Experience Ϻ provides the opportunity to experience the social and community aspects of college life at Cambridge, as well as the sense of the academic challenge that studying at Cambridge entails. The event is entirely free, including all meals, accommodation and travel costs, and will take place in Cambridge from Sunday 18 August to Wednesday 21 August 2024.

This page contains information on: What's involved; eligibility criteria; and information on nominating students (teachers) or applying for a place (students). Please read these carefully before proceeding with an application or nomination.

Students can make an individual application (to be accompanied by a teacher reference), and we will also accept direct nominations from teachers. Please see below for full information.

Applications and nominations for 2024 are now closed. We are now processing all received applications and nominations. We will be in touch no later than 15 July with all applicants, referees and nominators to let them know if we are able to offer them a place. 

Please remember to keep an eye on your spam/junk email folders too!


What to expect


The programme will take place from 18-21 August 2024 and involves staying overnight here at Ϻ College. You can expect sessions on a variety of subjects delivered by experts in their fields, and if selected for the event, you will be able to make a choice of the three academic sessions to attend during your stay. Academic sessions will be wide-ranging and aiming to give you a taste of the academic challenge of studying at Cambridge. The following subjects will be covered: Architecture, Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, Design, Education, Engineering, Geography, Land Economy, Law, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences. Whilst we expect you will want to attend at least one related to what you would like to study, there is no obligation to only attend those sessions, and similarly even if your exact preferred course isn't covered, we welcome applications from students who feel they will still benefit from attending them (and are taking the necessary subjects at school). 

Complementing the academic sessions, we'll also cover information, advice and guidance around things like financial support, careers and applications, balanced with opportunities for down time and fun activities - the social side of university is important too! You will also have the opportunity to interact with current undergraduate students in the disciplines offered, to find out more about living and studying at Cambridge, as well as meeting other young people from around the country with similar interests. 

How much does it cost?

This event is free to attend, and will include accommodation, travel costs and meals (dinner from Sun 18 Aug to breakfast on Weds 21 Aug). You will stay in undergraduate accommodation and have your meals in the same spaces as our own students, providing you with the chance to get a real taste of unviersity life here at Ϻ. 

Travel costs

Travel costs will be covered via reimbursement. Students for whom waiting on reimbursement would cause financial difficulty can request for public transport tickets to be purchased on their behalf. Travel costs are only for the individual student - we cannot cover costs for anyone who chooses to travel to/from Cambridge with you such as parents/carers etc.

Travel costs means the price of one return standard class ticket on public transport or a mileage contribution for one return journey via car (e.g. If you live 100 miles away the contribution will be for 200miles of travel maximum). Public transport is encouraged. Students from Northern Ireland or Isle of Man will be eligible for a contribution of costs toward necessary flights. 


The schedule for this event starts in the early afternoon of Sunday 18 August with registration and finding your room from 2pm onwards (first session c. 3.30pm). The event will finish at midday on Wednesday 21 August. 

The in-person stay may fall in the school term in some areas (Scotland), and therefore selected students will need permission to miss school on those days if applicable. We would encourage students to discuss this with school as soon as possible, and not just assume you would not have permission! 


Who is eligible?

Students applying or being nominated must meet all of the following criteria (a)-(e) to be eligible for this event:

(a) currently (academic year 2023-24) in Year 12 in England/Wales, Year 13 in Northern Ireland or S5 in Scotland 

(b) currently studying at a state-maintained school in the UK - this means schools that do not charge fees. Students attending independent schools on a bursary are not eligible for this event. 

(c) achieved at least 5 GCSEs at grade 8, 9 or A* (England, Wales, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland), or a majority of National 5s at grade A (Scotland)

(d) on track to achieve the necessary grades in suitable qualifications* to study their subject/course of interest and the subject areas of sessions they might be interested in attending at Ϻ. See more below for details.

(e) you are available for the full duration of 18-21 August inclusive. You will not be able to join/leave the event early, and you are expected to attend all scheduled sessions during the event. This also means if you already have plans (a different event, a holiday, festival etc) on these dates - you won't be able to do both.

Students should also be eligible for home fee status i.e. would not be classed as an international student for fee purposes at university. Please get in touch if you require advice on this aspect (contact at bottom of page).

Grade requirements (d)

If you are interested in Architecture, Design, Education, Geography, Land Economy, Law: you will need to be on track for at least A*AA at A-Level, 776 at Higher Level with 42 overall for the International Baccalaureate, or A1A2A2 in Advanced Highers. You'll also need to take the required subjects for the course you're interested in (see next section).

If you are interested in Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology, or Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, you'll need to be on track for at least A*A*A at A-Level, 776 at Higher Level with 42 points overall for the International Baccalaureate, or A1A1A2 in Advanced Highers. You'll also need to take the required subjects for the course you're interested in (see next section).

*Please note that Applied A-Levels, Level 3 Diplomas/Certificates (such as Criminology) and BTECs are generally not suitable qualifications for applying to Cambridge and therefore will not be accepted as suitable qualifications for this programme (if the student does not also study 3 A-Levels alongside these). You can find out more about entry requirements for Cambridge . This programme is not suitable for students considering the  


What subjects do I need to be studying?

Further guidance on subjects and qualifications

This event aims to offer sessions across a variety of subject areas. Students won't be restricted to only attending sessions in their preferred subject/intended course they want to apply for at university, but they will need to be taking appropriate school subjects for any of their desired sessions. Please read the below information on what we expect students to be studying and on track for in each area. 

Subject requirements

Subjects required below must be studied at A-Level, Advanced Higher or Higher Level in the IB. For IB, Maths must be HL Analysis and Approaches where Maths is a required subject. 

Architecture: no required subjects, but Art and either Maths or Physics are desirable. A note on Art: If you don’t have a formal qualification in Art, we can consider you as long as you are doing plenty of artwork in your spare time. Please be aware that your drawing skills would be assessed during the admissions process, so you will need to make sure that these are of a high standard.

Design: Mathematics required.

Education: no specific required subjects but recommended to be studying at least one relevant subject. This might include a social science or essay-based subjects, like English, Sociology, Psychology or History, for example.

Geography: Geography required.

Land Economy: no specific subjects required.

Law: no specific subjects required.

Psychological and Behavioural Sciences: Either Maths or Biology required.

Engineering: Maths and Physics required. Further Maths required if taking A-Levels, or a third science/mathematical subjects for those doing IB or Advanced Highers.

Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology: Maths, Chemistry and one more out of Physics, Further Maths or Biology required. 

Other subjects: students may not be interested in these specific courses at Cambridge, but other related or adjacent disciplines. Those students are still very welcome to apply for this programme if they feel they will still find benefit in attending academic sessions in the areas listed above. They will still need to be on track for appropriate grades and in appropriate subjects to their area of interest, and for tasters in the areas they would choose.

You can see all subjects offered at Ϻ here - there is a subject page for each with full detail on the entry requirements for our courses. Subject requirements as above are set in line with the requirements for applications to Ϻ College. 

Students looking at laptop
Priority for places

Should we have more eligible applications than places, we will prioritise students who meet any of the following (alongside strong prior and current academic achievement):

  • Students who have not yet had the opportunity to participate in a summer school/residential or taster event at Cambridge (or won't otherwise be attending one in the summer e.g. Sutton Trust). This does not include open days!
  • Students who are currently or previously eligible for government-funded free school meals
  • Students who are care-experienced (i.e. have spent time/are currently in local authority care or kinship care)
  • Students who receive the 16-19 bursary (England) or Education Maintenance Allowance (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland)
  • Students who are refugees, asylum seekers or under humanitarian protection
  • Students with a home postcode in the bottom 40% of postcodes in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation measure (IMD deciles 1-4). (UK), or get in touch via the email below if you need help. You don't need to meet this measure or know your postcode's decile, we include the link simply to give you an idea. 
  • Students for whom visiting Cambridge as part of a day trip is least feasible (i.e. longest travel distances), such as those living in the South West, West Midlands, North West or North East England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland 
  • Students attending schools with low progression/little tradition of sending students to Cambridge 
  • Students who will be the first generation in their family to attend university (neither parents/carers have attended university)


Please note we do not typically accept more than two students from any single school or college (of applications received - there is no limit on the number of applications from a single school or college).

Students: How to Apply

Applications are now closed. 

Applications must be received by 6pm on Monday 8 July. Your application needs to be accompanied by a supporting teacher reference. The teacher you nominate will be automatically emailed when you submit your application. They have until 6pm on Tuesday 9 July to complete the reference section, but the sooner you submit, the longer they have to complete it! All applications with references received by the specified deadline will be considered equally. Late applications will not be considered under any circumstances. 

You will hear from us whether you are successful in obtaining a place or not, by 15 July. We strongly encourage you to consider an application if you meet the outlined core criteria, even if you are not 100% sure - you don't know unless you give it a go!

If you are selected for a place, we will then send you confirmation and permission forms to confirm acceptance of your place. There will be a deadline for these, which is a hard deadline. Submitting confirmation forms late if offered a place may result in your place being offered to another student.

Second Court
Teachers: Nominating Students

Nominations are now closed. All nominations must be received by 6pm on Tuesday 9 July.

Whilst students can choose to apply individually, we also welcome teachers to make nominations directly for students they would like to encourage for an opportunity such as this.

Before making your nomination(s), we do ask that:

  • You double check other staff members are not also making (the same) nominations!
  • The student you are nominating will be available to attend the event if selected
  • You have obtained consent from the student you are nominating, to do so, as you will need to provide some information on their behalf. We also send a short confirmation email of being nominated to them, but this doesn't contain the information you write on the form.

If the student is successful in being offered a place for the event, their place is only confirmed upon receipt of the relevant confirmation and permission forms we would send them at that stage.

Separate nomination forms will need to be completed for each student - note that you will need to finish and submit one form before completing the next. If having issues with the form, try an incognito or different browser. 

Get in Touch

If you have questions about this programme, applying or nominating, then please email Ellie at access@christs.cam.ac.uk

Please be aware that the will be taking place on 4 and 5 July. At this time, responses to queries will be slow as we will not have computer access on these days and may not be able to respond before the morning of 8 July. Thank you for your understanding - we wanted to provide forewarning for last minute questions!

Fellows' Garden