Whatever your age, and whether you have chosen to return to study after a break or are thinking of going to university for the first time, there is plenty of support available to help you find and apply for a course.

Lucy Cavendish is a college exclusively for women over 21.  According to the UCAS Mature Students' Guide, roughly 52% of 'mature' students starting university courses are aged between 21 and 24, 38% are 25 to 39, and 10% are over 40. 

What type of women apply to Cambridge at 21+?

Professional women seeking to undertake a part-time post-graduate course such as:

  • Women who wish to add to their existing qualifications

  • Women who wish to progress their career through additional qualifications

  • Women who wish to change career

Returners to education who include:

  • Women who have delayed their university education due to family or caring commitments

  • Women who have taken time out to travel and/or volunteer

  • Women who have been working to fund their university education

  • Women whose schooling was disrupted due to ill health, caring for relatives or other reasons

I don't have A-levels.  Can I still apply to Cambridge?

Whilst A-levels provide excellent preparation for study at Cambridge, we also consider other qualifications including:

  • HE Access Diplomas - the Access to Humanities & Social Sciences provides good grounding for many arts and humanities courses. We would expect a Distinction in all relevant modules.
  • Certificates of Higher Education - such as those offered by the Open University and Birkbeck College.

For more information, see the general Entrance Requirements and FAQs, or contact our Admissions Office (admissions@lucy-cav.cam.ac.uk).

How do I apply as a 21+ student?

University applications are made through UCAS, and general advice on completing the application form can be found here. The general undergraduate pages of the University of Cambridge website offers a wealth of information, including videos, interview advice and advice on course choices which can all be accessed here.  The Lucy Cavendish website also has pages will also help you with many aspects of the application process. Other sources of information include:

Can I get funding as a mature student?

Cambridge University has its own pages devoted to fees and funding for undergraduate students. Information on funding for mature students can be found on the Gov.UK website and you can check if you are eligible for funding here. There are also additional grants and bursaries for adult learners which may include an Advanced Learner Loan. Further information on possible sources of funding for students aged 19+ can also be found on the Money Saving Expert website.

As a mature student can I apply for any other discounts?

There are a variety of discounts which may be available to mature students.  These include:

'Getting a degree was life-changing'

For some first-hand descriptions of returning to study later as a mature student, you may wish to look at the following articles in the Guardian (August 2018 and 2017):

Accounts by some Lucy Cavendish students who arrived via the Access Diploma route can be found here.