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Higher education at 18+

Applying to Oxbridge (That is either Oxford or Cambridge!)

General Information on Applying to Oxbridge

For students who are interested in studying at either Oxford or Cambridge university there are a few differences between the application process to that of the other universities.

Although you still need to apply through UCAS, the deadline is much earlier and all applications must be sent by mid October (check actual date with UCAS).

You can only apply to Oxford OR Cambridge and NOT both.

Both universities are collegiate universities which means they have multiple colleges where you live and study. When you apply to Oxford or Cambridge you have the option of applying to a particular college, or if you are unsure which college to choose you can submit an 'open application' where the university will select the college for you.

All courses at Oxford and Cambridge will require applicants to attend interviews and many courses require pre-entry tests e.g. LNAT for Law etc.

Applying to Oxbridge is highly competitive with most courses demanding a minimum of AAA at A level. Make sure you look at the course requirements carefully to check that you are likely to achieve the required grades.

This article from Which? Uni is useful and provides a guide to all admissions tests.

Tips for personal statements

As with any personal statement it is important that when you apply to Oxbridge your statement reflects your enthusiasm and motivation to study a particular subject to a high level. The admissions tutors will use your personal statement alongside your GCSE results and any pre-entry test results as well as your interview and may focus more on the academic content, rather than the extra-curricular activities.

Try to demonstrate that you have spent time reading relevant books or articles and describe the impact that these have had on you. Share your opinions about any topics that are relevant.

Be honest, because if you state that you have done something that you haven't i.e. read a certain book you may be found out at the interview stage.

Tips for interviews

  • Stay calm and relaxed
  • Prepare thoroughly - make sure you have studied the course content
  • Take a copy of your personal statement with you as this might be used by the admissions tutor during the interview
  • Be prepared for odd questions - although these are not always asked sometimes admissions tutors use them to see how you think
  • Take notes 
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions or to ask for clarification if you don't understand a question
  • Don't worry about making mistakes 

The Studential website has lots more information on preparing for Oxbridge interviews.

For more tips from tutors and to watch some clips of interviews, take a look at the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge websites.

Oxford University - How To Apply

Watch a video about applying to Cambridge

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