More information about applying

What do we look for in our candidates? There is no doubt that successful applicants usually come with a strong academic record – but our decisions are based on more than that. Essentially we look for applicants with the potential to succeed at Cambridge and benefit fully from the time spent here. This potential can be demonstrated in a variety of ways – both in the application and at the interview.

How to apply

  1. Read the College prospectus and the individual subject information sheets, as well as other background information before submitting your application. The College’s Admissions Office can provide any information, advice and forms that you may need.
  2. If you are thinking of applying, you might find it helpful to attend one of the College’s Open Days held in spring and early summer. These provide an opportunity to learn more about the College and its admissions procedures, to meet some of the Directors of Studies and discuss the content of University courses and the way in which the teaching system works. Open Days are popular and must be booked.
  3. If you do attend an Open Day, take the opportunity to see several colleges. It is important to remember that all the colleges follow the same University courses, and lectures (and practicals) are the same for everyone studying a particular subject. Your own college is responsible for providing the individual tuition which is characteristic of the Cambridge system; and in Trinity’s case we also provide accommodation for you to live in for the duration of your stay at Cambridge.
  4. Look at the Frequently Asked Questions part of our website which may help to answer any queries that you have before applying, including questions about the new written admissions assessments.
  5. To apply to Cambridge, you will need to submit an application to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Once received, your application will be forwarded to your preference college for consideration.

If you are applying from outside the EU, you will need to submit a Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) in addition to your UCAS application. The COPA is available here.

Please remember that the deadline for the UCAS application (and the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application where appropriate) is 15 October 2016. If you would like to be considered for interview as part of one of the University’s overseas interview schemes, your COPA must be received by the earlier deadline. More information about these schemes can be found on the University website.

In all cases, submitting your application a week early is recommended, as Trinity normally has more applications to process than most other colleges.  A list of key dates can be found here.

  1. You need to list Cambridge as one of the maximum of five universities to which you can apply in any one year, entering T (the code for Trinity) under the heading ‘campus code’. Application through UCAS is essential even for those resident outside the UK.
  2. Interviews are usually held in the first full week in December. When we acknowledge receipt of your application, we give details of the form the interview or interviews will take, of written assessments you may be set, and of any written material you have to send us in advance. These details vary according to subject.
  3. Decisions are sent to candidates early in the New Year. If you are made an offer and are still at school, it will normally be conditional on the results of exams you have yet to take. If you are unsuccessful, you may still receive an offer of a place at another college through the system called the inter-college ‘pool’.
  4. When school exam results are published in the summer, we usually have a few unfilled places because not all candidates will achieve the grades for which we ask. Any unfilled places will be taken by those who already hold a Cambridge offer – at Trinity or elsewhere – but have narrowly missed the conditions they were set.

If you wish to apply for an Organ Scholarship, you need to complete the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) as well as submit a UCAS application. The Organ Scholarship applications must usually be received by the beginning of September. For the current deadlines, see the Key Dates page above. Your UCAS application does not have to be submitted until the 15 October deadline.

Further information about music awards can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions website:

Other aspects of applying to Trinity are covered in the Frequently Asked Questions. See also the University Prospectus on how to apply:

To find out more, please contact the Admissions Office. Please remember to include your full postal address in any message.

You can read more about life here and the history of the College by browsing this website. The University website contains the Undergraduate Admissions pages, which give details of all the courses at Cambridge.