University of Cambridge Admissions 2022: Requirements, Fees for International Students ,,UK

  • Cambridge,UK
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Srishti Chatterjee

The University of Cambridge’s foundation can be traced to 1209, when a group scholars broke away from the then University of Oxford after a dispute with the public. In 1231, it was granted a royal charter by King Henry III making it the second-oldest university in the world. Currently, Cambridge constituents of 31 semi-autonomous colleges and more than 100 academic departments organised into six schools. It is also famous for the ‘Cambridge University Press’, the second-largest university press in the world and prides itself on continuing the world's oldest printing and publishing house. The University of Cambridge boasts of a total of 30 undergraduate courses covering more than 65 subject areas, 198 graduate programmes (taught by faculty and research option) and nearly 300 graduate programmes.

Courses Offered

What all courses are available to international students?

A variety of UG programmes are available covering all major academic disciplines from the field of Science, Business, and Humanities & Arts. For PG students, Cambridge has courses in MS, MBA, Executive MBA, MPhil and PhD. These programmes are predominantly research-based and you will be assigned a supervisor to help you with your research thesis. Courses like MBA, MASt in Pure Mathematics, Finance and Law are predominantly taught, while other courses like MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development is a combination of research study and guidance teaching.

Eligibility & Documents Required

What are the eligibility requirements?

Each college/school will have their own admission criteria and scoring range to check your eligibility. Please check their respective websites to know about their individual requirements.

UG programmes

  • TOEFL score: 100-110, no less 25 in each section
  • IELTSscore: 7-7.5 with 7 in each section
  • According to your subject choice, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology may or may not be required
  • Class 12 scores requirement are:
    • ISCE and NIOS: 90% or higher in five or more relevant subjects
    • CBSE: A1 grade in five or more relevant subjects
    • State Boards: Although applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis, they usually require 95% or equivalent in five or more relevant subjects

Conditional Offers

The university also makes a conditional offer to students studying in class XII given the conditions that they score according to their standard in the following tests:

  • College Board Advanced Placement Tests: Conditional offer can be given if all courses if a student gets a 5 grade in five or more AP Tests
  • IIT-JEE (Advanced): Cambridge may considers IIT-JEE (Advance) rank
  • Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP): STEP is considered for courses like Computer Science, Economics and Mathematics. Please note that for all Mathematics courses’ offers, a STEP condition is attached (including for applicants taking AP Tests or the IIT JEE). Thus, it is compulsory if you are considering any Mathematics courses.


Postgraduate programmes

  • TOEFL score: 100-110, no less 25 in each section
  • IELTS score: 7-7.5 with 7 in each section
  • CAE (C1 Advanced): minimum score of Grade A
  • CPE (Cambridge English: Proficiency exam): grade A, B or C, a minimum score of 200 is considered with no section below 185
  • GMAT scores are preferred for MBA and EMBA (executive) course whose cut-off generally ranges from 650-750 along with work experience of at least three years for MBA and six years for EMBA. The average GMAT score of Class 2019 was 691 and the average work experience was 6 years.
  • Apart from this, for MPhil, PhD, MS and MBA/EMBA, academic qualifications are required such as a professional bachelor’s degree (four-year) in professional courses such as professional subjects such as Business Administration, Business Management, Business Studies, Agriculture, Architecture, Computer Applications, Engineering, Fine Arts, Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery, Law, Nursing, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy or Technology.
  • If not a professional subject, then a bachelor’s degree in Arts/Commerce/Science (3-4 years) with overall 70-75% or CGPA 7.3-8.0+ from a well-ranked institution.
  • GRE scores are accepted for a few programmes and no specific cut-off is mentioned. However, generally, you should target for 300+ score. The following courses accept GRE:


What all documents are needed for application?

For UG, all your documents will be uploaded in the UCAS website so you need to prepare the following documents for that:

  • Academic transcripts (usually of class 11 and 12)
  • IELTS/TOEFL score report
  • Personal statement/SOP (details are given on the portal itself about what all needs to be covered)
  • Reference letters/LORs
  • CV (if applicable)
  • Written work/Assessment Test/Portfolio depending on your profile, course and as per the instructions of faculty/department
  • Financial documents such as loan or scholarship letter
  • Copy of passport/visa (if available)


For PG courses, you need to upload all documents via their Applicant Portal. The following documents are generally required and rest differ from course to course:

  • Academic transcripts
  • IELTS/TOEFL/CAE/CPE score report
  • GRE/GMAT score report
  • SOP/Essays
  • Two reference letters/LORs. You need to provide the recommenders’ details and the university will send them a link through which they can submit their references directly.
  • CV/Professional Resume
  • Written work/Assessment Test/Portfolio depending on your profile, course and as per the instructions of faculty/department
  • Research proposal for research-based courses
  • Financial documents such as loan or scholarship letter
  • Copy of passport/visa (if available)

Application & Tuition Fees

Is there any application fees?

The application fee for all postgraduate programmes is GBP 150 and tuition fee differs from course to course. For UG, the UCAS application fee is GBP 20 for one course and GBP 25 for multiple courses or late application (after June).

What is the fee structure of courses offered by the university?

Each course has a different fee structure but on an average MS courses tuition range from GBP 30,000–40,000, for MBA it is GBP 50,000–70,000 and for UG it is GBP 22,000–55,000. Also, note that the MASt courses are treated as undergraduate courses for tuition fee purposes. Therefore, all international/non-EU students charged an extra undergraduate college fee, which is in addition to the university fee and maintenance costs.

Note:Each year these fees are revised so check the university website for details

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Is there any scholarship or financial aid available for international students?

There are various scholarships available for non-EU and Indian students. Most of them of merit-bases, please go through the requirements carefully to apply for these scholarships.

Admission Process

When do the admissions start?

UG courses: UCAS opens for applications around May-June, however, it varies depending on the course and university, so you would need to check the official website for exact details. The deadline for Cambridge and Oxford applications is 15th October. To know more details about the application deadlines, you can visit the official website. Like other UK universities, Cambridge University also follows the UCAS application procedure. Read UCAS Form Filling Process & Tips to know how to fill a UCAS Application. 

PG courses: Deadline for MBA courses is around May-June, so you should start your process around Jan-Feb. Some MS courses have deadlines in January, for MPhil deadlines are in December-March and PhD courses have rolling deadlines. For these courses, try to begin your process three-four months prior the deadlines. Please check the university website for each course’s deadline.

How to apply to UG courses?

As mentioned above, you need to apply through the UCAS website. After submitting the UCAS application, you need to follow these steps:

  • Submit the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) which you will receive directly from the university by late October.
  • Along with this, non-EU students need to submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) before their interview and given deadline.
  • Submit your transcripts as instructed by the university
  • If your application is accepted, you will be invited for an interview which is usually around December. Details about the interview can be found on the official website.
  • Before this interview or during the interview you may be asked to submit a written work related to your subjects. For instance, for Arts courses, your drawings, photographs or portfolios need to be submitted or for Mathematics, you will be asked to give an assessment test before the interview.
  • There might be another round of interview for a handful of students if the department faculty feels like another session is required.

How to apply to PG courses?

It is important to note the eligibility and entry requirements of the course before you start applying. The rest of the process shall run smoothly:

  • Take a note of the deadlines and be sure to apply beforehand and wait until the last date. Each course will have different deadlines, so keep a check on that.
  • You need to login to their Applicant Portal and choose your course
  • Enter your recommender’s details whom you have chosen to act as academic/professional references
  • You will be given the option to choose at least two preferable colleges of your choice or you can select the option of open application.
  • Submit all the documents and scores as required along with the references and pay the application fee
  • Your application is sent to the department faculty who then decide whether to accept or reject. If your application is accepted for the interview round, you will receive an intimation from the university. The interviews are usually conducted over the telephone or via video conferencing.
  • If you are made an offer, you will be asked to submit documents to meet the conditions of your offer.

When will I hear from the university after I submit my application?

UG courses: The decision of admission rests on the colleges, if they feel you are a good fit for their college, you will receive a reply through UCAS only. You can expect a reply before January-end, whether you have been accepted unconditionally, conditionally or unsuccessful. Students that are given conditional offer will require to give the exams (A-Levels, IB, and STEP) in May-June. The examination results will be published by August and if you qualify, you will receive a confirmation of admission. You can either accept this offer or defer it for the next year. For unconditional offers, you need to reply (accept/reject the offer) to that particular college keeping in mind the UCAS deadline, which is usually a week or two after you have received your offer. Check the UCAS website for this detail.

PG courses: If you submit your application by December or January, you can expect a reply by March. Most of the times, offers are made during February and March. Please note that all Non-EU students will require a Tier 4 Visa to study in the UK. Once the visa details have been submitted to the university, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) letter stating that your admission has been confirmed, usually issued by the Graduate Admissions Office in June for admission in October.

Student Diversity & Preferred Profile

What are the chances to get into this university?

Cambridge is one of the top universities in the world and therefore is notoriously famous for selecting only a handful of students who are at the top of their classes. You should target scoring good in your IELTS/TOEFL (above 7 bands) and GMAT/GRE exams. UG aspirants require 90+% in their class 12 to get a shot at Cambridge. You may also create a vibrant CV and write an engaging Personal Statement (UCA application) highlighting your other talents, motivation to study, and goals. For professional courses like MBA, a minimum of three years’ of professional experience is required while for courses like Executive MBA six years of work experience is required. 

For the Humanities students, you can make a mark on the faculty through your written work or portfolio, which are required for courses such as B.A Architecture or M.Litt. On the other hand, research-based courses will require to submit a research proposal or essay on their topic of research. Interaction during the interview is a great way to convey details that fail to make it in your resume or written work/portfolio.

How many Indian/international students are studying at the university?

In the 2018-2019 year, Cambridge received 6,625 undergraduate applications. Out of this total, 254 applications were from India, out which 36 were offered admission and 19 of them accepted the offer. In 2017-2018, 256 PG students from India were successfully admitted. The MBA class of 2019 had 202 students total with students from over 41 nationalities, 31 students from India and the male to female ratio was 13:7.


Part Time Work While Studying

Can I work while studying here?

Cambridge is strict when it comes to part-time work while studying. It has the following rules:

  • UG students are expected not to work during term-time
  • Master's students whose course duration is less than 12 months are expected not to work during term-time
  • Graduate research students whose course duration is more than 12 months may work but not more than ten hours per week, with the approval of their supervisor

However, there are certain criteria for research students as well:

  • The work should either be academic-related and within the University or College premises
  • Or it can be any outreach work undertaken on behalf of the University
  • Or it should be work related to a student's professional or career development (can be out of university/college premises)
  • If a graduate research student is working for more than one employer, the student needs to inform both the about it so that no more than 10 hours per week is exceeded

You can apply for such jobs through the university’s website itself. It has a separate page dedicated for jobs within the campus. All openings are posted on that page and students can apply if they match the criteria.

Campuses & Accommodation

How many colleges and campuses does the university have?

Cambridge has 31 autonomous colleges and each college has different internal procedures and most of them offer both undergraduate and masters programmes. Among these Murray Edwards, Newnham and Lucy Cavendish, admit women only. The following colleges are affiliated to University of Cambridge:


Is on-campus housing available?

Most of the undergraduate colleges offer a range of accommodation that a student can choose from depending on their preference and budget. Also, note that not all colleges offer the choice of a shared bathroom or en-suite rooms. The university has provided an overview of accommodation costs if you plan to stay within the college campus:

  • Accommodation (+ kitchen charges): GBP 110–180 per week or GBP 130–210 en suite per week
  • College meals: GBP 4–7 per meal
  • Transport in Cambridge: cheap or free depending on the mode of transport you use

This estimated cost was derived from the expenses of 2019-20 batch, thus, it may slightly vary each year as prices increase every year. Also, the figures do not include any deposit fee required at the time of renting. Please check the university website for exact figures and estimated living cost for international students as suggested by the university.

University Contact Information

Whom should I contact in case of any doubts?

Postal address: University of Cambridge, The Old Schools, Trinity Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1TN, United Kingdom


Telephone: +44 (0)1223 337733

Student Centre Contact No: 01223-764-661

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