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Cambridge 21+

Supporting UK mature students applying for undergraduate study at Cambridge

Cambridge 21+ is a hybrid residential programme for mature students who have never been to university before. Run by the three ‘mature’ colleges at Cambridge – Hughes Hall, Wolfson, and St. Edmund’s – the programme is designed to help Home fee status students who will be 21 or over when they start their course, make a competitive application to study an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

Registration for the 2024 have now closed. Please email outreach@hughes.cam.ac.uk with any questions.

Throughout the residential there will be academic, skills and Q&A sessions, tours, and dining and social opportunities.

The Virtual Programme

Tuesday 30 April – Cambridge University explained

  • Breaking down myths about the University of Cambridge
  • What is a Cambridge College?
  • Why choose Cambridge as a mature student?
  • What will you gain from an undergraduate degree?

Thursday 2 May – What makes a successful Cambridge applicant

  • Find out from Admissions Tutors what makes a successful applicant
  • What does Cambridge mean by extra-curriculars?
  • How do we teach at Cambridge and what do we mean by the supervision system?
  • Does the assessment process differ for mature applicants?

Tuesday 7 May – Academic Skills for Success

Meet with college librarians to explore opportunities to develop your academic skills whilst at Cambridge:

  • Identify the skills needed to succeed at university
  • Reflect on your own skills set
  • Discover sources of academic support at Cambridge
  • Develop critical thinking skills to help support your application to university and beyond

This hands-on workshop will give you the chance to work with librarians and other participants on reflective practice and critical thinking activities.

Thursday 9 May – Funding my degree

  • Explaining Student Finance: loans and course fees
  • The Cambridge Bursary
  • Hear from current students on how they manage their finances
  • Work and study balance at Cambridge

The Residential Programme

The Residential Programme in 2024 will take place 3rd – 5th July. Participants will be invited to stay for two nights at Wolfson College with the opportunity to attend the Cambridge Open Days. Throughout the residential there will be academic, skills and Q&A sessions, tours, and dining and social opportunities.

Accommodation and food will be provided by the colleges, and are free for participants. The Programme is an opportunity to see if Cambridge is the right place for you and offers a bespoke way for you to engage with the University as a mature student applicant.

Our undergraduates join Hughes from across the UK and all around the world; with around 200 mature undergraduates forming part of a vibrant academic community including more than 700 postgraduates, and nearly 300 postdocs, senior members and fellows.

Who is eligible for Cambridge 21+?

Both programmes are open to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Will be applying to do their first undergraduate degree, or are considering applying for Cambridge’s Foundation Year in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Qualify for ‘Home fee status
  • Will be aged 21 or over by 7th October 2025.

Please note that places for the residential element are limited and those undertaking the first stage of the programme are not guaranteed a place. Selection for the residential programme will be undertaken separately in May/June.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact our Outreach Officer at outreach@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

You can see how the programme ran successfully in 2022.