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University of Cambridge International Acceptance Rate – 2024 Complete Guide

Gaining admission to Cambridge University is a difficult but worthwhile endeavor. Considering that its average acceptance rate in 2022 was only 15.7%, Cambridge is still among the most competitive universities in the United Kingdom.

Prospective students can, however, submit the best UCAS application by being aware of important details such as the admissions procedure, course-specific acceptance rates, and how your background affects your chances.

Everything you need to know about university of cambridge international acceptance rates and applying to Cambridge as a UK or foreign student will be explained in detail in this guide.

Cambridge University Admissions Process

Applications to Cambridge are submitted to and assessed by the university’s independent colleges, in contrast to certain other UK universities that operate under a centralized system. Candidates from Cambridge can submit an open application that is assigned to a college by an automated system, or they can apply directly to a particular college.

The relevant college reviews the applications first and has the option to offer directly or send them to the Winter Pool for consideration by further colleges.

After pool assessment, candidates who get offers may be placed in the Summer Pool if their offer conditions are just barely missed and they are reevaluated following the release of the A-level results. For some underrepresented students who met performance standards but did not meet offer requirements, there is an August Reconsideration Pool.

Admissions decisions are strongly influenced by the academic interests and recruiting priorities of individual colleges in any given year due to this decentralized, college-based admissions process. College to college, the number of spots available in every subject varies.

Why Is Cambridge’s Acceptance Rate Important?

The percentage of applicants that are offered admission is known as the acceptance rate. Given Cambridge’s acceptance rate of 15.7%, which indicates that over 80% of applicants are REJECTED, admission is extremely hard.

An indicator of status and selectivity for elite universities such as Imperial College, Cambridge, and Oxford is the acceptance rate. The university is seen as being more exclusive due to the low admittance rate. Cambridge maintains strict admissions requirements, admitting only the best candidates despite having all the resources and facilities it need.

Cambridge must, however, strike a balance between diversity objectives and selectivity. To make sure Cambridge accepts the best candidates from all backgrounds, this entails keeping an eye on acceptance rates for underrepresented and disadvantaged student groups and implementing outreach initiatives.

university of cambridge international acceptance rate

Factors Affecting Acceptance Rates in Cambridge

Numerous factors that affect Cambridge’s total acceptance rate, includes:

  • More applications in terms of number reduced rates of acceptance
  • Higher standards/entry requirements result in fewer offers being made
  • Prioritize your subjects so that there are more offers in those areas.
  • Prioritizing underprivileged groups in diversity goals could increase their acceptance rates.
  • Recruiting in foreign markets: a greater number of foreign candidates results in cheaper tuition for domestic students

For instance, the 22,470 applications that were received in 2022 were marginally fewer than those in 2021, which helped to explain the tiny increase in the acceptance rate from 15.1% to 16.1% in the prior year.

Acceptance Rate in Cambridge

According to the Admission report, Cambridge received 22,470 applications in 2022 for undergraduate courses and extended offers to 4,238 students. This led to 3,544 acceptances and an overall acceptance percentage of 15.7%.

Comparing this against top universities such as Oxford (13.7%), Imperial (12.7%), UCL (14.2%), Warwick (20.6%), and the Russell Group average of 22.9%, it is still very competitive.

To put this into context, each year over 80% of applicants with the best grades and most extracurricular achievements are nevertheless turned down by Cambridge.

Year Acceptance Rate
2022 15.7%
2021 15.1%
2020 13.8%
2019 16.7%
2018 17.1%

Course-specific Cambridge Acceptance Rates

At Cambridge, acceptance rates for different degrees range greatly, from 7.4% for Medicine to 46.4% for Music. This illustrates the varying degrees of rivalry for available spots.

Fewer students can be admitted to courses like engineering, medicine, and economics because of their immense popularity. Although less overcrowded, less competitive courses like Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic Education nevertheless have greater admission rates.

In 2022, courses with admission rates of less than 10% included Medicine (7.6%), Economics (10%), Computer Science (8.4%), and Engineering (12.9%). The courses with the highest acceptance rates—46.4% for music, 42.1% for modern and medieval languages, and 29.5% for history—were those with more than 100 acceptances.

Cambridge Course Acceptance Rate
Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic 40.70%
Archaeology 35.00%
Architecture 11.30%
Asian & Middle Eastern Studies 33.80%
Classics 43.10%
Classics (4 years) 38.10%
Economics 10.00%
Education 15.30%
English 23.80%
Geography 19.60%
History 29.50%
History & Modern Languages 24.00%
History & Politics 14.60%
History of Art 20.80%
Human, Social & Political Sciences 11.30%
Land Economy 13.10%
Law 11.80%
Linguistics 21.70%
Modern & Medieval Languages 42.90%
Music 46.40%
Philosophy 16.60%
Theology, Religion & Philosophy of Religion 40.20%
Computer Science 8.40%
Engineering 12.90%
Mathematics 16.60%
Medicine 13.70%
Medicine Graduate Course 7.00%
Natural Sciences 21.10%
Psychological & Behavioural Sciences 9.30%
Veterinary Medicine 15.90%

Because of these differences, students should select courses based on their interests and academic strengths rather than only applying to the most competitive programs. For example, a student who is passionate in languages and the arts is more likely to get admitted into Modern Languages than Medicine.

University of Cambridge International Acceptance Rate

Applicants from outside the UK have a lower chance of being accepted to Cambridge than those from the UK, with university of cambridge international acceptance rate in 2022 being just 9.8%. Particularly competitive are courses like medicine (13.7% vs. 5.9%) and economics (10% UK vs. 3.9% international).

Because to rigorous overseas student number limitations and a preference for recruiting from within the UK, Cambridge has a lower acceptance rate for international applicants.

Nonetheless, over the past ten years, Cambridge’s outlook has become more global, as evidenced by the consistently rising number of international acceptances. Compared to 15.2% in 2013, 20.4% of admitted students were foreign students in 2022.

university of cambridge international acceptance rate

Cambridge University Acceptance Rate for Masters

The rivalry for admission to Cambridge University’s postgraduate program is equally fierce as it is for undergraduate entrance. The acceptance rate for postgraduate courses at Cambridge Masters dropped from 12.4% in 2020 to 11.5% in 2021. There are notable differences between the programs. For instance, the approval rates for 2021 varied from just 4.8% for architecture to 18% for bioscience businesses.

Less than 1 in 10 applicants were accepted into prestigious master’s programs including the MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise and the MPhil in Advanced Computer Science.

Similar to undergraduate admissions, international applicants—especially those from non-EU nations—have the lowest acceptance rates. However, by not imposing quotas on non-EU students, Cambridge actively welcomes applications from outside the EU for a number of its master’s programs.


Although getting into Cambridge is extremely competitive, thousands of worthy students are accepted every year. Putting forward the best picture of your extracurricular and academic achievements can increase your chances of acceptance.

Keep in mind that Cambridge institutions consider any challenges you may have encountered when making contextual offers.

Learn about the Oxbridge application process and choose your college and courses carefully. One of the most esteemed learning groups in the world could soon include you if you apply with passion, persistence, and perfection. Click here to read more on university of cambridge applying process on the school official weebsite.


  1. What was the 2022 acceptance rate for Cambridge University?

The overall acceptance percentage at Cambridge for undergraduate entry in 2022 was 15.7%. The rejection rate for candidates was above 80%.

  1. How do other prestigious UK institutions’ acceptance rates stack up against Cambridge’s?

Compared to other selective universities such as Imperial (12.7%), UCL (14.2%), Warwick (20.6%), and the average of the Russell Group, which is 22.9%, Cambridge’s acceptance rate of 15.7% is remarkably low. With 15.9%, only Oxford is as selective.

  1. Which Cambridge courses have the best acceptance rates?

Due to lower competition for spots, courses with lower enrollment rates, such as history (29.5%), modern and medieval languages (42.1%), and music (46.4%), give higher chances of admission. The hardest courses to get into are computer science (8.4%), medicine (7.6%), and economics (10%).

  1. Is admission to Cambridge more difficult for students from other countries?

Indeed, Cambridge gives preference to applicants from the UK; in 2022, the admission percentage for international students was 9.8%, while the rate for home/EU applicants was 18.8%. The most competitive courses are those in medicine and economics.

  1. What level of education is required to enroll at Cambridge?

Almost all applicants who are accepted receive straight A/A* results at the GCSE and A-Level, or its equivalent. 97.9% of candidates who were accepted in 2022 received an A*AA or better in their top three A-Levels. To stay competitive, you need to provide exceptional work.

we hope we’ve been able to answer all your questions? If you find this post helpful and you are interested in other international universities acceptance rate, you can check our websites for more information.

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