How to apply
Applying to the University of Cambridge is much the same as applying to other UK universities, but we have an early application deadline (18:00 UK time on 15 October for every course we offer), and there are a number of additional things to do during the process, such as sending in additional forms and documents, taking an admissions assessment, and coming for interviews.
This page provides information for Christ's College applicants:
- A chronological overview
- Further detail about some of the main elements
- Information about how we provide support for applicants to Christ’s College
- Further information for particular applicants e.g. international applicants, care leavers, mature applicants.
If you would like more information about applying to Cambridge, please visit the University applications section.
An overview of the application timeline
Here is a list of dates and deadlines for the admissions process at Christ's College.
- Mid-July: The COPA form and transcript upload opens for non-EU applications and for organ scholarship applications.
- We advise you to read the relevant subject page and check what is needed to make a valid application. Please also check whether any of the additional information pages apply to you.
- 1 September: Organ Scholarship application deadline (submit a COPA form to apply).
- Early September: UCAS Apply opens for applications.
- 20 September (18:00 UK time): Application deadline for non-EU students wishing to be interviewed in Malaysia or Singapore (submit a UCAS form, a COPA form, and a transcript).
- 20 September: current applicants section published on the Christ's website.
- 26 September (18:00 UK time): Deadline for non-EU students wishing to be interviewed in Malaysia or Singapore to submit a SAQ
- 1 October (17:00 UK time): Deadline for Medicine applicants to have registered to take the BMAT.
- 15 October (18:00 UK time): Deadline for UCAS application (required for all applications to Cambridge).
- 15 October (18:00 UK time): Registration deadline for all pre-interview assessments except the BMAT. Please note that open centres may set an earlier deadline for accepting entries, and it is your responsibility to check if this applies at your centre.
- 16 October: Important Information for applicants email sent to all Christ's applicants with information about the next stages of the admissions process, what you need to send when, and support from Christ's Admissions Office via the current applicants section.
- 19 October (18:00 UK time): Non-EU students requesting interview in Cambridge, Canada, China, India, Hong Kong or USA (remote interview scheme) required to submit a COPA form and transcript.
- 22 October (18:00 UK time): All applicants submit a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) and some applicants also include a transcript.
- 22 October (23:59): Multiple further deadlines (see current applicants section, stage 2) including the Extenuating Circumstances Form, a form & accompanying document that students with a disability, Specific Learning Difficulty or long-term illness need to send, and a results breakdown (where available) for exams already taken.
- 4 November 2020: Pre-interview assessments taken in schools or assessment centres around the world.
- early November (exact date to be confirmed): Multiple deadlines including written work and cover sheet (certain essay subjects only) and fee status questionnaires (Medicine applicants only)
- Late November: Deadline for Cambridge interview attendance reply form
- Late November: Deadline for Cambridge interview food request form
- Late November: Deadline for Cambridge interview accommodation request form
- Early December 2020: Interviews in Cambridge take place, including at-interview assessments in some subjects.
- Early January: Winter pool takes place. A small number of applicants may be contacted and asked to attend a further interview.
- Mid January (exact date to be confirmed): Decisions emailed to applicants. If you receive an offer, we then send your detailed offer letter by post, and you will be given a link to the offer holders section.
- 15 February: Deadline for applications for Choral Awards.
- 28 February: Deadline for applications for Instrumental Awards.
A Levels, IB and other examinations taken – including STEP where required for Mathematics, Engineering and some other applicants.
- Examination results published and confirmation of conditional offers that have been met - all conditional offers must be met by 31 August (the deadline set by UCAS) unless otherwise specified.
- Some students who applied in October 2019 but did not get an offer may be eligible to be considered via UCAS Adjustment. If you were interviewed in December 2019 and meet the widening participation criteria for Adjustment this is explained in the decision email we sent on 15 January 2020.
Freshers’ Pack emailed to successful offer holders.
The UCAS application
To apply to the University of Cambridge you must submit your application through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). If you choose Christ's College on your UCAS form, we will receive your application directly and process it from there. Please note that Cambridge has an earlier UCAS deadline than most other universities, which is 18:00 UK time on 15 October for every course we offer, though candidates applying for an overseas interview in Malaysia or Singapore must apply by 20 September, and those applying for an organ scholarship must apply by 1 September. We are not able to consider late UCAS applications under any circumstances.
Applicants for almost all courses are required to take an admissions assessment, either pre-interview or at interview. The course-specific written assessments are designed to supplement the information in your application and provide a gauge of your abilities – to assess skills (such as comprehension and thinking skills) and, where appropriate, levels of current knowledge and understanding relevant to the course applied for.
- 17:00 (UK time) on 1 October if you are applying for Medicine
- 18:00 (UK time) on 15 October if you are applying for another subject that requires a pre-interview assessment
Most courses that don't require a pre-interview assessment use an at-interview assessment for which no prior registration is required.
Additional application forms
If applying from outside the EU, or for an Organ Scholarship, a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) must also be submitted, and in most cases, you will need a pdf transcript to upload as part of this form. Check the COPA deadline carefully as it varies depending on where you would like to be interviewed etc.
All applicants are also required to complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). You can only do this after you have submitted your UCAS form (and your COPA, if relevant) - The log-in details for your SAQ form are emailed to you within 48 hours of your UCAS application submission, and from there you have until 18:00 UK time on 22 October to submit the SAQ. There is a SAQ support section on the University website, including the useful Guide to completing the SAQ and heldesk contact details (firstname.lastname@example.org) for if you have any problem when completing the form. The most common problem is that the email containing the SAQ sometimes goes into people’s junk / spam folder, so do check there first if it hasn’t arrived in your inbox within 48 hours.
Support for Christ's applicants: the current applicants section
At Christ's we publish an open-access current applicants section for each year's applicants on 20 September. This section is designed to support you from when you have submitted your UCAS application form through the entire admissions process.
We email all applicants at Christ's just after the 15 October UCAS application deadline to introduce ourselves and send you to the current applicants section. This is called the Important Information for Applicants email, and it is normally sent at the end of 16 October. Introductions and explanations done, the current applicants section is then your first point of reference in October, November, December and January, since it provides details of what you need to do, sets out the arrangements and any requirements (e.g. any written work to send) for each subject, answers common questions, and updates you so that you know when invitations to interview are sent out for individual subjects, for example. We update it most days, sometimes several times a day!
As you can see in the overview above, there are a lot of parts to the admissions process, however in the current applicants section, we break the process down into a few chunks (stages) and tell you clearly what to focus on in which time period so that it doesn't feel too overwhelming.
Of course, if you have questions that are specific to your application, or you can't find a piece of information that you're looking for, you would then email us directly. Our email address is email@example.com, and we request that you start all of your emails (every single one!) with
- Your name (exactly as you wrote it on your UCAS form),
- The course you have applied for (including 'Biological or Physical' if Natural Sciences),
- Your UCAS number,
- Your requested interview location if not Cambridge, UK.
This helps us to process your query as quickly as possible so that we can get you the information you need.
"I think if you take the application process step by step instead of viewing it as a whole, it’s much less stressful."
|Applying from a background with low participation in Higher Education||If you're the first in your family to apply to university, or if you go to a school / live in an area where not that many people apply to universities like Cambridge & Oxford.|
(EU and overseas)
|If you are applying from outside the UK (this is a whole section and includes additional application support for non-UK students)|
|Post-qualification applications||If you have already taken your A Levels, International Baccalaureate or equivalent qualifications.|
|Taking a gap year||If you will take a gap year between school and Cambridge.|
|UK care leavers||If you've you’ve spent time in local authority care in the UK.|
|Mature applicants||If you will be 21 or over when you start the Cambridge course.|
|Applying from a university||If you will be a current student at a university when you apply.|
|If you already have a degree||If you already have already completed a university degree when you apply.|
|Extenuating Circumstances||If you have circumstances that have caused educational or home life disruption or disadvantage (this covers quite a wide range of things).|
|Disability / Specific Learning Difficulty / Long-term illness||If you have a disability, Specific Learning Difficulty, or long-term illness.|
|Organ Award applicants||If you are applying for an organ scholarship (music award).|
|Teachers and parents||If you are a teacher or a parent / guardian supporting an applicant.|