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Graduate Admissions

 

Last updated: 05 August 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.

For further information about the 2020/21 academic year, please visit our University statements webpage.

 

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.

The list of courses that have re-opened to applications for 2020/21 entry is available here.

Information for offer-holders

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. 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. I have concerns about how my course will be taught this year. Have there been any changes to the delivery of my programme?

In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, there may have been changes to some programmes in order to give you the best possible academic experience in 2020/21.

Where the course may now be different from that advertised in the Course Directory when you received your offer for admission in 2020/21 these changes are available here.

If you have questions or concerns about the changes to your prospective course, if there are any, please contact your Faculty or Department. If you are a prospective Doctoral Research Student you should contact your supervisor to discuss how your PhD may be affected.

Please find the full announcement regarding the upcoming academic year here.

Q. I have concerns about starting my course in Michaelmas Term 2020

We understand that the disruption caused by the pandemic may mean you are concerned about starting your course in Michaelmas Term 2020. Please read through the below FAQs covering different circumstances affecting incoming offer-holders, which outline the appropriate action to take under each scenario.

For further information on the circumstances that will be considered if your ability to study in Cambridge in 2020/21 is affected, please see this page.

Q. I have received an offer for admission in October 2020 and would like to be considered for entry in October 2021 instead, how do I do this?

If you have received an offer of admission for Michaelmas Term 2020 but were unable to meet the conditions of your admission due to exceptional circumstances relating to COVID-19 you can be re-considered for the same course for entry in 2021. To do this you will need to resubmit your original application via the Applicant Portal. Before you re-submit you should check the relevant course entry for information about the course for 2021/22 as this may have changed: https://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses

We would advise thinking very carefully about delaying your application until next year as:

  • Your re-submitted application will be considered with the full cohort of applications for entry in October 2021; therefore a new offer cannot be guaranteed and will be dependent on capacity, competition, and available academic resource. However, where capacity and academic resource allow it, reasonable consideration will be given to those applicants who were unable to meet the conditions of their offer, or arrive, for entry in Michaelmas Term 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, particularly those with a registered disability.

  • If you are made an offer for entry in October 2021, you will be liable for the 2021/22 entry fees and costs. Please note that EU students will be liable for the overseas fee rate in 2021/22.

Please note that:

  • There will be no application fee for re-submitting your application

  • The Applicant Portal will open for you to re-submit your application for 2021 entry on 1 September 2020.

  • You should withdraw your application for entry in 2020 via the self-service portal

  • You will be asked to upload a statement with your application, outlining why you were unable to take up your place in October 2020, and provide any evidence if relevant (e.g. medical, travel restrictions etc).

  • You may also be required to provide additional data that was not required for entry in Michaelmas Term 2020, but is required for consideration for Michaelmas Term 2021 entry (e.g. if course specific questions have changed).

  • If you wish to be considered for funding, you will need to re-submit your application by the advertised funding deadline. If you already have a scholarship which has been deferred, you should state this in your application form, and you will not need to re-apply for funding.

Q. I have met all the conditions of my offer but I will no longer be able to attend due to travel restrictions relating to COVID-19 – can I defer my offer?

If you have met the conditions of your offer and are no longer able to take up your place for Michaelmas 2020 entry due to travel restrictions, we recommend checking to see if your course permits deferrals to Lent or Easter in the first instance. Deferrals are only permitted within the academic year, eg. 2020/21, 2021/22, though not all programmes offer multiple entry points each year. If your programme allows deferrals to a different term within the year, this will be an option on the self-service portal. Please see the FAQ page about deferring for more information on deferrals. 

If your programme does not offer a Lent or Easter start, and if travel restrictions prevent you from coming to Cambridge in October, it may be possible to commence your studies remotely, or arrive later than your start date. If you are a Postgraduate taught students you should contact your college directly to discuss if remote working for a fixed period of time is an option until the travel restrictions are lifted. Research students should also contact their department supervisor.

Please note that requests to work remotely, or arrive late, can be considered no earlier than one month before the start of the course.

Q. I have met all the conditions of my offer and I have a disability or medical condition that either increases my susceptibility to infectious diseases or will be exacerbated by living in Cambridge during the pandemic, what should I do?

If you have met the conditions of your offer and have concerns about taking up your place in October 2020 because you either have a disability (including a mental health disability that can be defined as a disability), or you are susceptible to infectious diseases due to an underlying health condition, then you may be eligible to submit a request to intermit your studies or study remotely away from Cambridge. If you are a postgraduate taught student you should contact your college directly to discuss these options. Research students should also contact their department supervisor.

Please see the following pages for information: https://www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/guidance-for-all-students/advice-on-exceptional-circumstances

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. To apply for an extension please download and complete the Offer Conditions Extension Request Form. Completed forms should be emailed to graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk with 'Deadline extension request' in the subject line. We will consider each application on a case-by-case basis and update you accordingly via your self-service portal and/or by email.

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.

Q. I cannot book an English language test because test centres are 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 have made the following changes to our English language requirements. We will now accept:

  • English language tests that are up to six months out of date, with the requirement of a follow-up online remote assessment by the University of Cambridge Language Centre (free of charge).
  • 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.
  • IELTS Indicator, which may be taken at home, subject to some technical requirements. The online test is the same format and level as the one you would take at an IELTS test centre. Candidates should receive their test results within seven days of taking the test. Once you have received your test certificate, please upload a screenshot or scan of the certificate to the self-service portal so that we can verify the results online. Please note: we are only able to accept IELTS Indicator tests that are taken after 1 July.

If you are not able, or do not wish to take the above online tests, 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 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

 

Update: 30 June 2020

IELTS testing has resumed in some regions that were previously closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. To search for test centre availability in your area, please visit their website.

Q. I can’t provide my documents before the 21 August offer conditions deadline – can I have an extension?

In recognition of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, 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. To apply for an extension please download and complete the Offer Conditions Extension Request Form. Completed forms should be emailed to graduateadmissions@admin.cam.ac.uk with 'Deadline extension request' in the subject line. We will consider each application on a case-by-case basis and update you accordingly via your self-service portal and/or by email.

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. 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. 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. 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.

Q. When will I receive my CAS/ATAS statement?

We can only issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) once you have met all of the conditions of your offer (including academic and financial conditions) and your admission is showing as confirmed on your Self-Service account. See the CAS page for more details.
It is not possible to apply for a Tier 4 visa more than three months before the course start date, in accordance with Home Office policy. This means the earliest you should expect to receive your CAS for courses starting in October is July.

We cannot provide information on the status of your Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) application. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) directly.
If an ATAS is required for your course, you must upload the certificate once you have received it from the FCO, to your Self-Service account.

Update: 2 June 2020

The FCO are now accepting new applications for ATAS clearance. Please visit their website to begin your application.