library tea and cake


Recognising that mature students often have unconventional academic credentials, we look for students with potential and who are best suited to the course for which they have applied.

library tea and cake

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 the My Cambridge Application form. The email will give a link to the form.(Note that applicants for Graduate Medicine do not complete the "My Cambridge Application" form, but will be prompted by e-mail to complete a different online form). See below for deadlines.

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 such transcripts as part of My Cambridge Application (or the equivalent for Graduate Medicine).

A Personal statement and reference must be provided as part of your UCAS application. 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. 

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 or 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.


Deadlines and Dates

Main Round (all subjects)

September: In some subjects, registration deadlines for assessments (see the Admissions assessments dropdown below)

15 October: Undergraduate UCAS application deadline for all courses including the Graduate Course in Medicine. This must be submitted by 18:00 hrs (UK time).

22 October: Deadline for the submission of "My Cambridge Application" (or for Graduate Medicine an equivalent online form). This must be submitted by 18:00 hrs (UK time).

3 November: In some subjects, deadline for submission of written work (see the Written work dropdown below)

December: Interviews held in early December for all subjects except Graduate Medicine.

Jan/Feb: Interviews held for Graduate Medicine.


March Round (all subjects except Architecture, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Engineering, History of Art, Law, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Natural Sciences, Philosophy and Veterinary Medicine)

1 March: Many mature students returning to education, and especially those currently studying on a one-year access course, can apply during our second admission round in March for some subjects . This later application deadline is 1st March.

8 March: March round deadline for the submission of the My Cambridge Application form, and written work if the subject requires it.

March: Interviews held in late March.


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 by email at 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: Law (the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT), 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-Registration Assessments and information on how to register for a Pre-Registration Assessment.

The deadline to register for the LNAT is 15 September 2022 and for all other assessments 30 September 2022. All pre-interview assessments are taken in mid-October (the LNAT can be taken from 1 September but must be taken by 15 October).

Most other courses have a college-registered assessment. In these subjects you will take a common format written assessment if asked to interview at Wolfson. These will be held online, mostly in late November.

Note that there is no admissions assessment for Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic,or Land-Economy.

Written work

Applicants for following subjects will be asked to submit written work by November 3rd.


Archaeology Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit one piece of written work. This should be in essay format (not science coursework or a timed exam) with a word limit of up to 1500 words. The work can be extracted from an EPQ.
Architecture  All Colleges will ask Architecture applicants to submit a PDF (6 A4 pages, and less than 15MB in size) of their own artwork. The selection of images should, in part, reflect material you might bring to interview as part of your portfolio.
ASNaC Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.
Classics Applicants to all Colleges (for both the three and four year course) are required to submit two pieces of written work.
Education Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work. This should be in essay format (not science coursework or a timed exam) and can be extracted from an EPQ.
English Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.
History Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work. 
History & Politics Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.
History and Modern Languages Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work. If you are applying for a post-A Level language, one piece of written work should be in the language you intend to study.
HSPS Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.
Land Economy Applicants are required to submit two pieces of written work. 
Law Applicants are required to submit one piece of written work.
Linguistics Applicants are required to submit two pieces of written work.
MML Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work. These should be recent examples of writing completed for school, one of which should be in one of the languages you intend to study at University. 
Music Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit representative written work and musical material. This should include one essay on the history or analysis of music; and one technical exercise (if studied) or your own composition.
Philosophy Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.
Theology Applicants to all Colleges are required to submit two pieces of written work.

No written work is required for Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Computer Science, Chemical Engineering, Engineering, Geography, History of Art, Medicine, Natural Sciences (Bio), PBS, Vet Med

In the Main Admissions Round written work must be submitted by 3rd November (in the March Round by 8th March).

Usually you should send 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.

Written work should be uploaded via the Qualtrics form (applicants in relevant subjects will be sent a link) as scanned PDF or Word documents.

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.


As part of your UCAS application 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.

Note that applicants for Graduate Medicine will need to have a second referee. You will give us details of that second referee when you complete the additional form by 22nd October, and we will then contact them and send them guidelines.

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. UK students 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. 

The Graduate Course in Medicine (A101) is open only to applicants who qualify for UK Home fee status.  For information about fee status, see here

Please note that you must complete a separate online form in addition to your UCAS application to apply for this course. This additional form includes a healthcare experience log and also seeks an additional reference. The deadline for receipt of your UCAS application is 15 October. The deadline for the completed additional online application form is 22 October. Those who submit the UCAS application by the deadline will be sent the link for the supplementary form.