a group of last year's 21 plus students in Wolfson's combination room

Cambridge 21+

Cambridge 21+ is a hybrid residential programme for mature students who have never been to university before.

a group of last year's 21 plus students in Wolfson's combination room

Run by the three ‘mature’ colleges of Cambridge – St. Edmund’sHughes Hall, and Wolfson – the programme is designed to help home fee status, mature students (who will be 21 or over when they start their course), to make a competitive application to study an undergraduate degree at the University of Cambridge.

Going to university as a mature student can be a daunting prospect, so our annual Cambridge 21+ programme is here to support you and give you a taste of life as a Cambridge student.

If you are considering applying to Cambridge and want more information on the mature student experience, individual advice from our Admissions staff, support with study skills, careers advice, and to meet other prospective mature students, apply to join the programme today! 

Register here: https://forms.office.com/e/2bDKmkQnHd


The Virtual programme, 2-11 May 2023

The Virtual Programme will take place on 2nd, 4th, 9th, and 11th May 2023 via our online streaming service. Each session is held from 6pm (UK time) and is an hour long. Where possible, sessions will be recorded and available to view afterwards.

Tuesday 2 May – Cambridge University explained

  • Breaking down myths about the University of Cambridge
  • What is a Cambridge College?
  • Why choose Cambridge as a mature student?
  • What will you gain from an undergraduate degree?

Thursday 4 May – What makes a successful Cambridge applicant?

  • Find out from Admissions Tutors what makes a successful applicant
  • What does Cambridge mean by extra-curriculars?
  • How do we teach at Cambridge and what do we mean by the supervision system?
  • Does the assessment process differ for mature applicants?

Tuesday 9 May – Getting started on your application

  • Identify what skills are needed to write a compelling application
  • Reflect on your previous experience and how it can enhance your personal statement
  • Discover resources and tips to help you get started on your application
  • Understand academic support at Cambridge

Thursday 11 May – Funding your degree

  • Explaining Student Finance: loans and course fees
  • The Cambridge Bursary
  • Hear from current students on how they manage their finances
  • Work and study balance at Cambridge


The Residential programme, 5-7July 2023

The Residential Programme is in-person and will take place from 5-7 July. Participants are invited to stay for two nights at one of the mature colleges and to take part in academic and social events. These activities may include:

  • Panel session with current students
  • Study skills sessions
  • Tours of all three mature colleges
  • Formal Hall dinner (a fun Cambridge tradition)
  • Punting on the river Cam
  • The chance to attend departmental visits as part of the University’s Undergraduate Open Day

Accommodation and food are provided by the colleges and are free of charge for participants. Support for travel costs is available to those who meet certain criteria.

The residential programme is an opportunity to see if Cambridge is the right place for you and offers a bespoke way for you to engage with the University as a mature student applicant.


Who is eligible for Cambridge 21+?

Both the virtual and residential aspects of the programme are open to students who meet the following criteria:

  • Will be applying for their first undergraduate degree, or are considering applying to Cambridge’s Foundation Year in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
  • Qualify for ‘Home fee status'.
  • Will be aged 21 or over on 1 October 2024.

Please note that places for the residential element are limited, and those undertaking the first stage of the programme are not guaranteed a place. Selection for the residential programme will be undertaken separately in May/June 2023.

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please contact our Outreach and Student Recruitment Officer.

You can see a report of how the 21 Plus programme ran successfully in 2022.

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