FAQs

Frequently asked questions about Cambridge applications

Q. How do I choose a College?

A.

It might seem a bit daunting trying to choose a College, but don't worry, Colleges are more alike than they are different. Students on the same course, regardless of their College, are taught together by the academic faculties and departments, and our cross-College moderation procedures mean that your choice of College does not affect your chances of being made an offer.

Q. Do I have to choose a College?

A.

No, you don't have to choose a College (although we would love it if you choose us). You could make an ‘open’ application instead.

Q. Which Colleges are 'best' for which subjects?

A.

There are no Colleges that are ‘better’ for certain subjects – students on the same course, regardless of College, are taught together by the academic faculties and departments, attending the same lectures, seminars and practicals.

Q. How do I apply?

A.

The application process is really quite straightforward. To apply to the University of Cambridge you need to submit a UCAS application online by 15 October the year before you wish to start at the University.

Q. When is the application deadline?

A.

The deadline for your UCAS application is 15 October. Slightly earlier deadlines affect applicants for Organ Scholarships. There may also be an earlier application deadline for a small number of applicants applying from specific countries. Please check the international application pages for more details.

Q. What's the most important part of my application?

A.

Every application is assessed holistically – we consider all of the information available together before making any decisions. No part of an application is considered in isolation; for example, a student’s performance at interview alone doesn’t determine the outcome of their application.

Q. What qualifications/grades do I need?

A.

Whatever school or college system you are being educated in, we require top grades in the highest level qualifications available for school/college students. Please see the entrance requirements for typical requirements for the most common qualifications, or contact us for more information.

Q. Do you accept exam resits?

A.

If you’re resitting entire qualifications, your application will normally only be considered when there were significant extenuating circumstances during your initial teaching or examination period. Your application is unlikely to be adversely affected by resitting one or two modules; any intention to resit such modules should be indicated during the application process.

Q. What happens if I take exams early? 

A.

We'd discourage students from being entered for public examinations early unless top grades will be obtained. Where students are successfully taking qualifications early, we'd still want to see evidence that they can cope with a workload equivalent to three A-levels taken simultaneously; and offers are normally made on the qualifications being taken in Year 13 (or equivalent). The main exception to this is in subjects where A-level Maths is a requirement; we don't mind if it is taken early and you are doing Further Maths and one other subject in your final year.

Q. What should a personal statement include?

A.

Your personal statement is your opportunity to tell the universities you’re applying to about your subject interest(s) and why you’d be a good student of that subject. The process of writing your personal statement can also help you to better understand your academic interests and motivations.

Q. Will I be interviewed?

A.

If you meet the subject requirements for the course, and your predicted grades meet our offer levels, it is very likely that you will be invited to Cambridge for an admissions interview (although due to the level of competition for places, there are applicants each year who are not interviewed).

Q. Will I have to sit a written assessment?

A.

You will usually be required to sit a subject-specific written assessment either pre-interview or at-interview. If your course has a pre-interview assessment you will need to be registered in advance by your school or college. 

Q. Can I transfer to Cambridge from another university?

A.

Cambridge Colleges will only, as a matter of principle, consider applications from students enrolled in a degree course at other UK universities in very exceptional circumstances.

Q. Can I apply to both Oxford and Cambridge?

A.

No.

Q. Can I take a gap year and defer my entry?

A.

At Homerton, we don't mind this, provided you tell us before well in advance, and ideally in your application.

Q. What work experience do I need to have?

A.

Work experience isn't generally expected or required but for vocational courses (such as Medicine and Veterinary Medicine), having some relevant work experience in an appropriate setting is useful and recommended. We are mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented you from completing work experience. Consequently, for the coming year, applying without this experience will not disadvantage your application to Cambridge. 

Q. How important are extra-curricular activities?

A.

We will only consider these in the application if they have enabled a student to develop transferable skills, such as organisation or time management. However, we encourage you to participate in these if you get a place!

Q. If my application is unsuccessful, can I reapply?

A.

It is possible for students to reapply to the University, either the following year or in a future year. However, we generally advise that you apply to a different college, and your application will be treated as a completely new one. If you did not get a place because you missed the offer, you should not assume that you will get another offer. 

Latest from The Homersphere

View all

Testimonials