Pre-U qualifications

Dining hall

The Hall

King's welcomes applications for all courses that we offer from students who are taking Pre-U qualifications on their own or a mixture of Pre-U Principal Subjects and A level courses.

This page contains a few additional notes for students who are taking one or more Pre-U qualifications, and we encourage you to get in touch if there's anything further that you want to ask.

This page is updated by the end of February each year for students applying the following October.

If you don't know much about the Pre-U and would like to read about the curriculum, please see the CIE (Exam Board) website.

Entrance requirements

Our standard Pre-U offer is based on your Principal Subjects. The grades required depend on the course you are applying for: 

  • For Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, and Natural Sciences, the standard offer is D2, D2, and D3 in Principal Subjects.
  • The standard offer is D3, D3 and D2 for other courses. This applies to Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic; Architecture; Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Classics; English; Geography; History; History and Modern Languages; History and Politics; History of Art; Human, Social and Political Sciences (HSPS); Law; Linguistics; Modern and Medieval Languages; Music; Philosophy; Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS); and Theology and Religious Studies.

It is not unusual to apply with a mixture of Pre-U Principal Subjects and A level qualifications.

  • For Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine, and Natural Sciences we would ask students taking a mixture of A level and Pre-U qualifications to achieve a combination such as  A*, A* and D3, or A*, A and D2.
  • For the remaining essay-based subjects and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (subjects listed in the second bullet point above) we would ask students to achieve a combination such as: A*, A and D3, or A, A and D2.

Choosing Pre-U / A level subjects


Credit: Ken Teegardin

You will also need to be taking suitable subjects for your chosen course. Subject requirements are in the 'applying' section of the relevant subject page.

If you do not yet know what subject you want to apply for, the following page provides useful advice to ensure that the decisions you make when choosing your Pre-U / A level subjects will not unduly limit the opportunities available to you should you decide to apply to King's / Cambridge in the future.

Some Pre-U students may need to send a transcript

Cambridge skyline

Cambridge skyline, seen from the Chapel roof

When you apply, you will need to send a transcript if you have not taken six or more GCSEs or IGCSEs (or five or more Scottish National Qualifications) in the last three years.

Information about sending a transcript is on the Cambridge Admissions website (the Pre-U is a UK qualification). The transcript should be submitted electronically via the SAQ form for students at school in the UK. You will receive an email with log-in details for your SAQ form after you have applied through UCAS. The deadline for your SAQ and transcript is 18:00 UK time on 22 October.

Further Information

Entrance requirements | Undergraduate study | Back to the top