Applying to Oxbridge

Applications for all courses at the University of Cambidge and the University of Oxford have the early UCAS deadline of 6pm (GMT) on 15 October each year, regardless of whether it falls on a weekend. This is the same deadline date as for Medicine, Dentistry and Vet Science. This means that you complete UCAS application (including your other 4 choices) has to be completed and submitted by this deadline.

You can’t apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year, so you'll have to choose one or the other. Both universities are world-renowned in both arts and science subjects, so the decision is largely an individual one.

Cambridge usually comes above Oxford in the Complete University Guide rankings, but this is partly due to its subject mix. Some courses are offered at one of the universities, but not the other. It’s important to be aware that courses with a similar title at the two universities may be different in content, so you should check the course details to see which one will suit you best.

Each university has a number of open days and events, and we strongly advise you to attend one before you make your choice. Oxbridge universities also make lots of great information available on their websites to help students to prepare for applying for these courses, so please make use of the information and resources that are available on both Cambridge’s and Oxford’s websites – or


Cambridge and Oxford outreach departments have uploaded a number of webinars which provide invaluable advice and guidance, that you can access from their websites. The Introducing Oxbridge webinar can be watched here: Introducing Oxbridge: Webinar for Prospective Students.

Applying to Oxbridge

An introduction to Oxbridge, the application process and breaking down myths

Key stages of your application

  • Choose a course: Check the specific details of what courses will cover
  • Choose a college: If you have no preference, make an 'open' application
  • UCAS application: The Oxbridge application deadline is earlier than the standard UCAS deadline, at 6pm (GMT) on 15 October each year, regardless of whether it falls on a weekend. This is the same deadline date as for Medicine, Dentistry and Vet Science
  • University forms: You may be required to complete one or more additional forms
  • University tests: For most subjects, additional tests will be required. They may take place prior to, or during your interview
  • Written work: You may be asked to submit some written work
  • Interview: If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview in December
  • Decision: You will know if you were successful by the end of January

Making a competitive Oxbridge application

Cambridge and Oxford university have jointly produced a webinar which provides an insight into what both universities are looking for in a strong application, including guidance on personal statements and what to expect at interview. This can be accessed from the following link:

Super-Curricular Suggestions

The University of Cambridge has compiled a list of super-curricular activity tips for students who are unsure about how they could explore their academic interests outside of the school curriculum. This is not a required reading list but a list of suggestions and can be accessed here New Super-Curricular Suggestions Document.

Oxford University’s Digital Resource Hub

Oxford University have recently launched a new Digital Resource Hub with lots of different information for students, teachers and families

Pre-Interview Assessments

University of Cambridge Pre-Interview Assessments

Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment either pre-interview or at interview. Information on Cambridge’s Pre-Interview written assessments can be found here and at

University of Oxford Admissions Tests

Many of the University of Oxford’s courses require applicants to take an admissions test as part of the application and selection process. More information about Admissions tests for Oxford University can be found here and at

Updated BMAT Preparation Guide

This is a key resource each year for students sitting the BMAT with tips on how to approach preparation and use the resources available. The updated BMAT Preparation Guide can be downloaded at Updated BMAT Preparation Guide.