Mature Students

King's is a "standard age" College so most undergraduates are eighteen when they start their course, but we also welcome applications from students who will be 21 or over at the start of their undergraduate degree. The diversity of King's students and our large fellowship and graduate community makes for a very welcoming and supportive environment for mature students, but only you can decide whether you would prefer to apply to a standard age College such as King's or one of the three mature Colleges (Hughes Hall, St Edmund's, or Wolfson).

For some mature students there are also some practical details which may affect your choice of College. At King's and other standard-age colleges, applicants for some subjects must be registered for a Written Assessment: Pre-Registration Required, which they sit in their school, college, or another authorised assessment centre. If you are not a full-time student, it will be important to ensure that you have checked whether your course has a Written Assessment: Pre-Registration Required, and if so, who will register you (you can't register yourself) and where you will sit it.

At the three mature colleges, written assessments in all subjects except Medicine and Veterinary Medicine are organised by the College and take place for selected students as part of the interview process in Cambridge. More generally, as the mature Colleges only consider mature applications, they are able to operate with a little more flexibility in some areas which may be difficult for applicants who are not at school.


How we Assess Mature Students

At King's we are looking for academic potential and motivation in all cases. We assess each application individually so mature applicants should not be concerned that their profile will be different from that of our standard age applicants. Although we will want to know the results of all exams taken both recently and in the past, mature candidates who performed below the level of our standard entrance requirements the first time around should not be put off applying, since this is a forward-looking process: what interests us is your ability and motivation now and what you would be able to achieve during your course at Cambridge.

Entry is very competitive but if you are now achieving highly you are welcome to apply. We set written assessments and interview the majority of our applicants, which helps us to assess potential and compare applicants fairly even against very different educational backgrounds.

Thinking of applying to Cambridge? See here for details of how to apply, and why King's might be the right College for you.
Whether you're studying A-Level, the IB, or any other qualification, find out what our standard requirements are here.

Educational Background

We will need evidence of your current performance and assurance that if you have taken a break from education you are fully back in the routine of dealing with a heavy and challenging academic workload. If you can, the option of pursuing the same qualifications taken by school leavers (A-levels, IB etc.) and achieving the standard entrance requirements is a good one. If taking such qualifications is not possible or appropriate in your case, we also accept relevant Access, Open University and other foundation courses. We will need you to provide full details of the courses you have taken and the grades achieved and / or predicted when you apply.

If you cannot find a way to provide the information on your UCAS form we will let you know how send us appropriate documents (transcripts, mark schemes etc) electronically at the time you apply. When choosing a course we advise you to think carefully about the subject requirements for your proposed course, and to consider what the Cambridge course will involve and the skills you need to develop. If your course will involve weekly essays, for example, it is important that you choose a pre-Cambridge course that will give you adequate practice and training in essay research and writing. It is also important to ensure that your workload will be sufficient to prepare you for the demands of a Cambridge course.

Find out more about choosing your subject and see the full list of the courses available to study at King's, from Anglo-Saxon to Theology.
The subject choices that you make at school can have a significant impact on the course options available to you at University - find out more.

How To Apply

The application process for mature students is much the same as other undergraduates, although we appreciate that for some mature students who are starting a one-year course in September, meeting the October application deadline can be difficult. To mitigate this, the three mature colleges (Hughes Hall, St Edmund's, and Wolfson) have a second application (usually in March) for some courses.

You will also need to provide a referee as part of your UCAS application, which would usually be a teacher or tutor at your school or college who is familiar with your current academic work. If you are not currently studying, your referee may be a current or former employer but they must be able to comment on your application and potential.

Mature students from outside of the UK are advised to check current visa regulations, especially if you are thinking of bringing dependents with you to the UK.

Thinking of applying to King's? See here for a breakdown of the process, from submitting your UCAS application to receiving your offer.

Already Have a Degree?

If you already have an undergraduate degree then you can apply to King's as an affiliated student, whatever your age. Affiliated students study for two years and usually take the last two years of an undergraduate course. An affiliated student cannot be accepted for one year's study only.

Cambridge accepts only a small number of affiliated students and in King's we expect to have two or three such students in a normal year. King's does not accept affiliated applicants for Education, Land Economy, Medicine or Veterinary Medicine, and please also be aware that there is no affiliated version of the following courses: Architecture, History and Modern Languages, and History and Politics. Application is made to one college only.

Successful candidates have a good honours degree (normally a first) from a recommended university, or a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.75. Affiliated applicants must also meet any subject-specific examination requirements for particular courses at Cambridge. For example, Mathematics at A-level or equivalent is needed for Economics. It is not possible to become an affiliated student if you already hold a degree awarded by the University of Cambridge. Please also note that tuition fees for Home fee status students taking a second undergraduate degree may be different to the standard Home fee, and affiliated students will not as standard be able to access governmental loans to cover the cost of tuition fees or maintenance costs. As well as tuition fees, all affiliated students pay College fees directly to King's.

Affiliated applicants follow the general process and timetable for all undergraduate applicants, however a few details are different. When applying, all affiliated candidates should include:

  • an official transcript of your academic record

  • a summary of your university course, including details of the syllabus, which units you covered, how much teaching you received, and a description of the mark scheme etc.

  • two academic references (the reference on the UCAS form and one additional reference uploaded to the applicant document upload form after the application deadline)

These additional documents should be uploaded to the applicant document upload form we will provide to all applicants once the application deadline has passed. Please write your full name, UCAS number, the course you are applying for, and 'affiliated applicant' clearly on the documents you send.


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