Mature students

About 3% of the 10,000 undergraduates currently at Cambridge University are mature students. You are considered a mature student if you are over 21 by 1st October in the year in which you intend to start a university course, and if you have not previously completed a course of higher education. You are welcome to apply to Cambridge at any age, and although the average age of mature students is 30, there is generally no upper age limit.

What preparation should you do before applying?

We strongly recommend that you make contact with us as early as possible before applying, by sending your CV and a letter giving full details of your education and experience to date, and what course you intend to study. We will be happy to discuss your plans, and may be able to advise you on any further study that might strengthen your application. The earlier you can make contact the better; it may even be helpful to approach us as far ahead as 18 months or two years before you plan to begin university.

What qualifications are required?

All applicants are expected to produce evidence of high academic potential as well as recent study, and as a general guideline you should undertake some formal study (full-time or part-time) the year before you intend to start university. Most 18 year olds applying to Cambridge will achieve at least 3 A-Levels or equivalent school-leaving exam with very good grades. Some mature applicants must do so as well, but in many subjects it is possible to be more flexible, and the best combination for you will depend on what you have studied previously, when it was and what subject you hope to study at Cambridge. We may suggest that you take one, two or three A-Levels, or might instead suggest an Access or Open University course, or a combination of courses. This is why it is very important to enquire before embarking on any course of study. We will want to see high grades from whichever route you choose, and evidence of the ability to cope with end-of-course assessments by examination. Relevant work experience is likely to be taken into consideration, but is not seen as an alternative preparation for degree level study.

How to apply

Applicants are required to complete the UCAS application online. After your UCAS application has been received you will be asked to provide additional information through a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ).

The deadline or this application is October 15th in the year before you want to begin the course. Applicants who wish to apply to be interviewed overseas should carefully note the earlier deadlines outlined in the online prospectus.