Frequently asked questions about entry requirements

Here are a few answers to questions we are frequently asked about our entry requirements.  Please do read this in combination with the general information about entry requirements on the Applying to Trinity page.

I’ve finished one of my A-levels already.  If I’m offered a place, will this count towards my entry conditions?

If you still have relevant A-levels to take, our offers will be conditional upon achieving specified results in those A-levels.  If you have already taken an A-level, such as in Maths in Year 12, this may give us confidence in making you an offer for admission to the College.  Our conditional offers reflect our expectations that you will receive high marks in your Year 13 exams as well.  We do however look at each of these cases individually, and decide upon an offer that we feel is best suited to the specific circumstances of each student.

What is Trinity’s attitude to ‘gap’ years?

We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry in any subject.

… and to post A-level candidates?

Again, no problem. But if you are intending to travel in your gap year, you should bear in mind that our interview period is at the beginning of December.

Would you make offers to applicants who apply from the same school?

Yes. If a candidate is worth an offer of a place, it is irrelevant how many other successful applicants are from the same school.

Do you make offers to students who will be under 18 when they start university?

There is no formal age requirement for admission to Cambridge, but almost all undergraduates are 18 years or older when they come into residence. All applicants who will be under 18 need to convince the College that they have the maturity and personal skills to cope with undergraduate study at Cambridge.

What is your view of vocational qualifications?

Trinity does not consider BTECs or T Levels to prepare applicants sufficiently for degree-level study here, so our offers do not include them.  We may consider candidates with Access to Higher Education Diplomas, but for maths/science subjects and economics we would also expect A-level Mathematics; and other arts subjects will require evidence of further study.  It is worthwhile to check with us if you are in doubt.  Similarly, the Advanced Engineering Diplomas do not contain sufficient academic content to prepare applicants for our engineering courses and thus do not in themselves provide a normal entry route. However, we may consider candidates in Engineering with the Diploma provided that they are also taking A-levels in Maths and Physics and an AS level in Further Maths.

How do you assess applications from mature students?

We normally expect Mature applicants to provide some recent evidence of achievement in formal examinations or to be currently following a course of study, preferably leading to an examination.

What about deferred entry?

We are happy to consider applications for deferred entry in any subject.

What about reapplying?

Again, no problem. But our standard advice is that applicants should consider trying another college the second time around so that they (and their interviewers) do not find themselves repeating the previous year’s experience. Wait until you receive your examination results before making any decision about this.

I live in a region where the University of Cambridge holds overseas interviews.  Should I apply for an interview at Trinity or an interview with the overseas interview team?

Trinity is happy to hold remote interviews, usually via Zoom, for applicants outside the UK, and we would like for all our applicants selected for interview to meet (remotely) the people who will go on to teach you if your application is successful.  Therefore, we ask all our overseas applicants to apply for an interview at Trinity and not by the overseas interview team.  This also means you do not need to apply by the earlier deadline or pay the additional fee.  If you are selected for interview, we will make arrangements with you to have a remote interview, and you should make sure you are able to have access to a good internet connection.  In some science subjects, we may also ask you to have access to a drawing tablet so that your written work can be seen by the interviewers during the interview.

Can I spend just one year or part of a year at Trinity?

No.  Trinity does not take what we call “visiting” students unless they come to us via an existing exchange scheme.

Can I study for a combined degree?

We have two joint degrees in History and Modern Languages, and History and Politics. All other subjects are studied separately, but within them the courses are very wide ranging.  Details can be found in the Cambridge Undergraduate Prospectus in the subject information section. At Trinity you will be considered for admission by the Admissions Officers in the subject that you want to study when you first come to Cambridge.

If I have already graduated elsewhere, can I apply to Trinity for another undergraduate course?

Yes, you can apply for an ‘Affiliated’ place here. An Affiliated student is eligible to graduate with a Cambridge BA in one year less than the normal length of the course. But the number of places available in this way is small – typically three or four each year – and the competition is therefore severe.