Applying to Wolfson College
All Mature applicants follow the standard application procedure for the University of Cambridge, applying through UCAS.
Once your UCAS application has been received you will be prompted by email to complete a Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ). The email will give a link to the SAQ. You must submit this by 18:00 hrs (UK time) on the 22 October to make a valid application.
You must send copies of all certificates you have received for academic qualifications at A level (or equivalent) and above, as well as transcripts relating to any university study. We also recommend that applicants enrolled on Access Diplomas, Open University modules, Foundation Years and Certificates in Higher Education provide a detailed course syllabus. You should submit transcripts as part of the SAQ, or you can send them directly to the Undergraduate Administrator at Wolfson as a PDF attached to an email.
You must provide a Personal Statement and references. You may be asked to take an admissions assessment or submit written work. All students being considered for admission are invited to an interview, which will be held remotely via Zoom or similar platform again this year.
If you have a disability, a Specific Learning Difficulty, or a long-term health condition, you can find out more information on our Applying with a disability, SpLD r long-term health condition page.
Please note you must be 21 years old by 1 October in the year of entry to qualify as a Mature candidate and this rule of eligibility is strictly applied.
15 October: All undergraduate applications and the Graduate Course in Medicine (please note the additional information on the Graduate Course in Medicine below).
Earlier deadlines apply to applicants wishing to be interviewed overseas; please see the University of Cambridge website for details.
22 October: Applicants for the Graduate Course in Medicine must complete a separate online application in addition to their UCAS application and additional reference and submit them before the deadline of 22 October. More information is available on the University website.
22 October: Deadline for the submission of the SAQ. This must be submitted by 18:00 hrs (UK time).
Undergraduate applications received after this date will be held over to the next admissions round in March. You should note however that not all subjects take part in the March admissions round and that some funding opportunities may have an earlier deadline.
1 March: Many mature students returning to education, and especially those currently studying on a one-year access course, apply during our second admission round in March for some subjects (all courses except Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, History of Art, Law, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Veterinary Medicine).
The interviews will take place in the week of 21 March, dates to be confirmed. Please note all interviews for the March round will take place online, via Zoom or similar, and will consist of one or two interviews of up to 45 minutes. At-interview assessments will be arranged to take place remotely a week or so before the interviews, exact dates to be confirmed.
8 March: March round deadline for the submission of the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) and written work, if the subject requires it.
All March round decisions will be confirmed and sent out in April 2022.
- Mature students academic requirements
As a mature student at Cambridge you are expected to have achieved the same academic standards as those required of school leavers. The intensive nature of Cambridge courses, with the requirement to produce independent work every week, does require rigorous academic preparation. Therefore, if you do not already meet our academic entrance requirements, we would recommend a course of study such as an Access to HE Diploma, A level(s) or Open University work in order to enhance subject knowledge, essay writing, autonomous study and examinations skills. Further guidance on the above qualifications can be found on the University of Cambridge website. You may also find guidance for mature students on the UCAS website.
If unsure about the suitability of your qualifications for entry to Wolfson College, please contact our Undergraduate Administrator well in advance of an application.
We are looking for students with the academic ability and potential to flourish at Cambridge. The typical A level offer is A*AA or A*A*A, depending on the course (or equivalent grades in alternative qualifications). Competition for places at Cambridge is traditionally very strong, and Admissions Tutors have to choose between highly-qualified candidates. Places are offered to those who demonstrate greatest academic potential and who are best suited to the course for which they have applied. While grades are important, they comprise only part of our decision-making process. Other vital information includes:
Academic potential and aptitude. Specific subject requirements are given on our subjects pages. We will be looking for an indication of your ability to think critically and independently, and a willingness to argue logically, while remaining open to new ideas. Interviews require you to grapple with concepts, ideas or problems you may be unfamiliar with. Enthusiasm and commitment. We are looking for students who passionately want to immerse themselves in their subject and are not merely interested in the degree result at the end – important though this is. You may demonstrate this by the reading you have done around a subject, work experience and relevant extra-curricular activities. Motivation and self-discipline. The teaching and learning system at Cambridge requires students to be extremely self-disciplined and hard-working. Successfully balancing academic work with other commitments provides important evidence of your time management skills.
- Admissions assessments
As a mature student applying to Wolfson College you are required to register to take the pre-interview assessments for the following subjects: Medicine (the Biomedical Admission Test (BMAT), Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (you will need to register for the Natural Science Admissions Assessment (NSAA) if you are applying for Veterinary Medicine). Please follow these links for more information on Pre-Interview Assessments and information on how to register for a Pre-Interview Assessment.
Mature candidates for Land Economy or English applying as part of the overseas interview scheme must register for the relevant Pre-Interview Assessment.
The deadline to register for the BMAT is 1 October 2021 and for all other assessments 15 October. All pre-interview assessments are taken in early November.
For all other courses without a pre-interview assessment, you will take a common format written assessment if asked to interview at Wolfson. These will be held online for the 2022/23 admissions round.
- Written work
Applicants invited for interview in the following subjects will be asked to submit two pieces of written work:Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Archaeology, Classics, Education, English, Geography, History, History & Modern Languages, History & Politics, History of Art, Human Social & Political Sciences, Land Economy, Law, Linguistics, MML, Music, Theology Religion & Philosophy of Religion. Please see the relevant Subject page for more details.
In the December Round we will request this if you are invited for interview and for the March Round written work should be submitted by 8 March. Usually you should send two pieces of written work that you have produced as part of your current, or most recent, academic course. Ideally these will be marked by a teacher, tutor or lecturer, however this is not a requirement. If your course does not include any essay work, or you are not currently taking a relevant course, we would recommend that you complete sample essays between 1000-2000 words in your own time. Choose your own questions, or talk to a teacher. Please indicate clearly when and under what circumstances the work was done.
If requested, copies of marked essays should be sent via the Qualtrics link or directly to the Undergraduate Administrator as scanned PDF or Word-compatible documents via e-mail.
- Personal statement
The personal statement allows you to tell us about your subject interest, and the process of writing a personal statement can often help you better understand your own academic interests and intellectual motivations.
Admissions decisions at Cambridge are based solely on academic criteria (ability and potential). Personal statements are often used as a basis for discussion at interview. In a personal statement we are looking for you to explain your reasons for wanting to study the subject demonstrate your enthusiasm for and commitment to their chosen course express any particular interests within the field outline how you have pursued your interest in the subject in your own time.
You will be required to provide a reference from a Referee. Please share with your Referee(s) these Guidelines for Writing References for Oxbridge Applicants.
- Extenuating circumstances
The Cambridge Extenuating Circumstances Form has been designed to ensure that Cambridge Colleges have the information they require to accurately assess an applicant who has experienced particular personal or educational disadvantage. It must arrive by 22 October or 1 March, depending on the admissions round, and should be submitted via the Qualtrics link you will be sent as part of your application.
The majority of applicants to Wolfson College will have extenuating circumstances and we actively take the context of an applicant's background into consideration in all cases. For this reason, in many cases minor incidences can be noted in the Supplementary Application Questionnaire rather than submitting this separate form.
Circumstances it would be appropriate to inform us of via this form:
- a serious, acute or chronic medical condition (especially since the age of 14) which caused significant educational disruption
- significant caring responsibilities, or recent bereavement or serious illness within close family
- living independently of the family (estranged students)
- any kind of serious disruption due to adverse family circumstances serious disruption to educational provision at school/college
- where the applicant has been the victim of a serious crime other circumstances
- where serious disruption has occurred – the school/college, doctor or social worker is welcome to contact a College admissions office to discuss an applicant's particular circumstances
We look for potential as well as achievement in our applicants. Where this form can be used to explain past results or gaps in education, we still expect our applicants to have achieved, and be ready to achieve, the same academic standards as school leavers.
- Affiliated undergraduates
If you are a graduate with an approved degree from another university (equivalent to grade 2:1 in a UK BA or BSc honours degree) you can apply to take a Cambridge BA course as an affiliated student. If your degree is from the EU or overseas, you may wish to contact the national agency for recognition of international qualifications, UK NARIC, to verify your eligibility for affiliated status.
Affiliated students take their BA degree in one year less than the standard route, for most subjects this means in two instead of three years.
Wolfson College is one of three colleges to consider affiliated applications for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. Those applying for the affiliated Medicine programme might also wish to consider the Cambridge Graduate Course in Medicine.
Affiliated applicants must follow the standard application procedure as stated on the University of Cambridge website. Also take a look at our Application Timeline for information specific to applying to Wolfson College.
Please note that affiliated applicants cannot submit an open application.
- Graduate Course in Medicine
The Graduate Course in Medicine is an accelerated four-year programme. The emphasis is the acquisition of clinical skills by direct patient contact in hospital and community environments, and the integration of core medical science with clinical medicine.Graduate Course in Medicine application form in addition to your UCAS application to apply for this course. The deadline for receipt of your UCAS application is 15 October 2021. The deadline for the completed Graduate Course in Medicine additional online application form and reference for 2022 entry is 22 October 2021.