Entry Requirements | Undergraduates

Cambridge seeks to admit students whose academic record places them in the very top percentiles of their cohorts.

Cambridge applicants are frequently predicted – and achieve – maximal grades in the highest-level academic qualifications they undertake. As such, the students we admit usually exceed the University’s typical offers, often by quite some margin. You can see this for example in the case of A Level (the qualification most commonly taken by Cambridge applicants) in the University’s annually-published “Undergraduate Admissions Statistics” summaries on the Application Statistics webpage.

In practice, this means that if you have not attained or you are not on track to attain at the very least the University’s typical offer *for your chosen course* then it is unlikely that we will be able to continue with your application. You might therefore think of your chosen course’s typical offer, or predictions consistent with it, as a baseline for your application to be considered. Competitive applicants normally present with predictions or attainment that is at least inline with the attainment of typical entrants in their chosen course.

As with all aspects of the Cambridge admissions process, we at Churchill set conditional offers individually. Accordingly, should you ultimately receive an offer from us, it could vary from the University’s typical offer because our Admissions Tutors haven taken your individual circumstances into account.

It is exceptionally unlikely that we would make you a conditional offer at a level that is lower than the University’s typical offer for your chosen course. Again, think of that as a minimum. If you are attending a high-performing school or college and have outstanding UCAS predictions then, consistent with your predictions, we might require you to attain maximal grades in particular subjects or set conditions overall that are nearer the attainment of our typical entrants in your chosen course.

Similarly, our conditional offer might require you to attain certain grades across a range of subjects taken in a single exam sitting. This is because excelling in exams sat concurrently is a good indicator that you will do well at Cambridge, where courses are mainly exam assessed.

We would almost never set you a conditional offer that exceeds the level of your UCAS predictions. The circumstance in which we might do this is if we wish to make you an offer but find, against our expectations, that you are not predicted a grade we require in a subject which is mandatory for entry to your chosen course.

We take this careful, individualised approach to offer-setting in our students’ interests. For example, when an offer-holder attains outcomes that are at or above the level of our typical entrants in their course then they and we can be assured that they will arrive at Cambridge at or above parity with their peers. Research has shown that post-16 examination performance correlates strongly with performance at university. Therefore, by working towards and achieving a very strong portfolio of high school qualifications, taken in a single sitting, our entrants undertake the best possible preparation to thrive in the highly academic environment that Cambridge provides.

To find out more, check out the University’s Entrance Requirements webpage and any of the International Entry Requirements links that may be relevant to you. Course-specific information, including the attainment level of typical entrants, is available by selecting your chosen course from the University’s Course List then looking at the Entry Requirements tab. Note that academic offer conditions can sometimes vary from college to college, so if you want to apply to Churchill then make sure to check out our entries in the by-college list of entry requirements that is available on the same tab.