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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

How to apply

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Photo of students at matriculation
Students at matriculation

We welcome applications from women with great academic potential from all backgrounds. If Cambridge offers a course you are interested in and you are doing well in your studies, we would encourage you to apply to Murray Edwards.

The University website provides full details on applying to the University of Cambridge. More information on how to apply, key dates and how we will handle your application are below. We have also provided some statistics about successful candidates.




You apply to Cambridge University through UCAS.  When selecting a College, the campus code for Murray Edwards is 'O'. The deadline is 15 October.

If you are applying for a course that has a pre-interview assessment, please make sure you are registered to do so.

On submitting your application to UCAS, you will receive an email from Cambridge University asking you to complete and submit the Supplementary Application Questionnaire. The deadline for this is 22 October.

Late October/early November


Your application is read by the Admissions Tutor and the Director of Studies in your chosen subject. They will decide which candidates to invite to interview.

Candidates who have applied for a subject that includes an at-interview assessment will be contacted once the Admissions Tutor and relevant Director of Studies have completed their review process.

30 October


Pre-interview written assessments are sat.



Mid-late November


Results of pre-interview admissions assessments are sent to Colleges. Decisions are made in these subjects and invitations to interview are sent out.



Interviews. Details about your interview(s) will be sent to you. When you arrive, our current students will be there to welcome you and take you to your interview rooms. They will answer any questions you might have about the day, the College or life in Cambridge.



Decisions. In mid-January, you will hear the result of your application. We email all candidates on the same day. Traditionally, Murray Edwards makes a significant number of offers from the Winter Pool to those candidates who had initially applied to other Colleges. We recognise that being offered a place at an unfamiliar College might be daunting but we work hard to make sure all our offer holders feel welcome.


We contact you in April with a reminder of some of the steps in the process that may still need to be completed before you join us in October. This includes sorting out your financial arrangements.




For those taking A Levels and have met their offers: you will get a letter from us and UCAS track will update on the day you get your results.

For those taking other qualifications: we will contact you as soon as we hear your results. If you are taking non-UK qualifications, you will need to let us know the results yourself.

We do not normally make concessions for those who have missed their offers, as we make more offers than we have places available. If you decide to go for a re-mark, you need to secure the required grade by 31 August in order to secure your place for October.



We will contact you in August with reading lists to help prepare you for the start of term. 

In September, you will hear about accommodation and details about arrival and freshers' week.

Arrivals day at the beginning of October is a special event for the College and we will make every effort to ensure you feel welcome and part of the College from your very first day.


Offer levels

The typical offer for those taking A Levels is A* A* A for Economics and all Science subjects (except PBS and Veterinary Medicine), and A* A A for all other subjects. In most subjects, we will usually ask for the A* or A*s to be achieved in those A Levels most relevant to your degree. For IB students, we usually ask for 42 points and 776 at Higher Level. Again, we may specify the subject grades we wish you to achieve.

For all other qualifications, you can find details of what the University's typical offers are here.

If you would like further information regarding international qualifications, please contact us.


Application statistics

  • We aim to admit around 105 students a year: roughly three quarters are from the UK and the rest are from Europe and beyond.
  • In the last five years, the proportion of state school entrants to Murray Edwards among Home students has been (most recent first): 67.1%, 66.3%, 70.7%, 65.4% and 61.9%.
  • In recent years, our entrants have, on average, had 8.5 A*s at GCSE (equivalent to 8s and 9s in the new-style GCSEs), 3.1 A*s at A Level (for Science students) and 2.1 A*s at A Level (for Arts and Humanities students).
  • We have one of the highest proportions of students from BAME backgrounds in Cambridge with 31% of our intake in 2018 identifying as BAME.
  • In 2018, our first-year students came from 11 different countries.



We understand interviews can be stressful. These notes may help to reassure you.

Interviews form just one part of our overall assessment of you

When you receive your invitation to interview, we will explain exactly what the interview day will involve. In most subjects, you will have two interviews about your chosen subject. However, in some smaller subjects, you will have a general interview with the Admissions Tutor (or another Fellow in a related subject) and one subject interview.

All our interviewers are trained and experienced, and will try to put you at your ease

Subject interviewers will share your interest in the subject and will be keen to discuss it with you.

Subject interviews have three main purposes:

  • To make sure you have a good understanding of the subject you're applying for.
  • To see if you can apply existing knowledge, skills or techniques to unfamiliar situations.
  • To ask you about things you have not come across before, often in the form of prompt material.

We won't expect you to know all the answers but we want you to have a go, perhaps by thinking out loud about how you would approach the problem.

General academic interviews also help to assess you and interviewers will often ask you more widely about your interests and your academic progress.

Additional preparation

  • You may find it helpful to watch one of the short videos of a Cambridge interview.
  • Ensure you have re-read your personal statement and anything else you may have sent us (such as written work).
  • Revise some of your A Level topics (especially things from Year 12).

We will not ask about what was in your pre-interview assessment if you took one.

We will review your interview performance alongside others who interviewed for the same subject. We will also take into consideration the other information we have about your strengths.

On the day

  • Dress comfortably for your interview. We don't expect you to buy a smart new outfit.
  • We provide any meals free of charge while you are with us and will offer you a free overnight stay if you have a long way to come.
  • Our current students run a helpdesk on interview days. They will welcome you when you arrive in College, guide you to the interview rooms, chat with you about the College and ask you how your day is going. If you stay overnight, they usually invite you to drop in and chat over drinks and biscuits in the evening.


Frequently asked questions

Can I apply if I am under 18? 

Although we normally expect students to be 18 on entry, we are prepared to consider those under 18 on a case-by-case basis. We take into account your ability and maturity, and the particular requirements of the subject you wish to study.

Does Murray Edwards consider students who wish to take a gap year?

Yes, we are very happy to consider students who are either applying for deferred entry in Year 13 or applying with results already in hand.

Can I apply to study at Murray Edwards for just one year as part of my undergraduate studies elsewhere?

This is only possible in connection with a designated and agreed scheme (e.g. Erasmus in Law).

Can I apply if I am a 'mature' applicant?

We welcome applications from those over 18 and this includes mature applicants (a term usually used at Cambridge to refer to those over 21 when they start their degree).

Those who are over 21 might also like to seek advice from the four Cambridge Colleges that only admit mature students: Hughes Hall, Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund's and Wolfson. Speaking with one or more of these Colleges may be especially useful if you taking Access diplomas or qualifications other than A Levels.

Can I apply if I am a male student? 

No. Murray Edwards is a College for women only.

Can I apply if I am transgender or if I am non-binary?

Yes. We will consider any student who, at the point of application, identifies as female and, where they have been identified as male at birth, has taken steps to live in the female gender (or has been legally recognised as female via the Gender Recognition Act 2004).

In recent years, we have had a number of students who have identified as non-binary or as male. While most have been happy to remain at Murray Edwards, any student who decides they would prefer to be in a mixed College if transitioning to male or rejecting a binary gender category, will have the full support of College. We will do all that is possible to bring a transfer about but this would only be one option. Full tutorial support will be given to the student throughout the process regardless of the option the student chooses to take.

Do you interview all candidates?

We interview everyone who has a realistic chance of gaining a place with us. In recent years, this has been between 70% and 75% of the field. You will be notified in mid-late November if you have been selected for interview.


Policy documents

We are required to make a set of policy documents readily accessible to those holding offers, as follows: