Open Day at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Applying: Guide for parents, carers and teachers

The application process

Step 1: Consider a course 
First step for a prospective applicant is to choose a course, students can study all of Cambridge’s undergraduate courses at Fitzwilliam College. Our courses are generally broad in the first year, becoming more focused in later years. Find out more about the courses you can study at Fitzwilliam College.

Step 2: Choose a college  
At Cambridge, as well as being a member of the University, students are also a member of a College. Once a prospective applicant has decided on a course they’d like to study, they need to consider a College choice. Colleges are where students tend to live, study and socialise. All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge colleges. Find out further information about Cambridge colleges.

Step 3: Apply to Cambridge 
The University of Cambridge has an earlier application deadline to that of other universities. UCAS applications must be submitted online by the 15 October. 

Important dates and deadlines.

Admissions assessments

Most applicants are required to take a subject-specific written admission assessment, either pre-interview or at interview. Find out more information about the Admissions Assessments.

See the University of Cambridge course information for details of the associated assessments. Dates for applying for these assessments can be found in our important dates timeline.

The interview process at Fitzwilliam College

Interviews have to be challenging, and students can expect to be asked testing, thought-provoking questions. The interviewers will invite the prospective applicant to speculate, to think on their feet, to discuss problems to which there are often no easy or neat solutions. We are interested in the student’s ability to think for yourself, not in how much you can remember.

We know that candidates are nervous, and make allowances for this. Most candidates have two interviews. Each lasts about half-an-hour. One will be with the Director of Studies who is responsible for that subject in the College, the other with College teachers in a related subject. Both will focus on the students’ academic interests but will range widely around that, depending on subject.

Most interviews take place in the first three weeks of December and prospective applicants are advised not to make any unbreakable commitments during this period. All interviews will take place remotely for those applying in 2020.

Information regarding how to prepare for an interview can be found on the University’s undergraduate website.

Extenuating circumstances form

If there are extenuating circumstances that have caused significant educational or home life disruption or disadvantage for a student, it may be appropriate for the school/college referee or the applicant’s doctor or social worker to complete and submit the Extenuating Circumstances Form (ECF).

More information regarding the ECF and deadlines for submitting the form, can be found on the University’s undergraduate website.

Useful resources

University of Cambridge Guide for Teachers and HE Advisers 
University of Cambridge Guide for Parents and Supporters  
Fitzwilliam College Teachers' Newsletter