Making a strong application

Post-16 subjects

Your post-16 subject choices will affect what you can go on to study at university. Whether or not you know what academic path you'd like to pursue, these resources will give you information and guidance about what subjects to consider.

Cambridge's "Subject Matters"

The Russell Group's "Informed Choices"

Churchill's "Choosing your Degree Course"


Explore your subject (super-curricular work)

There are lots of ways in which you can explore your subject beyond the curriculum; what is sometimes called super-curricular work. This is not something that needs to cost you any money!

Reading is the best way to find out more about the subjects you're passionate about. Visit libraries and see what's available in your areas of interest. Browse and then dig in. Look for relevant magazines and publications and keep an eye on the news media. If you like to have something to listen to, whether out and about or at home, then you can subscribe to podcasts or look for local talks and public lectures (at local universities, for example). The internet can be a fantastic resource and there's a growing volume of educational videos and other media out there.

Follow lines of enquiry into the areas that interest and engage you the most. This should not be an extra exercise for the sole purpose of enhancing a personal statement - exploring a subject you care about should hopefully come naturally and be enjoyable! You should be able to engage the material analytically and critically, so don’t spend time with material that doesn’t interest you. If you’re finding it a chore then this might be a good indication that you have not picked the subject that is best for you. Explore things that genuinely interest you and see where your investigations lead!

Super-curricular websites


  • Talking Politics
    Discussions of politics and current affairs. Panel chaired by Cambridge's Prof David Runciman.

Lectures and masterclasses

Examples of subject-specific resources

  • Isaac Physics
    Mastering Physics by solving problems: from school to university.
  • The Institute for Economic Affairs
    A resource for those interested in economics, analysis and public policy.
  • Millennium Maths Project
    An education initiative for 3-19-year-olds focussing on increasing mathematical understanding, confidence and enjoyment, developing problem-solving skills, and promoting creative and imaginative approaches to maths.
  • STEP Support Programme
    This free online STEP Support Programme is offered by the University of Cambridge to help university applicants develop their advanced mathematical problem-solving skills and prepare for STEP mathematics exams.
How to apply