Graduate Admissions


Office Closure

The Graduate Admissions Office will be closed on Monday 7th July, re-opening 9 am on Tuesday 8th July.

During this time we will be unable to respond to any phone or email queries.

You will continue to have access to your self-service accounts.

Supporting Documentation

All applicants have 14 days from submission of the online application form to submit their supporting documents.

Please check the information for your course in the Qualifications Directory and on the departmental website carefully, in order to ensure that you submit your application form by the correct deadline.

A more detailed description of deadlines for application and supporting documentation is available on our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section:

Within 24-48 hours of submitting your online application form and payment, you will be sent an email giving you access to your Self-Service account. Your Self-Service account will remind you of all the supporting documentation you need to provide, and you will be able to upload electronic copies via your account. Please read 'Supporting Documentation' for all further details on supporting documentation, including references.

Do not submit materials unless you are specifically asked to do so; the department will not use them when assessing your application unless they are required, and submitting unnecessary documentation may delay the consideration of your application.

If you apply for more than one course you will need to upload your documents separately for each course.

Documents to be uploaded to the Self-Service must be in pdf format.

A brief summary of the items of documentation that may be requested is provided below.

  • On this page


You will need to provide the details of up to two referees who can provide academic references written in English.

References are submitted by the referee via an Electronic Reference System, which referees have access to after you have submitted your application.

You will be asked to provide an email address for your referees on your online application form. Check that you have the CORRECT email address for your referee and that your referee is happy and able to provide a reference for you BEFORE you submit your application form and payment.

If you do not have an email address for your referee, please follow the instructions below for submitting the reference on paper.

Your referee will receive an email within 30 hours of you submitting your online application form and payment, giving them access to the online Electronic Referencing System.

It is your responsibility to ensure that the references are provided within 2 weeks of you submitting the online application form. You should contact your referee directly to ensure they provide the reference by the deadline.

If you apply for more than one course, with the same referee, that referee will need to provide a reference for each course (though this may be the same reference).

Outstanding references will be shown in the self-service account.

After a reference has been successfully submitted by a referee, you will receive a confirmation email, and the item will disappear from your self-service account.

A guide is available that may help referees with completing the online reference form:

If the guide cannot resolve problem, please follow the instructions below for submitting the reference on paper.

The Graduate Admissions Office are not able to:

  • accept references sent by email either from the applicant or directly from the referee
  • use references from any previous application that you have made.
  • send reminders to referees, or contact them to chase outstanding references

Who should nominate as an academic referee?:

Who to nominate as an academic referee
You are Your First Referee Your Second Referee
A current undergraduate student A tutor from your course A second tutor from your course
A recent graduate with a first degree As above As above
A current graduate student at another university applying for admission A tutor or supervisor from your graduate course A tutor from your undergraduate course or present graduate tutor
A current, or recent, graduate at Cambridge University Your current or most recent graduate supervisor A tutor from your undergraduate course or present graduate tutor (if requested)
Working and have not recently studied A member of academic staff from the most recent higher education course you took Your employer or another person who can testify to your academic ability in a formal context

Applications for part-time study: please note that referees will be asked to comment on your ability to manage different responsibilities simultaneously.

Personal reference for Gates Cambridge:

Candidates wishing to be considered for an award from Gates Cambridge must also provide the details of an additional referee, who can provide a personal reference (character reference). Your personal referee should be someone who knows you personally and who has the requisite experience and standing to assess your personal achievements and capacities, as well as your academic qualities. In many cases this would be an appropriate academic at your current or previous university. In the absence of an academic, a current or previous employer may also be appropriate. Your personal referee must not be a friend or family relation. You should notify your referees immediately you decide to apply to Cambridge so that they can start to prepare your references.

Please note that a personal reference is required ONLY if you wish to be considered for funding from the Gates Cambridge.

A personal reference is NOT required for any of the following: Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust; the Cambridge International Scholarship; the Cambridge Home and European Scholarship Scheme; the ESRC; the AHRC.

Submitting a reference on paper:

If you do not have an email address for your referee, or referee is unable to use the Electronic Reference System please follow the steps below:

  • Using the application number provided to you on the self service account, you should complete Part I of the Academic Reference instruction form below as required and give it to your referee with a coversheet downloaded from your self-service account.
  • The referee must then send the following three things as a package to the address below i) the reference on headed notepaper with an original signature (we cannot accept electronic or scanned signatures), ii) the accompanying form below, and iii) the cover sheet from your self-service account.
  • Please note that if the form and cover sheet is not included with the reference we may have trouble matching it with your application.
Sent by standard post: Sent by courier:
University of Cambridge
Board of Graduate Studies
PO Box 338
University of Cambridge
Board of Graduate Studies
4 Mill Lane



A transcript is a list of all the courses you have taken (or are currently taking) during a programme of study, with the result you obtained, and sometimes the credit value of each course. If you have completed your study, the transcript should also show your final award (usually as a class or CGPA).

You should request and receive your transcripts from your institution before you begin your application so that you have them ready to upload. If you are currently studying you should upload a transcript with the marks you have obtained so far.

The transcript will need to be uploaded via your self-service. Please do not write on any of your documents before you upload them. If you do, we will not accept them.

Obtaining a transcript

The Academic Registry at your university will be able to produce a transcript of courses you have taken/are currently taking. You may be charged for this.

If your documents are not in English, you must also upload a full translation of each document, prepared by a registered translator. There will be a charge for this service. Do not translate the documents yourself.

Electronic transcripts

Your official transcript may be sent to us electronically if your institution has a secure electronic transcript system (eg digitary or HEAR). You will need to contact your institution to see if they offer this facility. If so, you will need to supply them with the following email address:

Your institution will then be able to email us with a link enabling access for us to view your transcript online.


Original Documentation

If we make you an academic offer of admission we may also ask you to send the original of your transcript via post. Supplying the original or a certified copy may be a condition of your offer. Please note that we are not able to return original documents or retain them for collection. You must obtain a certified copy if you wish to retain the original transcript/certificate.

If you are making a visa application, you will be required to provide original documentation. Please ensure that you retain at least one set of original academic transcripts/certificates for this purpose. DO NOT send us your only original. If you have only one set of original academic documentation, please either obtain another set as soon as possible, or send us certified copies.

Additional information for paper applications only:

We are happy to accept copies of degree transcripts and certificates when you first apply to us, but we will ask to see originals if we make you an academic offer of admission and supplying these may be a condition of your offer. We can also accept certified copies at this stage. Your university will certify copies of documents by stamping them with the university stamp. If your university cannot do this, you must get the copies endorsed by a public notary or a lawyer who has seen the original documents. There might be a charge for these services.


Research Proposal

Please check your course entry in the Qualifications Directory and departmental website to see if this is required.


Evidence of Competence in English


The Home Office has suspended accepting ETS tests as evidence of English language ability. This includes the Princeton TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and as a result the University of Cambridge will no longer be accepting TOEFL test scores as sufficient to meet the language entry requirements for Graduate study.

Applicants wishing to meet their language condition should take a test with an alternative provider. Please see our language webpages for more information:

Applicants who have already provided a TOEFL test taken before 1 May 2014 will be contacted by email with further information relating to admission and visa applications.

If you have already booked a TOEFL test, ETS has advised that students seeking more information on test cancellation and refund policies should contact TOEFL Services by emailing

All non-UK nationals will be asked to upload evidence of their competence in English as a supporting document at the point of application.

The documentation accepted can be found in the entrance requirements section of this website

If you do not have the evidence of your competence in English at the point of application, you should upload the following document:


Curriculum Vitae

Some faculties or departments may ask you to provide a CV (Curriculum Vitae, or resumé). This is in addition to the application form, and must not be sent instead of it. Please check the information for your course in the Qualifications Directory and on the departmental website carefully, to see if this is required. Do not send a CV unless your course specifically asks for it; the department will not use it when assessing your application unless it is required.



The following faculties and departments will ask you to provide a GRE test result. When registering for the GRE test please use following relevant institution code:

  • 0908 U Cambridge Divinity Sch
  • 2433 U Cambridge Economics
  • 7020 U Cambridge Judge Bus Sch MPhil (& PhD)

(Please note that only the above departments require a GRE score.  If your prospective department is not listed above you should not request a GRE score to be submitted to the University of Cambridge, as we will not retain or process the certificate.)

Further information on the GRE test can be found on the GRE website:

Please note that there is a charge for taking the GRE test.

You should also check the application information on the department website for further instructions and the levels of GRE scores they require.

To complete the document requirement for GRE scores in your self service account you should upload a print screen of your online GRE score report converted to a pdf.

Alternatively, GRE scores are posted directly to the relevant department by GRE approximately 6 weeks after you have taken the exam, it may then take the department additional time to process the certificate. Once the certificate has been processed, the item will be removed from the document checklist in your self-service account. However, this may be after the due date for your supporting documentation so uploading the print screen is the recommended option.


Written Work

Some faculties and departments may ask you to provide written work so that they can make an assessment of your knowledge and of the level at which you are working. Please check the information for your course in the Qualifications Directory and on the departmental website carefully, to see if this is required. Do not send written work unless your course specifically asks for it; the department will not use it for assessing your application unless it is required.


Funding Letter

If you have already applied for a scholarship and the awarding body has written to you, please send us an original version of the letters offering you funding.


Letter From Employer

You will need to provide a letter from your employer (if any) confirming that you may have time off, if necessary and as required, to attend the University for the whole duration of your course. This will be required for part-time study only. It is generally not permitted to remain in employment whilst studying full time at Cambridge.


Fraudulent Documentation

The Graduate Admissions Office checks application forms and submitted documentation for evidence of fraud. You may be asked to provide an original version of any document you have uploaded, as we will conduct checks on electronic documents received. If you submit fraudulent documentation at any stage in the admissions process, you will be notified accordingly and your application will be withdrawn.