Graduate Admissions

 

TOEFL Tests

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:

http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/studying/entryreq/#english

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 toefl@ets.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

Referees

Please consult our Referees Portal for help using the Online Reference system and answers to referees' frequently asked questions.

Prospective Graduate Students


  • On this page

General

Language

Making an Application

After Applying

Uploading documents

References

After Offer

Error Messages



How can I receive a prospectus for graduate study at Cambridge?

A full list of postgraduate courses offered by the University of Cambridge, together with information regarding the Colleges and funding opportunities, can be found in the prospectus. You can view the prospectus at:

Courses by Title/Subject
Prospective Graduate Students

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What is the admissions process?

Flowcharts of the admissions process can be found here:

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Does Cambridge offer distance learning degrees?

There are no distance learning degrees offered by the University of Cambridge. A small number of non-degree courses can be studied online, these are administered by the Institute of Continuing Education.

Further information

Institute of Continuing Education

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What academic qualifications are required to study at Cambridge?

Graduate work in Cambridge is intense and very intellectually demanding and so the University has high academic entry requirements. You are normally expected to hold or be about to achieve at least a 2i honours degree from a UK university or an equivalent standard from an overseas university.

If you have a question about the suitability of your qualifications for a particular course, please contact the Department in which you would like study.

Academic Requirements

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Where can I find information regarding the costs associated with studying at Cambridge?

You will find a breakdown of the annual cost of courses and details of funding at:

Fees and funding

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Will I be required to pass a language test?

Please see the Entrance Requirements for competence in English.

Entrance Requirements

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Do I need to take a language test before I make my application?

You do not need to take the test before you apply, but, if you are made a conditional offer and have not already met our English language requirements, one of the conditions of your offer will be that you pass a test at the required level. Please note that test results are only valid for two years.

Please see individual course entries for required levels.

English Language Scores

If you are applying for either the LLM or the MCL, please see the following information on deadlines and requirements.

LLM and MCL Language Deadlines and Requirements

If you have applied and do not currently have a language test, you should upload the following document in place of the language test:

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Why am I being asked to submit an English Language Test when I have studied in the UK previously?

If you have previously studied in the UK for a minimum of 3 years, and your course was completed more than 2 years before the proposed course start date at Cambridge, you will normally be asked to provide a language test.

If you have previously studied in the UK for a minimum of 3 years, and your course was completed within 2 years of the proposed course start date at Cambridge, you would not normally need to provide a language test. If this applies to you, or if you do not currently have a language test, please upload the following document using your self-service:

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Why am I being asked to submit an English Language Test when my first language is English?

Your self-service will automatically request an English language Test from you based on your nationality. If you believe you do not need to provide a language test, please upload the following 'Language Disclaimer' document using your self-service. If you are made an offer, we will decide whether or not a test is required. If the test is required, it will be a condition of your offer to provide it.

If you are applying for either the LLM or the MCL, please see the following information on deadlines and requirements.

LLM and MCL Language Deadlines and Requirements

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Can I arrange for my IELTS certificate to be posted to you?

Please DO NOT arrange for these to be posted to us, you may just upload your language certificate using your self-service. We are able to verify the authenticity of your results online. If you do not have the official certificate, we will also accept an uploaded screen print of your score report, as long as it shows your IELTS registration number.

When can I apply?

The earliest date you may apply for admission is 13 months prior to the course start date. For example, if you wish to start in October 2013 you may apply from 1 September 2012. There are funding deadlines as well as course closing deadlines, and so you should apply as early as possible after the course is made available for applications. In addition, offers are made throughout the year, and so courses may fill up even before the advertised closing dates. For more information, please see the information on the 'Starting Dates' and 'Application and Funding Deadlines' pages.

Starting Dates
Application and Funding Deadlines

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How do I make an application to Cambridge

Please see full information on the 'How to Apply' page.

Step 3 - How to Apply

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Is there an application charge?

Online applications are subject to a £50 non-refundable application charge. Paper applications are subject to a £100 non-refundable application charge.

Application Fees

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I am applying on paper. What payment do you accept?

We can accept an international money order, banker's draft or cheque. These must be made payable to the 'University of Cambridge', drawn on a UK bank account (your bank will be able to give you information regarding this if you are overseas) and in GB Sterling. We regret that we are unable to accept payment in cash or foreign currency.

Please ensure that your name, date of birth and course applied for are written on the back of your payment.

Application Fees

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Can I apply for more than one course?

You can apply to as many courses as you wish, but you must complete a separate application form, upload all supporting documents, and pay the relevant application fee for each application you make.


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Can I apply for the same course twice in one year?

You can apply only once to any individual course in an academic year. This means that you cannot apply twice to the PhD in a particular department with two different research proposals, and you cannot apply again in the same academic year to a course from which you have been rejected.

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Will my supporting documents be returned after I have made my application?

Documents that are sent to the Graduate Admissions Office cannot be returned. This includes original transcripts sent to us to meet a condition of your offer.

After an application has been processed all supporting documents are destroyed, in accordance with the University's data protection policy. Most universities will provide additional original documents, for a fee. If you will need your documents again, please ensure that you have more than one copy before making your application. Alternatively, you can send us certified copies of your documents. You should send these in the post. A certified copy should have an original ink stamp confirming that it is a true copy of the original, together with an ink signature. We are able to accept copies certified by:

a) the Institution which issued the original document
b) a lawyer/solicitor/attorney
c) a commissioner for oaths

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I have started my online application, why am I unable to upload my supporting documents?

You will not be able to upload supporting documents until after you have submitted your application and received your Self-Service log-in details.

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Where do I send supporting documents?

Please upload your supporting documentation via your self-service account. You will receive details of how to log into your self-service only after you have submitted your application form. We will not accept emailed documentation. If documents cannot be uploaded they can be sent in the mail:

Applying on Paper

If you are made an offer of admission you will be asked to provide an original copy of your transcript.

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Why have I received an email stating that my application will be deleted within seven days?

If you create an online application and do not submit or update it for two weeks, you will receive a reminder allowing no more than 7 days in which to submit the application. If you do not submit your application within 7 days of receiving this email, your application will be deleted. This is an automated process and we cannot extend this 7 day period for any reason. If your application is deleted then we cannot re-activate it for you. However you may begin a new application provided the closing date for applications has not passed.

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The university I attended is not listed in the drop down menu - what do I do?

Please e-mail the Graduate Admissions Office, stating the institution's full name and postal address and we will add it to the drop down menu. Ensure that you enter 'University Missing' in the subject box of the email. It will be available for you to select from the menu 24 hours after it has been added to the database. E-mails should be sent to:

Graduate Admissions Team (graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk)

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I am a Cambridge University undergraduate, do I need to upload a transcript?

No, you are not required to provide a transcript. Please refer to your Self-Service. Under the link 'documents you need to send us' and click on the arrow next to the transcript requirement, or use the document linked below.

University of Cambridge Undergraduate Transcript Declaration Form

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How do I upload Digitary transcripts?

Digitary is a software system used by the University to authenticate official electronic transcripts. Once a transcript has been validated it can be uploaded by the Graduate Admissions Office to an online application.

Digitary transcripts should be e-mailed direct from the institution to:

Digitary Transcripts (bgstranscripts@admin.cam.ac.uk)

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I am unable to submit my application as I get a message saying that my payment was unsuccessful, what do I do?

If possible, you should wait and try again the following day. If the problem persists, please contact your bank. Alternatively, you may wish to ask permission from a friend or family member in order to pay online using their card details.

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When I try to submit my application, I get an error message telling me my research proposal exceeds the maximum length, but it is already less than 14 lines, what can I do?

Please ensure that you do not copy and paste into the box. Do not use any unusual or foreign characters, and note that lines between paragraphs count towards the line limit.

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I am confused about the deadline for my application and supporting documents. Can you help?

ALL APPLICANTS HAVE 14 DAYS FROM SUBMISSION OF THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM TO PROVIDE THEIR SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS.

You should submit your online application form by the course deadline or by the funding deadline, whichever is the earliest date.

You must submit your online application form before midnight (UK time) on the deadline date specified. However we recommend that you submit well before the deadline, to allow time for any unforeseen circumstances or technical problems. Please note that our office is only able to answer calls between 10am and 4pm UK time, Monday to Friday.

The possible deadlines to consider are:

Course deadline: You must submit your online application form before the course deadline listed in the qualifications directory:

Qualifications Directory
You have an additional 14 days after the after the submission of your online application form in which to provide your supporting documents, regardless of the date you submitted your application.

Funding deadline: If you wish to apply for funding, you must submit your online application form before the funding deadline:

Funding Your Studies

You will have an additional 14 days after the submission of your application, to provide your supporting documents, regardless of the date you submitted your application.

Scenario 1:

You are not applying for funding. If the course deadline is 15th February and you submitted your online application form on 1st January, this means that the deadline for receipt of supporting documents is 15th January.

Scenario 2:

You are not applying for funding. If the course deadline is 15th February and you submitted your application on 14th February, this means that the deadline for receipt of supporting documents is 28th February.

Scenario 3:

You are not applying for funding. If the course deadline is 15th February and you wish to submit your application on 16th February, you have missed the course deadline and will not be able to apply.

Scenario 4:

You wish to apply for funding. If the course deadline is 15th February, the funding deadline is 11th January and you submitted your application on 10th January, this means that the deadline for receipt of supporting documents is 24th January.

Scenario 5:

You wish to apply for funding. If the course deadline is 15th February, the funding deadline is 11th January and you submitted your application on 1st December of the previous year, this means that the deadline for receipt of supporting documents is 15th December.

Scenario 6:

If the course deadline is 15th February, the funding deadline is 11th January, and you submitted your application on 15th January. The deadline for receipt of supporting documents is 29th January. You have missed the deadline to be considered for funding, however your application for admission will still be considered by the department.


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I have been asked to upload a transcript but I am still studying and do not have a final transcript. What should I do?

Please just upload an interim transcript of your courses/results so far. Your university should be able to provide you with one. It can be an unofficial transcript at the application stage, however if you are later made an offer then we will ask you to provide the original final transcript (or certified copy) by post.

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What do I do if I cannot submit my supporting documents by the deadline on my Self-Service?

The deadline shown on your self-service for receipt of supporting documents is always 14 days after you have submitted your application. If you cannot meet this deadline then you must submit your documents as soon as you can. However, PLEASE NOTE that your application may not be considered if you provide supporting documents more than 14 days after the course or funding deadline.

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I have submitted my supporting documents, how long will it take the department to consider my application?

The processing of graduate applications can be complex and time-consuming, and you may have to wait for some time for a decision to be made on your application. Once a decision has been made, this will be reflected in your Graduate Admission Self-Service account. If you do receive a conditional offer of admission from the University, BGS will seek college membership on your behalf. Please note that colleges continue to make decisions throughout the summer months.

Timescales

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I am having difficulty uploading my supporting documents, what do I do?

Please read the guidance provided on page 20 of the "Guide to using Graduate Applicant Self Service". If you are still unable to upload your documents then send them by hard copy following the instructions on page 21.

Guide to using Graduate Applicant Self-Service

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I have recently sent my application/documents to the Graduate Admissions Office. Have they arrived?

Due to the volume of post received by the Graduate Admissions Office each day, we are unable to confirm receipt of documents. Please note that mail can take several weeks to arrive in the UK if sent from overseas.

Please also note that it can take a number of weeks for applications and documents to be processed at busy times of the year.

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I have recently sent my application/documents to the Graduate Admissions Office. When will they be uploaded to my application?

It can take a number of weeks for applications and documents to be processed at busy times of the year.

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I have not received my self service log in details - what do I do?

Please check your junk email folder. If you do not receive your log in details within 3 days of submitting payment for your application please contact the Graduate Admissions Office, using the email address below, and including the text 'password' in the subject box of your email. You will need to quote the payment reference number provided in your payment confirmation email (AZBB followed by 7 digits).

Graduate Admissions Team (graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk)

I have forgotten/misplaced my log-in details for Camsis. What should I do?

You can request a new password on the Self-Service homepage. However if you have misplaced all of your log-in details, please send an e-mail stating your name, date of birth, course and application number to:

Graduate Admissions Team (graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk)

Ensure that you enter Password Request in the subject box.

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How can I track the progress of my application?

Whether you are an online or paper applicant, you will have access to a Self-Service account which you can use to upload documents, track the progress of your application, and carry out relevant actions such as accepting a conditional offer, or changing your contact details. It is important that you check your Self-Service regularly as it is the primary way in which we will communicate with you.

Status of Your Application

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How long will it take for me to receive a decision?

It may be several months before the department makes a decision on your application, especially for those departments who consider applications after the course deadline. Once the department and degree committee have made a decision, this will need to be approved by the Board of Graduate Studies. It may take up to 7 days from Degree Committee approval for your application to be approved by the Board of Graduate Studies. Please note that colleges will not receive your application until a conditional offer of admission has been made by the Board of Graduate Studies.

Your Self-service account will be updated once a decision has been processed.

Timescales


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Can I change my college preferences?

Please see the college membership page:

College Membership

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I have uploaded my documents but they have not been removed from the list of "documents you need to send us" on my self-service. Why?

It can sometimes take up to 24 hours for your self-service to be updated. Documents may not disappear from the list if you have used an incorrect document category. If this is the case, please upload them again using the correct category.

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How can I be sure that all of my supporting documents have been submitted successfully?

If all of your documents have been submitted successfully, the link "documents you need to send us" will disappear from your self-service within 24 hours of receipt of the final document. If you have received an offer, when a condition has been met it will disappear from the "View Offer Conditions/Comments" link on your Self-Service. After all conditions have been met, your admission will be confirmed. Please note that it can take up to 5 working days for us to process uploaded documents at the post-offer stage. If you have posted documents to us for processing then it may take a little longer. If documents are deemed not to meet the condition set, we will leave you a message on your self-service account.

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Which category should I use to upload my documents?

Please note that you are only required to upload the documents listed on your self-service under the "documents you need to send us" link. Or, if you have been made an offer, those listed under the "View Offer Conditions/Comments" link. You can click on the arrow next to the item in your self-service to expand the description. Here it will tell you which document category to use.

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I would like to delete or replace a document that I have uploaded to my Self-Service, what do I do?

You cannot delete documents that you have uploaded. If you have uploaded a duplicate document, do not worry, this will not affect your application. If you wish to replace a document you have uploaded, please just upload the new document, using the correct category. If you feel it necessary, you may upload an explanatory note which will help us identify which document is the correct one.

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I entered an incorrect email address for my referee when I submitted my application, what should I do?

Your referee should submit their references to us directly on paper. Instructions on how to do this can be found on our website.

Sending in a paper reference

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My referee has not received the email link - what do I do?

After you have submitted your application it can take up to 30 hours for your referee to receive the email link. If it has been more than 30 hours:

1) The email could have fallen into the spam folder of the referee in question. Please contact the referee directly and ask them to check their security settings etc.

2) Your referee can enter his/her email address into the 'Graduate References Log In' page below and click on 'Forgotten password?'. This will generate a password for the referee to log-in with.

Graduate References Log In

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My referee is having difficulty accessing the electronic referencing system. What can I advise them?

1) Your referee should ensure that the email address they are trying to log on with is the same email address from which they received their reference request from us.

2) If they still cannot access the electronic email referencing system they should submit their references to us directly on paper. Instructions on how to do this can be found on our website.

Sending in a paper reference

Please note: We cannot accept references sent by email.

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My referee tells me they have uploaded a reference but it is still showing as outstanding on my Self-Service, what should I do?

If more than 24 hours has passed, then you should check that your referee has fully completed the reference process (ask them to log in again and check that all steps have been completed). Once the reference has been successfully submitted, both applicant and referee should receive an email confirming this. If you have received an email more than 24 hours ago confirming the reference was successfully submitted, and it is still showing as outstanding, please email the Graduate Admissions Office.

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I want to change my referees, what should I do?

If you would like to amend the details of your referee, please upload a statement via your self-service account under the category "correspondence (pre-decision)" stating the details of your new referee and the reasons for the change.

Your new referee will be required to submit the reference on paper. Instructions on how to do this can be found on our website.

If the paper reference is expected to arrive later than the requested deadline please notify your department.

Sending in a paper reference

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Can I upload additional references?

You should only include the number of references specified in your application. However, you may contact the relevant department direct and ask if they would be willing to consider additional references.

If the department agrees, you should contact your referees directly and request that they submit their references to you on paper. You should then forward the reference to the Graduate Admissions Office using the cover sheet on your Self-Service. Instructions on how to do this can be found on our website.

Applying on Paper

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I will be unable to meet my offer conditions by 31 July, what do I do?

If you have made an application to start in October, we strongly recommend that you meet your offer conditions by 31 July. If this is not possible, you should try to meet the conditions as soon as possible after this date. The earlier you meet your conditions, the better, to allow for time to make accommodation and visa arrangements, if required.

If your current course finishes after 31 July and the condition we have set requires that you complete your degree, you should ask the Registrar of your university to send us a formal letter (signed, and on headed paper) at the earliest possible date, stating that all three of the following conditions have been met:

a) you have completed all work in relation to your current studies
b) you have submitted your thesis (or that no thesis is required for your course)
c) you have no outstanding financial obligations to your current institution

Please note that a letter giving a future date when the thesis will be submitted will not be sufficient to satisfy the condition.

If the condition we have set requires that you achieve a particular standard in your Masters (including a Pass) and you will not have confirmation of the result before 31 July, please email the Graduate Admissions Office to inform us of your situation.

Graduate Admissions Team (graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk)


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Who can certify copies of my documents?

Documents that are sent to the Graduate Admissions Office cannot be returned. This includes original transcripts sent to us to meet a condition of your offer.

After an application has been processed all supporting documents are destroyed, in accordance with the University's data protection policy. Most universities will provide additional original documents, for a fee. If you will need your documents again, please ensure that you have more than one copy before making your application. Alternatively, you can send us certified copies of your documents. You should send these in the post. A certified copy should have an original ink stamp confirming that it is a true copy of the original, together with an ink signature. We are able to accept copies certified by:

a) the Institution which issued the original document
b) a lawyer/solicitor/attorney
c) the British Council
d) a commissioner for oaths

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I have applied for funding. Do I need to wait to hear if I have been successful before completing my Financial Undertaking Form?

If you are able to finance your studies yourself, you may upload your completed financial undertaking form straight away stating that you are self-financing. However, under no circumstances should you sign this form if you are in any doubt whatsoever about whether you have sufficient funds for your fees and living costs. If there is any doubt, then you should wait until funding is confirmed before completing the form and uploading evidence of your funding.

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When will I hear if my application for funding has been successful?

The funding bodies will be contacting applicants directly to let them know if they have been successful. For The Cambridge Trusts, this will be between late April and early July. For Gates, this will be early February for U.S. applicants and late March for all other eligible applicants.

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Can I change my college preferences/membership or decline college membership from a specific college?

Please see the college membership page:

College Membership

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Error message: "You are not authorized for this page". What do I do?

This is because you did not previously log out of your Raven account/self-service account. You should always log out of your accounts. To rectify the problem you should clear your cache and cookies on your browser. Please see the browser's help menu for information on how to do this.

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Error message: "Switch failed". What do I do?

This is because you did not previously log out of your Raven account/self-service account. You should always log out of your accounts. To rectify the problem you should clear your cache and cookies on your browser. Please see the browser's help menu for information on how to do this.

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Error message: "https://camsis.cam.ac.uk/psp/public_prod/EMPLOYEE/HRMS/c/UC_GRAD_WEB_APPL.UC _GAP_IDENTIFY.GBL." What should I do?

When you click on the Apply for Graduate Course link in Self-Service you are directed to the Graduate Admissions Office web site. Before you click on the 'Create a new online application' link please log out of Self-Service, this will prevent the error message.

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