Overseas Qualifications

The majority of candidates who apply to Trinity are studying for United Kingdom A-level qualifications or Scottish Advanced Highers but we are happy to accept applications from academically well-prepared candidates who are following other school exam systems. These notes are intended as a brief guide to those potential applicants who are uncertain whether the qualifications they hold, or for which they are studying, are likely to meet our requirements. There are several general points that must be borne in mind.

  • All applications for a place at Trinity are considered on an individual basis and our decisions do not rely on examination grades alone. The school report, any written work that you may be asked to submit, any test taken pre-interview or at the time of interview, plus performance at the interview itself all contribute in important ways to the final decision.
  • The grades we ask for are determined only after we have made the decision to offer someone a place, which in turn is only after candidates have been interviewed. Any offer we make is always set at a level which we believe the candidate is capable of achieving.
  • The fact that you have obtained, or expect to obtain, very high grades in your school exams is not a guarantee that your application will be successful. The number of strong candidates always exceeds the strictly limited number of places we have available each year.
  • The school system in the United Kingdom allows a substantially higher degree of specialization than those of many other countries. If you have followed a curriculum which is much broader than A-levels you may be at a disadvantage, particularly if you wish to study Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or Natural Sciences.

Below you will find examples of offers we make in exam systems we frequently encounter. If the exams you are taking are not listed, you can obtain advice from the Admissions Office.

The local office of the British Council may also be able to tell you whether or not specific grades in your exams meet the general requirements for entry to universities in the United Kingdom, but please remember that this would represent only the minimum standard you must attain and offers at Cambridge are nearly always set well above that level. Note that the offers quoted below are only “typical”. Offers made in practice may be either above or below the level stated. Special conditions apply to Medical Sciences.

Overseas qualifications (apart from the International and European Baccalaureates, Advanced Placements, the Abitur, the Irish Leaving Certificate and the VWO) have to be approved by the Pre-medical Requirements Committee of the Faculty of Clinical Medicine and Colleges are not free to make offers until authorised to do so by the Committee.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Total of 42 (including bonus points) with marks of 7 in relevant subjects.

European Baccalaureate

Overall mark of 8.6, possibly with marks of 9.0+ in relevant subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate

A1/H1 in three relevant subjects at Higher Level.


Overall mark of 16 in the Baccalauréat with marks of 17 in relevant subjects.


Overall grade of 1.2 in the Abitur with scores of 15 in relevant subjects.


For Arts subjects, a mark in excess of 19.5 in the National Apolytirion. Candidates for Natural Sciences, Engineering and Mathematics will usually have to provide evidence of study beyond the Apolytirion.

United States

Offers to candidates from the United States are normally based on Advanced Placement exams. Five grades 5 in relevant subjects would be typical. We do not make offers based on SATs.


Rank 99 in the UAI or its equivalent.