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How to apply

5.3.24: We have been made aware of an issue that is causing a delay in sending the ‘My Cambridge Application’ form to March round applicants. Please rest assured that the Cambridge Admissions Office (CAO) is actively working to correct the issue. Thank you for your patience and understanding. For further information, you could contact applicationhelp@admin.cam.ac.uk.

We are here to help you.

The process for applying to Cambridge is much the same as that for other universities. At Cambridge the process starts earlier to allow time for all of the application information to be gathered and considered, and applicants are asked to indicate a college preference or submit an ‘open’ application on their UCAS form.

Please see our step-by-step guide to the application process below.

The application process is also outlined on the University’s website – click here to find out more.


Applications to UCAS are made online through the UCAS Hub. Your school or college will be able to advise you about the process. If you’ve left school or college or are a resident abroad, you should contact UCAS for more information.

Our institution code is CAM C05 and the campus code for Hughes Hall is 7. Your school or college will be able to advise you about the process or you can refer to the UCAS guidance on completing your application. We’d recommend you register for UCAS using your personal email address rather than your school email, as you may not always have access to your school email.

Please visit the UCAS Application webpage on the University’s website for more information on how to apply.

2. Application deadlines

October applications

The application process for mature students is the same as that for standard-age students. The UCAS application deadline for Cambridge is 16 October (6pm UK time). All mature applicants making an open application or applying to a standard-age College must submit their application by this deadline.

March applications

Hughes Hall also considers applications from mature and affiliated students in some subjects as part of a March application round, the deadline for which is 1 March (11.59pm UK time). This is specifically designed for those who are currently undertaking shorter courses, such as Access to HE Courses, or self-studying A-Levels.

If you want to study Law, and you apply for the March application round, do not forget to take the LNAT admission assessment by 1 March (11.59pm UK time). Your application will not be considered complete without taking the LNAT assessment.

If you are also applying to multiple universities, you can  choose to make your application to us by the general UCAS Deadline, which is 31 January 2024. Please note that the following subjects only accept applicants in the October admissions round: Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Computer Science, Engineering, Graduate Medicine, History of Art, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy.

Please visit the University’s webpage for a detailed timeline here.

3. Admissions Tests and Assessments

Most applicants need to take written or verbal tests as part of their Cambridge application. This assessment will be relevant to the subject that you’ve applied for, and your performance in this assessment will be taken into account alongside the other elements of your application.

Some admissions tests are set by the Colleges, while others are set by external organisations. Please check carefully on the University’s Admission tests and assessments page to find out which assessment you need to take.

Learn how to register for assessments on the Cambridge Assessment website. This also includes information on registration deadlines and costs.

For Law applicants, please register for the LNAT here.

Please note that for some assessments, the deadline for registration is before the application deadline. 

4. Your Personal Statement

Personal statements allow students to tell us about their subject interest, and the process of writing a personal statement can often help a student better understand their academic interests and intellectual motivations. Admissions decisions at Cambridge are based solely on academic criteria (ability and potential). Personal statements are sometimes used as a basis for discussion at interview. In a personal statement we are looking for applicants to:

  • explain your reasons for wanting to study the subject
  • demonstrate your enthusiasm for and commitment to your chosen course
  • express any particular interests within the field
  • outline how you have pursued your interest in the subject in your own time.

For further guidance on what to include in your personal statement, we advise you to follow the UCAS advice on personal statements. See also this article on How to write a great personal statement.

5. References

You will need an academic reference. References are most effective when they are written by someone who is familiar with your academic work, as well as your recent history. For more information advice your reference please see the UCAS website.

Your application cannot be submitted until your chosen referee has completed and added your reference to the application.

Information and guidance for teachers on references can be found on the teachers and parents page.

6. My Cambridge Application

Once you have submitted your application via UCAS, you will be invited to complete the ‘My Cambridge Application’ which will be emailed to you from the Cambridge Admissions Office.

It helps us to collect information that’s not in the UCAS application but is useful for assessing applications. For example, details of topics you’ve covered as part of your AS/A Level (or equivalent) courses may help our interviewers to decide which questions to ask.

The deadline for completion of My Cambridge Application is 23rd October (6pm UK time) for the 16th October UCAS deadline and 8th March (6pm UK time) for the 1st March UCAS deadline.

If you’re in any doubt about the deadline, please contact applicationhelp@admin.cam.ac.uk, as soon as possible to check.

See Completing My Cambridge Application and the Frequently asked questions for further details.

7. Additional Applicant Information Form (AAIF)

As well as My Cambridge Application, you will be asked to complete an Additional Applicant Information Form (AAIF). This helps us find out what interview arrangements you’ll need if you’re invited to interview. It also includes any disruption caused to your education as a result of the pandemic.

Hughes Hall will send you a link to the AAIF by email. You must complete the form in one sitting. It is not possible to save it and return to it later. Read the AAIF Guide before you start, to ensure you have all the information you need.

Updated 05.07.23