Coronavirus disruption & applying to Christ's this year

Advice for prospective students

This is a page for students who are considering an application to Christ's in October 2020 in the context of global Coronavirus disruptions. We very much hope that all will be well for you but we know that in these difficult times, you will have lots of questions.

We are aware that it's possible that you, your teachers or members of your immediate families could become ill. It's also likely that your schooling and/or public exams will be disrupted. We understand that circumstances are difficult at the moment and that many prospective students all over the world will be affected.

We have produced this advice to re-assure and to help you in relation to a potential application this October. We will also update it as things progress.

Updates box

8 April - We have updated our open days page to include additional events in September.


As a prospective student, please keep a record / log of disruption

If you cannot attend school or if your normal teachers cannot teach you, please ensure that you keep your own written record of the actual disruption (including exact dates). Disruption might include, but is not limited to, periods of self-isolation, disruptive teacher absences, school closures and disruptions to any exams you were due to take.

Please also keep a log of what teaching & learning alternatives (if any) are provided by your school. Please note online learning resources or teaching provided, dates available etc.

We do not need this information now, but if you record it systematically NOW, it will be more accurate if we ask for it later (likely).

If your school is closed, or if you need to self-isolate

  • We know that for most students around the world, schools are closed at the moment. If you are studying from home, please try not to worry. Make sure that you keep up with any work set by your teachers, and remember that all anybody can ask of you is that you do your very best in the circumstances.
  • Don't forget that you will be saving some time by not travelling to school so, as long as you can remain disciplined and motivated, you will have some extra time for study! This may also be a chance to develop your independent study skills further. A good thing to do may be to make yourself a little list of the positive things, that you think you might get out of the circumstances.
  • Try buddying up with a friend (maybe digitally), whether or not they plan to make a Cambridge application, and work out a schedule or timetable of study. Check in on each other regularly to keep yourselves motivated.
  • Try discussing your work or other related material with a friend, or a group of friends. Could you form a chat group and find some relevant topics to research and then discuss together?
  • Don't forget that as well as any resources offered by your school, there are free on-line resources available on our website - see the online learning resources page, which directs you to the resources on each subject page (we are adding more too).
  • If you are studying at home, you may find it helpful to keep a diary of the work you are doing, including what resources you are using (this will help you when you come to write the personal statement for your UCAS application).

Open Days

  • Keep an eye on the Christ's open days page and the University's events section for updates on forthcoming events. Some in the near future have sadly had to be cancelled but the Cambridge Open Days in July (2 & 3 July) will now be offered a virtual event (Christ's will be part of this!) and we are also providing additional open days in September. Details of events that are new or have had to be re-jigged will be available nearer the time. If you look at the table on the Christ's open days page you'll see that you can register your interest for specific events so that you receive an email when booking opens.
  • In time some further resources for finding out more may be available too (as well as the university resources, we are likely to produce some Christ's resources, but please bear with us...). For now, as well as the subject pages, our students have written a series of useful Student Profiles to help you understand more about (normal!) student life.
  • Remember also that as some people live a long way away, we have many students each year who make a successful application without ever setting foot in Christ's beforehand so if you can't visit when you wanted to and you don't manage to get another opportunity later in the year, please don't be put off. If you have questions for us, Kristy, Jan and Ellie will do their best to help - do send an email to


If you were due to take any exams this summer, we realise that in many countries around the world, exams are now cancelled. Please remember first of all that you are not alone - that there are many other students in the same position and we will provide guidance in the run-up to applications.

Updates for UK students

For students who have heard that May/June exams will not take place in the UK:

Year 12 (and equivalent): please continue to work hard for exams next year and see the UCAS updates if you were due to take any A level (or equivalent) exams early.

Year 13 (and equivalent): see the relevant info below and the UCAS updates.


Updates for students outside the UK

Given the range of different countries, dates of school closures and exam arrangements, it will be particularly important that you keep a detailed log as mentioned above, and also set out the arrangements in your country for any exams you were due to take.

Please continue to work hard for exams you are due to take next year, using all the resources available to you.


Work experience

Some of you have mentioned that you had a work experience placement lined up which has subsequently been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please do not be concerned about this in the context of a future application. We will obviously understand that  applicants who apply this year may have had work experience placements cancelled (this will affect a lot of students). Please also be assured that none of our courses require work experience before the start (not even Medicine). There are a range of ways to explore your interest in a subject, and work experience is only one of them.

A second point: here at Cambridge we have long vacations between our intensive eight-week terms, so if you would find it helpful to get some work experience once you have started a degree here, there will be time to do that. We have a very helpful careers service that helps current students to find placements during their degree (as well as careers after graduation).


Applying later this year

When the time comes to make your application (bearing in mind the early application deadline for Cambridge compared with many other UK universities), the How to apply page sets out the timeline and details of the application process (and we expect to write some extra support pages for UK students this year, applicants from outside the UK should see the international section). We will update you nearer the time on exactly how and where your Coronavirus disruption information should be given in your application.

  • If you were due to sit one or more A levels this year, please see UCAS updates.
  • It is likely that there will be some additional instructions for applicants added relating to Coronavirus disruptions, in order to ensure that we have the information we need to assess each applicant as fairly as possible.

Useful links at this time

Thank you for reading. We hope that this has been helpful and would like to wish you our sincere best wishes for the coming months.


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