Prospective students from Denmark

This page is part of the section for International applicants to Christ's College, Cambridge. It provides support for applicants from Denmark

Nordic Study Abroad Conference

We welcome applicants from Denmark who would like to apply for a place here at Christ's College. In recent years we have been pleased to meet with Danish students in Copenhagen at the Nordic Study Abroad Conference, on Study Abroad Road Trips organised by Danish Students Abroad, the Nordic Study Abroad Community, and Project Access together, and in Christ's College itself via visits from the Danish Academy of Talented Youth and Maths Beyond Limits. We hope that future Danish students will consider Christ's College too!

Updates
EU students wishing to commence their studies in October 2021 entry will be eligible to apply for Christ's College International Awards. These awards are worth £10,000 per annum and may be accompanied by a full or partial waiver of the College Fee (currently £9,400 per annum). More information is available on our page on international financial support and do also read the notes for EU students applying for courses starting in 2021 and beyond.

 

Entry requirements

Christ's applicants taking the Højere Forberedelseseksamen / Højere Handelseksamen / Studentereksamen would normally be asked to achieve an average overall score of 11 with grade 12 in relevant subjects at level A. Weaker marks in subjects that are compulsory within the Danish system are unlikely to count against you, unless they bring your overall average down below the standard offer level and/or those subjects are directly relevant to the course you want to study at university.

When considering your current grades, note that many students improve their overall average significantly in the final year of high school, when they complete level A courses, so if your current average is within 0.5-1.0 of the standard offer, and you are doing well in any required subjects, you should definitely consider making an application. You should, however, ensure that you or your referee provide some commentary on the grades you have secured so far (highlight any contextual factors that may have affected your performance). If you have already completed high school, and your overall average is more than 0.2-0.5 below the required standard, your application is unlikely to be competitive unless you (a) can provide evidence of serious contextual factors affecting your performance and/or (b) have very high scores in all relevant or required subjects. There will, of course, always be exceptions to any rule, so if in doubt, please contact us, and ask!

Danish students taking the International Baccalaureate would normally need to achieve 42 points overall (including bonus points), with 7,7,6 in Higher Level subjects. See the information about taking the IB Diploma in Denmark.

Offers for Mathematics include STEP II and III. Offers for Engineering and Chemical Engineering via Engineering include STEP I. Further information about STEP and preparation support is available on the relevant subject page. 

It will be important to take particular care to also ensure that you meet any specific subject requirements for your chosen course. These are set out on the subject pages.
 

Mathematics advice for courses that require or recommend Further Mathematics

Any course that requires A-level Further Mathematics is likely to expect applicants to have a more advanced knowledge of mathematics than you can acquire simply by completing Mathematics ‘A’ in the Danish system. If you are applying for one of these courses, you should ensure that you familiarise yourself with a Further Mathematics syllabus (example) and mention the fact that you are “topping up” your mathematics, in your personal statement. Some online resources are available to non UK students via the Advanced Maths Support Programme, and Mark Warner and Anson Cheung's book, A Cavendish Quantum Mechanics Primer is especially helpful for those considering Engineering and Physical Natural Sciences, and further resources are available on the relevant subject pages.

If you're planning an application for Mathematics at Cambridge, the Advanced Maths Support Programme website contains a range of resources, including problem sheets, test materials and links to other sites. Getting involved with Mathematics competitions and programmes (e.g. Georg Mohr-Konkurrencen, Maths Beyond Limits) is a great way to stretch your wings mathematically, and many successful applicants to Cambridge participate in the International Mathematics Olympiad. You might also wish to practise past papers for STEP, the advanced examination used by Cambridge, Warwick and a few other universities to test mathematical aptitude. Christ's offers for Mathematics usually include STEP 2 and STEP 3, but STEP 1 provides an equally useful workout (and a good grade in STEP 1 can provide solid evidence of your mathematical competence, if you take the examination prior to application). Cambridge University provides a free online STEP Support Programme.


English Language requirements

In most cases we don't need to ask Danish applicants for proof of proficiency in English if you have achieved a high grade in English at school. We may, however, include and English requirement in cases where a candidate's English seems variable at interview, or in an at-interview admissions assessment; this is more common in essay-based subjects.

If you are given an English Language condition, the standard requirements are on the university website, and you would have about seven months to meet the condition after your offer is made in January.

NB. Some UK universities do routinely include TOEFL, IELTS and comparable qualifications in offers to Danish students, so if you already hold such a qualification, you should mention it in your UCAS application.

"Of course it is a change and a challenge coming to Cambridge from the Danish education system. But Christ’s is such a welcoming place – you’ll get all the help and support you need to thrive academically."

Frederik, from Vedbaek, studying Human, Social and Political Sciences

Choosing a course

When applying to Cambridge, you can only apply for one undergraduate course. Bear in mind that most Cambridge courses start out with a very broad curriculum, and allow students to specialize as they go along, so applying for Natural Sciences or Human, Social and Political Sciences, for example, still leaves you lots of latitude for decision-making further down the line. The University has also has two “joint” courses, in History & Politics and History & Modern Languages.
 

The application process

The application deadline is 15 October each year for entry the following October (or for deferred entry the year after). We encourage all applicants to read the information about applying on the relevant subject page, as well as the how to apply page well in advance of 15 October, as there are a number of parts to the application procedure which may take time to organise and complete:

  1. There is more than one application form.
  2. You will need a referee who can provide a reference and predicted grades for any exams that you have not yet taken.
  3. You may also need to arrange for your school to provide a transcript.
  4. If you have a late October / early November Admissions Assessment (needed for about half of the courses), you will need to make sure you are registered for this by the deadline. See details on the Admissions Assessments page.
  5. There are some smaller details that it is worth being aware of, such as the need to upload a photo. 

Do explore the additional support pages for international applicants, and note that on 20 September Christ's publishes the current applicants section, which will support you through the next steps once you have submitted a valid application.  

 

Further detail on aspects of the application process

We have additional help pages for international students for aspects of the application process such as UCAS personal statements, UCAS references, Admissions Assessments and interviews. See the additional application support for international applicants

Do read these details carefully, as it's important to understand what you will be assessed on and what we are looking for. In some cases a little cultural "reframing" is needed in order to give us the relevant information that will most help your application. Danish referees are, reputedly, cautious in their predictions for prospective undergraduates in order to spur students to greater efforts. As you'll read on the UCAS reference page, they should be honest and accurate in their appraisal, but if they believe in you, then they do need to “sell you” to the assessor. 

Danish students tend to perform solidly at interview, simply because you are used to oral assessment, which is not in fact as common in the UK system. It is worth bearing in mind, however, that a Cambridge interview is not a straightforward academic “examination” of what you know: it is a way of finding out how you handle and apply new information, and whether you would thrive within the supervision (tutorial) system. Again, see the interviews page for the detail.

Admissions Tutors do not have access to detailed information about Danish schools, so if you come from a school context associated with weaker academic outcomes, or low levels of progression to university, you should ensure that you or your referee mention this fact in your UCAS form. If your performance in education has been affected by other factors (such as dyslexia, ill health, familial or personal disruption), then it may be appropriate to ask a teacher or doctor to submit an Extenuating Circumstances Form or additional letter on your behalf.

"The Cambridge interviews are, luckily, quite similar to the oral exams which many Danes are used to. However, while Danish oral exams primarily test your understanding of material you have already learnt, the interviews are there to explore how you absorb, interpret, and respond to new information and ideas. There is not always one formulaic answer or argument they are looking for."

Martin, from Copenhagen, holding an offer for Economics

Student profile

Fred is from Trørød, and wrote this student profile at the end of his first year studying Human, Social, and Political Sciences (HSPS) at Christ’s.

 

Questions that Danish students often ask us:

Do you look at weighted averages?
Yes, but only as recorded in your transcript - so you will, for example, get credit for completing additional 'A' subjects, but not for applying within two years of leaving school.

Will my weaker marks in Danish/History/Physical Education count against me?
Weaker marks in subjects that are compulsory in the Danish system are unlikely to count against you, unless they bring your overall average down below the standard offer level and/or those subjects are directly relevant to the course you want to study at university.

Will I cope with the examinations at Cambridge?
The standard examination format in Cambridge is hand-written "closed" book, and three hours' long. Most Danish students learn to cope with this, but intensive revision is required: you need to memorise key quotations, facts and arguments, and you should expect to acquire a sore wrist each summer!

What funding is available for undergraduate students?

EU students wishing to commence their studies in October 2021 entry will be eligible to apply for Christ's College International Awards. These awards are worth £10,000 per annum and may be accompanied by a full or partial waiver of the College Fee (currently £9,400 per annum). More information is available on our page on international financial support and do also read the notes for EU students applying for courses starting in 2021 and beyond.

Can I re-apply?
Many students do re-apply successfully to Cambridge, and assessors will not have access to your previous application (or applications). If you are a re-applicant for an undergraduate course at Cambridge, however, we do normally recommend that you choose a different College the second time around.

 

Gap years and applying as an older student

We're often asked how we feel about gap years. In general, (like most other UK universities) we're happy to receive applications from students who wish to take, have taken, or are on “gap years”, and there is no bonus for applying within two years of leaving school. You may actually find that applying during a gap year works to your advantage, if it means that you have a complete set of high school grades to submit, rather than predictions alone (see the page for post-qualification applications). You should, however, try to maintain an active connection with your subject (if only by reading) and if you take more than two years out, then some formal study is desirable: you could, for example, attend lectures at the Folkeuniversitetet or take a Massive Online Open Course via Coursera, Udacity, EdX or the Khan Academy. This is particularly important if you wish to apply for a course with a strong mathematical component.

Applicants of 20 and 21 are reasonably common, and you may like to read our page for mature students for more information about this. 

Many successful applicants to Cambridge and other UK universities complete some or all of the first year of a degree programme outside the UK, and this can constitute useful additional preparation for our courses. However, you cannot transfer from another university directly into the second or third year of a Cambridge BA, and credit accumulated elsewhere is not counted towards Cambridge degrees (though you may be asked to evidence it, as part of your application). Please see our page about applying from a university.

 

Where can I find out more?

Do explore the international students section in particular and feel free to email the Christ's Admissions Office: admissions@christs.cam.ac.uk with any questions. We'll be pleased to hear from you!

 

International Students / Should I apply? / How to apply / Subjects at Christ's / Application support for International Students