University of Cambridge

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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.

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: