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What is the Cambridge Foundation Year?

The University of Cambridge’s Foundation Year Programme offers a fully-funded, year-long, residential programme, targeted at students who have experienced a range of educational disadvantages or disruptions. Educational disadvantage will be assessed on multiple levels, taking into consideration an applicant’s individual characteristics, their family circumstances, and the context of the schools/colleges they have attended.

These eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to, students who are currently in care or care experienced; students who are or have been young carers, or who may have experienced homelessness or bereavements; students from low-income households; and students whose schools or colleges have low rates of progression to higher education.

There are a wide range of criteria which you can access at

A fully-funded opportunity to experience life and study at Cambridge

Thanks to a generous philanthropic commitment to the Foundation Year, no tuition fees will be charged for the course. Students admitted to the Foundation Year will also receive a full and non-repayable scholarship to cover rent and other living costs.

On the Foundation Year, students can expect a challenging academic curriculum in the arts, humanities and social sciences. This offers the best possible preparation for the rigours of a Cambridge degree by broadening and deepening knowledge and understanding as well as introducing the ways students learn at Cambridge. 

Students admitted onto the Foundation Year will become part of a College community; they will live alongside other undergraduates and have full access to all of the University’s societies and facilities..

An important aspect of the programme is to provide a new pathway to a Cambridge degree for students who have experienced disadvantage and disruption during their education. Therefore, from an early stage in the Foundation Year’s academic programme, senior academic staff in Colleges will be providing students with advice and support regarding their degree subject choice.

You can find out more about this on our website.

Academic requirements for Foundation Year entry

Interested students will apply directly to the Foundation Year via UCAS by the January 2023 deadline for study beginning in October 2023.

The academic entry requirement is 120 UCAS points. This is equivalent to BBB at A-Level, but allows for easy equivalence of a wide range of Level 3 qualifications, and for fair consideration of combinations of qualifications such as BTECs and A-Levels. Accepted qualifications may be found here.

Pembroke College Year 12 Natural Sciences Taster Sessions | May – June 2022

Live Zoom Taster Sessions for state school students who are considering studying Natural Sciences at Cambridge!

Pembroke is excited to be offering a series of Natural Sciences Taster Sessions in 2022, giving attendees the opportunity to explore their subject areas of interest in more depth, gain insight into the Natural Sciences course at Cambridge, and ask questions to our academics! The Taster Sessions are being planned as virtual events.

Further details here:

Pembroke College Year 12 Arts and Humanities Summer Residential | Deadline: 1st June

We are excited to be holding our popular Arts and Humanities residential again on 4th-8th July 2022. The event is aimed at students in year 12 who are considering studying a course within the arts or humanities at university, and will provide successful applicants with the opportunity to explore a number of subjects in more depth, get a taste of life at Cambridge, meet current students and staff, and find out more about the application process and Cambridge as a city. We hope that students who participate will get a real taste of university life, and a better understanding of what they can do now to prepare themselves for this step. The event will also include participation in one of the University of Cambridge’s Open Days.

Further details and registration here:

Corpus Christi Junior Research Prize Competition | Deadline 10th June

We are pleased to announce the return of our research project competition aimed at current year 12 students who are thinking of applying to Cambridge to study an arts, humanities or social science subject. We will be offering up to 10 prizes of £250, which winners can spend on academic books, digital resources and magazine subscriptions to help them explore their subject over the summer holidays and throughout Year 13.

Winners will also be invited to an in-person prize-winner’s day, where they will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with an academic in their chosen field, and get advice on how best to spend their prize money, as well as explore Corpus and Cambridge.

Full details on how to enter are available here:

The Cambridge Choral Experience 2022 | 25th & 26th June

The Cambridge Choral Experience takes place over a weekend in June every year and provides a day of activities designed to give secondary-school students a taste of what singing at Cambridge might be like, as well as generating enthusiasm generally around music and singing. The 2022 Cam Choral Experience will take place on Saturday, 25 June (school years 7–10) and Sunday, 26 June (school years 11–13).

Starting at 10:00, the morning will consist of vocal workshops, repertoire sessions, and admissions talks. In the afternoon there will be a chance to take a walking tour of the city and Colleges with current student singers (plenty of time to ask questions about what it’s really like to sing at Cambridge!) followed by a final rehearsal and performance to friends and family in one of Cambridge’s magnificent College chapels, finishing by 17:00. Refreshments and lunch are provided, and the day is free-of-charge to participants.

Further details and application forms are available here:

Gurdon Institute Aspiring Scientists Training Programme | 10th – 15th July

The ASTP is designed to give students studying A-level biology (or equivalent) a chance to experience what a career as a biologist entails, from bespoke workshops with experts in the sector, to networking opportunities with scientists and the chance to explore life at a world-renowned research university.

The Gurdon Institute is a world-leading centre for research into the biology of development and how normal growth and maintenance can go wrong in diseases such as cancer. Many of our scientists have made pioneering contributions to the fields of basic cell biology, cellular reprogramming, epigenetics, and DNA repair.

This programme is funded by the University’s Widening Participation programme with the particular aim to give students the experience of working in an academic research environment when they ordinarily wouldn’t be able to arrange such an experience on their own.

The deadline for applications is 1st April 2022. Further information is available here:

The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme

The Brilliant Club Scholars Programme recruits, trains and places PhD tutors in state schools to deliver courses of university-style tutorials, which are supplemented by two university trips. The Scholars Programme can be delivered to pupils from 8-18 and runs across the UK.

To find out more please follow this link: