Frequently Asked Questions

This page aims to answer some of the more common questions that are asked by potential applicants. If you would like further information please contact the Undergraduate Administrator (ugadministrator, who will be happy to help you.

Which courses ​are taught at Wolfson College?

Wolfson admits undergraduates for all subjects except Mathematics, Economics and the combination of Computer Science with Mathematics.

It is one of only four colleges to accept applicants for the Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine, or for affiliated entry to Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

Should I take A-Levels?

The majority of school leavers come to Cambridge with A levels (or an international equivalent) and many mature students choose to do the same. For some courses, especially in the sciences, specific subjects are a requirement and it is difficult to find alternative qualifications; for others, it is sometimes reassuring for mature students to know that they have followed the same syllabus and attained a comparable standard to their younger peers.

Should I take an Access to Higher Education Diploma?

Access to HE Diplomas are formally recognised as qualifications for admission to most arts subjects. In any Access to HE Diploma you will achieve 60 credits with 45 of those credits at Level 3. We would be looking for a distinction grade in each relevant subject unit. In addition, you will need to check that your Access to HE Diploma meets any specific subject requirements imposed by your chosen College. If you wish to enquire about the suitability of any particular Access to HE Diploma course, please ask your course provider to send you a detailed outline of the content, structure and assessment procedure, which can then be emailed to the Undergraduate Administrator along with an educational CV.

It is a good idea to declare your intention to apply to Cambridge when you enrol on an Access to HE Diploma, so that your tutors will know what you are aiming for, and can advise and support you accordingly.

In most instances, an Access to HE Diploma alone is not sufficient preparation to study a science subject (except Psychology and Behavioural Sciences) or Economics at Cambridge.

Will the minimum pre-medical requirements and a good pass in the BMAT examination be suitable requirements for a place to read Medicine?

Although the minimum pre-medical requirements are all that is formally required to be considered for the medicine course, to make a competitive application it is desirable for at least three science/maths subjects to be offered at A level. To put this into perspective, mature applicants are in direct competition with school-leavers who have achieved at least AAA in three science/maths subjects at A level.

All mature and affiliated medical students applying to the mature Colleges are expected to have passed A level Chemistry or its equivalent.

We also look for relevant healthcare experience from applicants. You should look to support your application with proof of sustained and varied experience of over a year or more in patient care in order to show your commitment to the course.

Can I transfer from another University?

Under existing regulations it is not possible to transfer from another University directly onto a Cambridge degree course, or to take into account credit accumulated elsewhere. Work undertaken as part of another degree course would be taken into consideration within an application, but it can only be regarded in preparatory terms for a degree course that is started afresh. When you contact us to ask about an application, we will ask for details about the grades you obtained at your previous University. If the subject you wish to study at Cambridge is the same as that studied at another institution, we will need a letter from your current University Tutor confirming your reasons for wishing to apply to us.

What if I have a disability or chronic illness?

We welcome applications from disabled students and will do all that we can to accommodate you. Please contact us well in advance of an application to discuss any supporting facilities that the College or University could provide.

The University has a Disability Resource Centre offering specialist help, information and advice to people with a disability or chronic illness.

Can I apply through Clearing or the adjustment period?

The University of Cambridge does not normally enter Clearing and does not participate in the adjustment period. If your examination results are much better than expected and you decide that you wish to try for a place at Cambridge, you will need to apply within the following year’s application round.

Who should write my reference?

Ideally, your UCAS reference should be written by someone who is familiar with your academic work, as well as your recent history. For example a teacher on a recent relevant further education course. If this is not possible, you should ask a responsible person who knows you. This could be an employer, training officer, careers adviser, or senior colleague in employment or voluntary work.

What if my first language is not English?

It is essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that is taught and examined in English. Therefore, if your first language is not English, you may be asked to achieve one of the following formal qualifications as part of the conditions of your offer:

  • EU students - a high grade in English taken as part of a leaving examination (e.g. the European/French Baccalaureate, Abitur etc) may be acceptable
  • IELTS - a minimum overall grade of 7.5, with 7.0 in each element
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - grade A or B
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency - grade A, B or C
  • Singapore Integrated Programme (SIP) - may be considered an acceptable English language qualification

A reasonable standard in spoken English is also required at the time of interview. For example, an overall IELTS score of 6.0 for sciences or 6.5 for arts and social sciences would be regarded as a reasonable score at the point of application.

How old are Wolfson undergraduates?

We accept applicants who will be twenty-one or over at the time of their admission to Cambridge (October 1 in any given year). The majority of our students are in their twenties, but we also regularly admit undergraduates in their thirties, forties and beyond. No matter where you fall on this scale, you will find that Wolfson, both socially and academically, has been tailored to your needs.

Will I be offered accommodation?

Yes. We can accommodate undergraduate students for the duration of their studies.

If you wish to live in College with young children, the College has five dedicated family units on site, but demand for these sometimes exceeds supply. If you are applying with a family, you are advised to contact the Admissions Office for advice about available accommodation.

Do I have to live in Cambridge?

The University requires that all undergraduates remain in residence during Full Term. This means that you should live within three miles of central Cambridge, although with permission from the Senior Tutor our students are in exceptional cases allowed to live within a ten mile radius of the College. We find this rule is more helpful than it may at first sound, because commuting is an additional drain on time that no Cambridge student can afford. It is also more difficult to take part in University and College activities if you live at a distance.