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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 four 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 2020 entry (or deferred entry in 2021) is 15 October 2019. All mature applicants making an open application or applying to a standard-age College must submit their application by the 15 October deadline.

Mature student second application round

The four mature Colleges (Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund's and Wolfson) consider mature and affiliate applications for most subjects as part of a second application round, the deadline for which is 1 March 2020.

  • The second application round deadline for October 2019 entry is 1 March 2019
  • The second application round deadline for October 2020 entry is 1 March 2020

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

For mature round applicants, the submission deadline for the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) and the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) is 8 March. Applicants are urged to complete additional application forms as soon as possible.

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

  • Architecture
  • History of Art
  • Medicine
  • Graduate Course in Medicine
  • Law (see below)
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Veterinary Medicine

For Law, applications to St Edmund's College or Wolfson College must be submitted by the 15 October deadline. However, Hughes Hall and Lucy Cavendish College both 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 2019 Entry

1 March 2019 (11.59pm UK time) Mature and affiliate applicants applying in the second application round to
  • Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, St Edmund’s College or Wolfson College to study any subject except Architecture, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Philosophy or Veterinary Medicine (see note above regarding Law)

For 2020 Entry

15 October 2019 (6.00pm UK time) Mature and affiliate applicants
  • applying to a standard-age College for any subject
  • applying to any College to study Architecture, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Philosophy or Veterinary Medicine
  • making an open application (mature applicants only)
  • applying in the first application round to Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, St Edmund’s College or Wolfson College
1 March 2020 (11.59pm UK time) Mature and affiliate applicants applying in the second application round to
  • Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish College, St Edmund’s College or Wolfson College to study any subject except Architecture, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Philosophy or Veterinary Medicine (see note above regarding Law)

Entrance requirements

We recommend that you initiate conatct 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

If you're a mature student (aged 21 or over) applying to a mature College for interview in Cambridge you aren't required to take pre-interview assessments, except the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT) for Medicine and the pre-interview assessment for Veterinary Medicine. For other courses with a pre-interview assessment, you'll take a common format written assessment at interview in Cambridge (if interviewed) instead.

If you're a mature student applying to a mature College and wishing to be considered for interview overseas, or if you're a mature student applying to a standard age College, you must take any required pre-interview assessment in October 2019 (please note that applicants must be registered in advance for pre-interview assessments).

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, '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 assesssments for further information.

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