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Cambridge University, a world-class institution of academic excellence and prestige, keeps attracting aspiring postgraduate international students. The acceptance rates at Cambridge University are of keen interest to anyone contemplating attending a Postgraduate Course at Cambridge. 

Cambridge Overview

Comprised of 31 Colleges, each with its own unique character and academic focus, Cambridge offers a diverse and enriching postgraduate experience. From cutting-edge scientific research to esteemed programs in humanities and social sciences, Cambridge caters to a vast array of intellectual pursuits.

Acceptance Rates for Postgraduate Students

According to Cambridge’s official Admission Statistics in 2022 (the most recent reported data) Cambridge received 30,321 postgraduate applications and 5,437 students were confirmed, setting a general acceptance rate of 17%.

However, acceptance rates can vary significantly depending on the program:

  • School of Arts and Humanities Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 20%
  • School of Clinical Medicine Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 13.4%
  • School of Technology Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 11.5%
  • School of the Biological Sciences Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 19%
  • School of the Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 17%
  • School of the Physical Sciences Postgraduate Acceptance Rate (2022): 15%

Acceptance rates at Cambridge have remained relatively stable over the past few years. However, a slight upward trend in international student admissions is noticeable, with the university actively seeking to foster diversity within its postgraduate population.

Factors Influencing Your Chances

Several factors influence your chances of admission. Academic excellence (think stellar undergraduate degrees and strong references) is paramount. Research experience relevant to your chosen field and a well-crafted research proposal for PhD applicants is highly valued. Additionally, standardised tests like the GRE or GMAT may be required by specific programs.

Entrance Examinations and Requirements

Specific entrance examinations may be required depending on your chosen program. Many programs necessitate strong English language skills evidenced by tests like IELTS or TOEFL. Always consult the program website for detailed requirements.

The Application Process and Deadlines

The application process typically involves submitting online applications, transcripts, references, personal statements, and research proposals (for PhD programs) through the University’s dedicated portal. Deadlines vary by program, so meticulous planning and adherence to deadlines are essential.

Enhancing Your Application

Here are some tips to strengthen your application:

  • Tailor your application to the specific program, highlighting your passion and alignment with departmental research interests.
  • Craft a compelling personal statement showcasing your academic achievements, research experience, and future goals.
  • Seek strong references from professors familiar with your academic calibre and research potential.
  • The Cambridge Experience

Beyond academics, Cambridge offers a vibrant student life. College communities provide a supportive network, and the university boasts world-class libraries, museums, and research facilities.

Cambridge Financial Aid and Scholarships

Cambridge offers financial aid packages for postgraduate courses and students can be fully, partially or self-funded. According to their official website, in 2023, 77% of PhD students and 24% of Masters students received either full or partial funding awards to cover the cost of their study. 

External funding is also a possibility. Spark Finance offers a tuition loan product tailored especially for postgraduate students. Please see more information about options for Australian and New Zealand students looking to study at Cambridge in our FAQs or our website. You can also apply now

  • Start early: Scholarship deadlines can vary, so begin researching funding options well in advance of your application submission.
  • Be proactive: Don’t hesitate to contact scholarship program administrators or faculty members for guidance on crafting competitive scholarship applications.


While Cambridge’s acceptance rates might seem daunting, understanding the factors at play and crafting a strong application can significantly increase your chances of success. Remember, Cambridge seeks well-rounded individuals with a thirst for knowledge and a passion for their chosen field. With meticulous planning, a stellar academic profile, and a compelling application, the gates of Cambridge may just open for you.

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