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International Students


These are some frequently asked questions from prospective and current international students.


Q. What are the entrance requirements for study at Cambridge as an international student?

For undergraduate study, see international entrance requirements.

For postgraduate study, see international qualifications.

Both sites include information about English language requirements.

Q. What scholarship opportunities are available to study at Cambridge?

For undergraduate study, see international financial support.

For postgraduate study, see Funding.

You may also wish to check opportunities from scholarship agencies in your home country.

Q. What does ‘collegiate University’ mean?

Cambridge is a ‘collegiate University’. This refers to the University, which includes Departments, Faculties, Schools, central administrative offices, libraries and museums, and the 31 autonomous Colleges. Students are members of a College where they receive pastoral and academic support.

Undergraduate students apply to a College.

Postgraduate students are accepted by a College after the academic decision on whether to recommend you for a place is made by the relevant department.

Q. What is my fee status?

Fee status is determined in accordance with UK Government legislation. Information is outlined on the undergraduate study webpages and postgraduate study webpages. Guidance is also provided on the website for the UK Council of International Student Affairs.

Q. Do I need a visa to study at Cambridge?

Guidance on whether you require a visa is outlined on our student immigration webpages.

Q. How and when do I apply for a student visa?

For information on applying from outside of the UK, see student entry clearance.

If you are applying from inside the UK (because you already have immigration permission that permits this), see student visa permission to stay.

Q. What documentation do I need to submit as part of my visa application?

The documentation you are required to submit to the Home Office in support of your visa application varies depending on your personal circumstances. All applicants have to submit their passport and, depending on your nationality and chosen course, you may also be required to submit financial evidence to prove that you can cover your course fees and living costs, ATAS certificate, TB certificate and police registration certificate. See student visa pages for further information.

Q. When and how do I get my CAS to support my student visa application?

You will receive your CAS once you have met all of your offer conditions and your offer of admission is confirmed. Your CAS will be sent to you electronically.

The Postgraduate Admissions Office issues CAS for new postgraduate students.

All other CAS are issued by the International Student Office.

Q. Can someone at the University check my visa application and supporting documents before I submit them to the Home Office?

The International Student Office’s visa advice service provides advice on a range of student-related immigration matters. This includes checking visa application forms and supporting documents.

Q. How do I collect my Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) after I arrive in the UK?

If you are starting in Michaelmas Term, we advise you to select collection of your BRP from the University when completing your visa application. To do this, you will need to use the relevant ACL code in the relevant part of your visa application. Once you arrive in the UK, the collection location will depend on when you are starting your studies. Further information is outlined at Collecting your BRP. Students starting in Lent and Easter terms are advised to collect their BRP from the Post Office.

Q. What is ATAS?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) requires students who will be studying for a postgraduate qualification in certain sensitive subject areas on a time-limited visa, which includes a student visa, to apply for a clearance certificate. The relevant subject areas are based on whether knowledge gained could be used in programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction or their means of delivery. Certain nationalities are exempt. 

ATAS applications are administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). It is a free online application. The standard ATAS processing time is 20 working days although this can increase to 6 weeks or more during the peak period July – September.

Q. I am on a student visa. Can I access healthcare services for free in the UK?

Students applying for a student visa to study at Cambridge for 6 months or longer will pay an immigration health surcharge as part of their visa application. This will entitle them to access the National Health Service (NHS).

Q. How can I visit the University of Cambridge?

You may find some useful general information at Visiting the University.

Most of the Colleges are open to visitors during weekdays and at the weekends, and will allow you to stroll around independently during visiting hours (with the exception of some restricted areas). College websites provide information on exact opening hours. If there are any particular Colleges that you would like to visit during your stay in Cambridge, we would recommend that you contact them in advance to check that they will be open to the public on the day of your visit.

You may also like to contact the Department or Faculty you wish to visit directly and see if they can assist you.

You may wish to attend an open day for undergraduate study or postgraduate study

Q. How do I open a bank account?

Information on opening a bank account as a new international student is available on our arriving webpages. The major UK banks have branches in Cambridge. Different banks offer different benefits and services to international students so it is advisable to check your options before making a choice. Most students open a current account which provides a visa debit card, which can be used to make payment in shops and online as well as take money from cash points (ATMs) up to a daily maximum limit, and is usually combined with an online banking service.

Q. I am interested in doing an internship at the university.

The University does not have a centrally organised application procedure for internships / training placements so you will need to contact the relevant Department, Faculty or University Office where you are interested in undertaking work experience to see if they are able to assist with your request.

Q. I am interested in coming to the university as a visiting student.

Some Colleges will consider applications from overseas students wishing to undertake a short course of undergraduate study in Cambridge as a visiting student.

If you are a postgraduate student, application procedures will vary depending on the Department or Faculty. You will need to contact the relevant Department/Faculty directly for further information.

Prospective incoming Erasmus students who wish to undertake a traineeship / work placement at the University, should contact the relevant Department/Faculty directly for further information.

You may also be interested in our International Summer Programmes.