 15 October deadline. However, Hughes Hall and St Edmund's consider applications for Law in the first application round (15 October) and also as part of the second application round (1 March).

You may apply to one of the mature Colleges for all other subjects in the second round, although you're encouraged to apply in the first round if possible. If you're considering applying in the second round (or for entry in future years), we recommend that you contact the admissions office at one of the mature Colleges for advice. The second application round is not open to candidates who have already applied in the October round.

Application deadlines for mature and affiliate applicants

For 2022 Entry

15 October 2021 (6.00pm UK time) Mature and affiliate applicants
  • applying to a standard-age College for any subject
  • applying to any College to study Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy or Veterinary Medicine
  • making an open application (mature applicants only)
  • applying in the first application round to Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s College or Wolfson College
  • applying to Wolfson College to study Law
1 March 2022 (11.59pm UK time) Mature and affiliate applicants applying in the second application round to
  • Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s College or Wolfson College to study any subject except Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy or Veterinary Medicine (see note above regarding Law)

Entrance requirements

We recommend that you initiate contact with one or more Colleges well before you make your formal application, in order to check their response to your academic preparation.

As a mature student at Cambridge you’re expected to be of an equal academic standard to school leavers. The nature and demands of Cambridge courses, and the requirement to produce independent work every week, means that some form of academic preparation is required. You’re therefore expected to demonstrate evidence of recent academic achievement (usually within two years of applying) at a high level; for example, an Access to HE Diploma, A Level(s) or an Open University course (Level 2 or above). Such qualifications also develop the essential study skills required for university courses (eg essay writing, autonomous study, and examination technique).

Guidance on the level of qualifications needed for study at Cambridge can be found in the main Entrance Requirements section of this website. In particular, you may be interested in the information relating to:

  • AS/A Levels
  • Access to HE Diplomas

Admission Assessments

Applicants for Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine are required to take the relevant pre-interview assessment. 

If you're a mature student applying to one of the mature Colleges for interview in Cambridge for Economics, English or Land Economy, you are not required to take the standard pre-interview assessments, and will take a common format written assessment at interview instead.

If you're a mature student applying to a mature College for Economics, English or Land Economy and wishing to be considered for interview overseas, or if you're a mature student applying to a standard age College, you must take the required pre-interview assessment, for which you must be registered in advance. 

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. For some overseas interview locations, 'pre-interview' 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.

See Admission assessments for further information.