Apply to Cambridge in March and don’t wait another year

2 January 2018

Lucy Cavendish is one of the few colleges at the University of Cambridge to accept applications through UCAS in a second round, with the deadline of 1 March 2018 for entry in October 2018. It is the only college in Europe for women aged over 21 years old.

The second round of applications is only available to mature students (21 years and above) in certain subjects. People apply in the second round due to many different reasons, and some of the current students at Lucy Cavendish have explained why they applied in March.

Sioned Cox (left) is in the second year of her Human, Social and Political Sciences Tripos. In addition to studying, Sioned has joined the Lucy Cavendish Boat Club.

Sioned said:

“I applied in March because I'd been out of education for a few years and the later application round gave me time to find an academic reference and generate some marked examples of my work.  It saved me from having to wait another whole year before coming to Cambridge, which was excellent having had enough years out already!”

Trisha Hyder (right) is on the same course, although she came back to education after a much longer break of over 30 years.

Trisha said:

"I was hoping to go to my home town university until a Tutor on my local Access To Higher Education course suggested Cambridge. I laughed because the standard application deadline had passed early in my course, before Tutors get to know their students. So I was surprised and pleased to discover and use the March round - an invaluable second chance for mature students who can't afford to wait yet another year for their already long overdue university education!"

Melissa Wilson (left) is studying Law, and combines study with high level competitive rowing for the Cambridge University Boat Club and for Great Britain.

Melissa said:

"I had graduated the summer before with an English degree, and that November heard Shami Chakrabarti (now an Honorary Fellow at the College) speaking about Human Rights which made me start properly looking into studying Law. After realising that it was a career I really wanted to pursue, I applied to Lucy Cavendish in the March round of admissions."

Hollie Wells (right) is in her second year of the English Tripos, and secured her place at Lucy Cavendish by taking an Access to Higher Education diploma at City and Islington College in North London. She said:

"Having gone the one-year Access route, the October deadline would have been impossible for me to meet - I'd only just gone back into learning after a 12-year hiatus. Applying in the March round meant that I had a body of work to submit, a strong set of predicted grades, and the confidence to actually enjoy the interview!"

Genevieve Measures (left) is studying Education with English. She said:

“I was a bit too hesitant to apply in October but the March option gave me the time I needed to consider and be confident about my application and allowed me to gather more relevant work experience, which was really valuable in both the application and interview stage.”

Admission Tutor Dr Victoria Harvey said:

“March applications are particularly useful for students on one-year Access courses or who have chosen an accelerated one-year A Level programme, as they need this extra time to refresh their academic skills. Applying later means that they have made sufficient progress through the course material to have confidence in the April interview round.  In addition, written work submitted for the March deadline often reflects that the student has further developed their academic skills during their course.”

Mature students at Cambridge are expected to be of an equal academic standard to school leavers; and the nature and demands of Cambridge courses, and the requirement to produce independent work every week, means that some form of academic preparation is required. Therefore, applicants are expected to demonstrate evidence of recent academic achievement (usually within two years of applying) at a high level, for example an Access to HE Diploma, A Level(s) or an Open University course (Level 2 or above). Such qualifications also develop essential study skills required for university courses (eg essay writing, autonomous study, examination technique).

The following subjects are excluded from the second round - applications for these courses must be submitted by the 15 October: Architecture, History of Art, Medicine, Graduate Course in Medicine, Music, Philosophy and Veterinary Medicine.

Please find out more about applying here.

- ENDS –

About Lucy Cavendish

Lucy Cavendish is the only women's college in Europe exclusively for students aged 21 or over, and a unique part of the University of Cambridge. Its undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over sixty countries, and a wide variety of educational and professional backgrounds. Many have changed careers or overcome significant challenges in order to reach University. The College is particularly strong in Medicine, Law, Veterinary Medicine, Psychology, the Social Sciences and English.

Contact information:

Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge – Kate Coghlan, 01223 339243,

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