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Graduate Admissions

 

Last updated: 20 May 2020

 

The University of Cambridge is carefully monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and recognise that its impact may create uncertainty for our offer holders and future students.

This webpage will be updated when new information becomes available, so we encourage applicants and offer-holders to check this page regularly. We would also encourage you to pay close attention to the guidance issued by the authorities in your home country, and the University's dedicated page: www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus.

We want to reassure applicants and offer-holders that Cambridge is planning to be open for teaching and research for the start of the next academic year, and we are committed to doing all we can to protect the health and safety of our staff and students.

The impact of social distancing is likely to mean that we will not be able to deliver all our teaching and learning as we usually do, and some teaching may need to be delivered online. We will work hard to ensure that students can benefit from the experiences that enrich student life at Cambridge, and you will hear more about our plans in the coming months. However teaching is delivered, we will do all we can to ensure that the University continues to provide our students with the highest quality education and offers the best possible experience during their time with Cambridge.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have prepared answers to some of the most frequently asked coronavirus-related questions below. If you have a question you don't see the answer to, you can find more answers on our general FAQ pages.

Information for applicants

Q. Can I call you to discuss my enquiry?

Due the University wide closure we are no longer able to answer phone enquiries. We ask that you bear with us at this difficult time, and we will continue to post updates on the website, social media and send emails as soon as we have more information. If you still need to contact us, please do so by submitting an enquiry form. We aim to respond to your enquiry within 5 working days, however we are processing a high volume of emails so there may be a delay in our response. 

Q. Can I still submit an application to study?

Yes, we are still accepting applications for some courses starting in the academic year 2020/21, so please check the application deadline for your course of interest in the Course Directory and visit our how to apply page for guidance.

Information for offer-holders

Q. Will the new academic year still start in Michaelmas Term?

The University and the Colleges will welcome students to Cambridge for the start of the next academic year, guided always by advice from Public Health England. We are committed to continuing to deliver high-quality education to all our students and to delivering a rich student experience while ensuring that we respond effectively to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small group teaching - supervisions, seminars or individual tuition - is at the heart of our educational provision and will continue in person as much as possible. Given the likely need for continued social distancing, we have decided to suspend mass lectures in person for the next academic year. Lectures will be available online; this system is already in place in some University Departments. Lectures are only one part of the rich education that Cambridge offers and freeing space in lecture halls will allow us to concentrate on delivering small group teaching, lab work and practicals.

Colleges are planning to offer a wide range of activities and will work hard to build up community life, even in the midst of social distancing.

There remains a great deal of uncertainty about the likely course of the pandemic and its impact on universities. We will keep our plans under regular review. Our objective is to restore the full teaching programme as soon as possible, and if we are able to do this sooner than currently anticipated, we will.

Q. Can I call you to discuss my enquiry?

Due the University wide closure we are no longer able to answer phone enquiries. We ask that you bear with us at this difficult time, and we will continue to post updates on the website, social media and send emails as soon as we have more information. If you still need to contact us, please do so by submitting an enquiry form. We aim to respond to your enquiry within 5 working days, however we are processing a high volume of emails so there may be a delay in our response.

Q. I haven't received an offer yet, is this due to the Coronavirus?

The Graduate Admissions Office are still issuing offers of admission, however due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) there may be some delays. Please continue to check the Applicant Portal for updates.

Q. When will I hear about my funding application?

For those applicants who have applied for funding through the Applicant Portal, the funding bodies are continuing to allocate awards according to their usual time frame. Over 300 offers of funding have already been made by the major University funders.

Although some University funding bodies, including the Cambridge Trust, continue to offer awards until July, we recommend that you explore alternative sources if you still need funding.

Please note the Graduate Admissions Office does not process funding applications, and as such we are unable to provide you with information relating to the status of your funding application.

For more information on the competition, please visit Graduate Funding Competition page.

For information on possible funding options, please visit https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Q. I can’t provide my documents before the 31 July offer conditions deadline – can I have an extension?

In recognition of the disruption you may be experiencing, we have extended the offer conditions deadline to 21 August 2020 for all offer holders.

If you are unable to meet this new deadline but believe that you will be able to meet your offer conditions before your course commences, then a request for an extension beyond 21 August 2020 may be considered. Please submit requests to graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Q. Can I post you my documents?

Please do not send us any documents by post until further notice, you should upload all documents via your self-service account. To meet the academic conditions of your offer, and if your institution has this facility, you should share your academic documents via a secure electronic transcript system (e.g. Digitary or HEAR) if your institution has this facility. You should request the relevant system to share a link with us via bgstranscripts@admin.cam.ac.uk so that we can access and view your transcript online. If your institution does not have this facility you should upload your original certified transcripts to the Self-Service portal.

Please refer to section 3.5 of the offer conditions guide on how to provide these. There may be a delay in processing documents, please continue to check your self-service portal regularly.

Q. I have already posted my transcripts but they haven’t been processed.

All post arriving at the Graduate Admissions Office since 23 March 2020 is being held by the delivery service as we are unable to access the University buildings. You should not send any further documents by post, but upload documents via the self-service portal instead.

Q. One of my offer conditions is to provide a hard-copy original of my final transcript by post. Do I still need to provide this?

Please do not send us any documents by post until further notice, you should upload all documents via your self-service account. To meet the academic conditions of your offer, you should share your academic documents via a secure electronic transcript system (e.g. Digitary or HEAR) if your institution has this facility. You should request the relevant system to share a link with us via bgstranscripts@admin.cam.ac.uk so that we can access and view your transcript online. If your institution does not have this facility you should upload your original certified transcripts to the Self-Service portal.

Please refer to section 3.5 of the offer conditions booklet on how to provide these. There may be a delay in processing documents, please continue to check your self-service portal regularly.

Q. I cannot complete my undergraduate or postgraduate course and/or provide my final transcript because my education has been disrupted or my university has closed. What do I do?

If you have received an offer to study with us and are currently studying you will have been set a condition to provide your final transcript by the offer conditions deadline. The offer conditions deadline for Michaelmas Term 2020 entry has now been extended to 21 August 2020.

If you are unable to meet this new deadline but believe that you will be able to meet your offer conditions before your course commences, then a request for an extension beyond 21 August 2020 may be considered. Please submit requests to graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk.

If you are unable to meet your academic condition before the start of your course and cannot defer your entry to Lent or Easter Term, you may be permitted to start your course late. Please submit requests to graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Requests to defer entry to Michaelmas Term 2021 are not being considered at this time, and further advice on this will be provided later in the year.

Q. My institution has made changes to the examination process and is going to issue unclassified degrees. Will these be accepted as sufficient evidence to meet academic conditions?

The University recognises that there has been significant disruption to the current study of many students, and that assessment and examination processes may have changed. All academic grades, scores and classifications awarded to university graduates will therefore be recognised in the normal way even if the assessment methods have changed. Please upload the final results of your degree to the self-service portal in the normal way as instructed in the offer conditions booklet.

If you have been set an academic condition of achieving a certain grade, score or class in your current degree course (e.g. a First or a Distinction), and your institution is no longer offering that grade/score/class, please wait until you have received the final results of your degree then upload them to the self-service portal together with any evidence of the revised assessment/examination/marking scheme. The results will then be assessed together with the additional documentation by your prospective department.

Q. I need to book an English language test, but the test centre in my country is closed – what do I do?

If you have been set a condition to provide an IELTS or TOEFL test certificate you may be aware that test centres in some countries are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to the test centre closures we are now also accepting the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition Test which may be taken at home, subject to eligibility. The online test is the same format and level as the one you would take at a test centre. If you take this test, please upload your certificate in the normal way. If you successfully pass the test at the required level for your course, you will then be assessed remotely by the Language Centre (free of charge) before we complete the English Language offer condition.

If you are not able, or do not wish to take the above test, you should continue to check the availability of the TOEFL and IELTS test centres in your country. If your course starts in Michaelmas Term 2020 (October), the deadline to provide meet your offer conditions has been extended to 21 August 2020, so there is currently still time to provide a test certificate by this date. We recommend you check the following websites regularly for updates on language test centres.

Click for IELTS updates

Click for TOEFL updates

Q. I cannot submit my ATAS application. What should I do?

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the FCO has temporarily suspended applications for ATAS. You will need to wait until the Scheme re-opens. We will monitor updates from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and let you know when you are able to apply.

If you submitted your ATAS application prior to 6 April, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will continue to process it. Please allow for at least 30 days for the application to be processed and upload the certificate to your self-service portal once it has been issued.
Please note during peak times this may be longer.

We will contact offer holders as and when we receive any further update to this announcement.

For information please visit Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Guidance.

Q. I would like to defer my place, how do I do this?

We understand that the disruption caused by the pandemic may mean you are concerned about starting your course in Michaelmas Term 2020. There are still several months before the deadline for meeting your offer conditions and the start of your course, and therefore requests to defer entry to Michaelmas Term 2021 are not being considered at this time.  Further advice on this will available later in the year.

If you wish to defer entry to Lent or Easter Term, please see the FAQ page about deferring for more information on deferrals. Any further updates to the deferral process will be provided on this page as and when they become available. 

Q. Can I change my College preferences?

You are able to change your choice of College preferences within 14 days of submitting your application, as long as a formal offer to study has not been made, by contacting the Graduate Admissions Office.

If another College has offered you a full scholarship, or substantial funding, you should contact the Senior Tutor or Graduate Tutor of the College that originally accepted you, to discuss your options. Please do not contact other Colleges directly.