University of Cambridge

Undergraduate

Study

Applying from outside the EU

All applicants to the University of Cambridge must complete a UCAS application and submit it to UCAS by the relevant deadline.

In addition to a UCAS application, applicants from outside the European Union (EU) must complete and submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA). Please note that there is an overseas application fee of £30 associated with the COPA. See COPA fees for further details.

In both your UCAS application and COPA, you should indicate the Cambridge College to which you wish to apply.

  • It is essential that your choice of Cambridge College on your UCAS application and COPA match. If there is a discrepancy, your choice of College on your UCAS application will take precedence.
  • If you have no preference for a particular College, you can choose to make an 'open' application (selecting the open application option in both your UCAS application and COPA), where your application is allocated by a computer program to a College. Please note that affiliated applicants must apply to a College - there is no open application route for affiliated applicants.
  • Please note that it is not possible under any circumstances to change your choice of Cambridge College/open application once you have submitted your UCAS application and COPA.

For most students applying for 2015 entry (or deferred entry in 2016), the deadline for receipt of their UCAS application and COPA is 15 October 2014. However, if you would like to be considered for interview in one of the countries where we conduct overseas interviews, earlier deadlines may apply.

What happens once I have submitted both my UCAS and COPA applications?

Once you have submitted your UCAS application, you will receive an email from us directing you to complete the Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) by a specific deadline. You must log in to the SAQ and enter the COPA Reference Number you received when you submitted the COPA. Your application to the University will not be valid until you have submitted the SAQ as well.

Application process

Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for the email containing your COPA Reference Number to come through. It will also take a short time for your UCAS application to be processed, so you will not receive the email containing details of the SAQ immediately. In both instances, please regularly check both the email inbox and 'junk'/'spam' folder of the email account you have given in your UCAS application and COPA.

You may be required to submit academic transcripts for your application to the University of Cambridge to be valid. To determine whether you are required to submit transcripts, please see our Transcript submission page.

Interviews

All applicants who have a realistic chance of being offered a place are invited to attend an interview. The University conducts a number of interviews overseas and for 2015 entry (or deferred entry in 2016) these will take place in Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

Please note the following restrictions:

  • if interviews are held in your home or school country, you can only request an interview in that country or in Cambridge – applicants for Architecture, History of Art, Classics and Music are advised to apply to be considered for an interview in Cambridge
  • interviews in Canada are only available to applicants who are resident or at school/University in Canada or who are Canadian nationals resident elsewhere
  • interviews in Hong Kong are only available to applicants who are domiciled, permanently resident or at school/University in the special administrative region of Hong Kong
  • interviews in Australia are only available to applicants who are resident or currently at school/University in Australia, New Zealand, or a Pacific Island

Applicants from other Asian countries (such as Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Taipei, Thailand and the Maldives) are invited to apply to be considered for interview either in Singapore or in Cambridge.

Applicants who are eligible to be interviewed in a country listed above are strongly advised to apply by the appropriate deadline (see below) and request an interview in that country.  There is no advantage to being interviewed in Cambridge.

A reasonable standard in spoken English is required at the time of interview. Please check our English language requirements page. 

Overseas interviewers are academic experts with a broad range of subject expertise and experience in admissions who are appointed by the Colleges of the University of Cambridge to interview applicants on their behalf. Many of them are current or recent Admissions Tutors and Senior Tutors with considerable experience in comparing fields of applicants across subjects. For more information on interviews see our main Interviews pages.

If you are selected for an interview outside the UK, you will be required to pay an interview fee of £130. Further information on this payment and when to pay it will be provided in the correspondence inviting you to attend an interview.

If you would like to be considered for interview overseas, both your COPA and UCAS application must be submitted by the appropriate date, as below:

Application deadlines
20 September 2014
  • Students who would like to be interviewed in China, Malaysia, or Singapore
15 October 2014
  • Students who would like to be interviewed in Cambridge
  • Students who are resident or currently at school/University in Australia, New Zealand, or a Pacific Island who would like to be interviewed in Australia
  • Students who are resident or at school/University in Canada or who are Canadian nationals resident elsewhere who would like to be interviewed in Canada
  • Students who are domiciled, permanently resident or at school/University in the SAR of Hong Kong who would like to be interviewed in Hong Kong

Application timetable

Please see the main Applying to Cambridge section for full details about the application and selection process.

Date Application process
March 2014 onwards Research the courses available at Cambridge and consider your College or open application choice.
May 2014 onwards If, having looked at the information online, you have identified a College you would like to apply to, write informally to the Admissions Tutor of that College (names and addresses are given in College profiles), informing him/her of your plans and circumstances. Please give as much information as possible about the courses/qualifications you are currently studying/have completed in your own country, the scores you are achieving/have achieved and the course you wish to study at Cambridge, to enable the Tutor to assess your academic potential.
July-October 2014 Complete and submit your COPA together with the appropriate application fee. Open applications are processed by computer program and are allocated to Colleges shortly after the closing date (15 October), which thereafter take over the admissions process and will contact you directly. You must also submit a UCAS application by the relevant deadline.
20 September 2014 Students who would like to be interviewed in China, Malaysia, or Singapore:
15 October 2014 Students who would like to be interviewed in Australia*, Cambridge, Canada* or Hong Kong*: *restrictions apply (see 'interviews' above)
22 October 2014 Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) must have been submitted by 12pm noon (GMT)
September-December 2014 Applicants are interviewed. Overseas applicants may be asked to submit samples of their work/sit admissions tests. See Interviews and Additional Work or Tests for further information.
Late January 2015 Applicants are notified of decisions. The possibilities are:
  • application unsuccessful
  • the offer of a conditional place, subject to obtaining specified examination grades
  • the offer of an unconditional place
October 2015 Academic year starts