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University of Cambridge: Most sought after destination for Indians

The University of Cambridge is one of the most ancient and distinguished universities in the world. The University has been ranked number 1 in the 2013 Guardian, Sunday Times and Complete University Guides and it is one of the three most targeted universities by top employers according to The Graduate Market in 2012. Despite University’s stringent admission regulations, the students around the world are most intended to join the University and Indians are no exception.

Former Indian Students
In 2012-13, there were over 300 students from India studying in Cambridge (67 undergraduates and 239 postgraduates). About half (111 out of 241 in 2009-10) of them are supported by scholarship and bursary schemes administered by the Cambridge Trusts.

Among former students, three Indian Prime Ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Manmohan Singh, were educated at Cambridge, and in turn, the University is now home to distinguished academics from India, including Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta (Economics), Professor Ashok Venkataraman (Cancer Research), and Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (Molecular Biology).

Work out before applying:
Applying to the University should not be a regular practice; instead, a proper exercise should be done before applying. The exercise on the following shall assist you for entry into the University
  • Courses available
  • Entry Requirements
  • Application procedure
  • Fee structure and annual cost of studying
  • Scholarships
  • Accommodation facilities
  • Visa and Immigration
Courses Available
The University offers a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and research courses in arts, social science, medicine, science and engineering disciplines.

In most subjects, the first degree at Cambridge is the Bachelor of Arts (with Honours). The BA degree is normally a three-year post-secondary school course but some subjects such as Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and Modern Languages can be studied over four years.

Entry Requirements
For undergraduate courses
If you wish to apply for an undergraduate course, you need to be in the top one or two per cent of your year group, and doing very well in the subject area you would like to study.
  • In order to be considered for admission to Cambridge, applicants from India must normally be either potential affiliated students (i.e. applying to study for a second Bachelors degree) or studying for the International Baccalaureate or A Levels.
  • Applications from students taking CBSE or ISC Class XII examinations will be considered but only for Computer Science, Economics, Engineering, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences courses. To be shortlisted for interview such applicants will need to have achieved a minimum CGPA of 9.8 and gradeA1 in their Class X examinations in the relevant subjects.
  • Candidates who attempted the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) examination or similar national or state level talent examinations may wish to give details on their performance.
  • Any offers of admission made to such students will be conditional on performance in the IIT – JEE (JEE Advanced) or, in the case of Economics or Mathematics, on performance in STEP Mathematics
For graduate courses:
There are various modes of study at the University for Graduate Courses. They are-
  • Full-Time and Part-Time Study
  • Studying While Employed by the University
  • Pre-Sessional Courses
  • Visiting Students
  • Higher Degrees
Academic requirements will vary from course to course, and you should check the individual course entry in the qualifications directory for the course specific requirements. You are normally expected to hold or to have achieved by the start of your course:
  • At least a 2i honours degree from an overseas university and
  • Completion of, or release from, any current training or education course.
For complete information on graduate courses, visit

English language requirements
If English is not your first language, it is essential that your English language skills are good enough for you to undertake an intensive and challenging academic course that is taught and examined in English. Therefore, you may be asked to achieve one of the formal qualifications listed below as part of the conditions of your offer
  • IELTS - normally a minimum overall grade of 7.5, usually with 7.0 or above in each element
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English - grade A or B
How to apply
For Graduate Courses –

You should thoroughly research your prospective course, its requirements, deadlines and course costs in 'Step 2 - Studying at Cambridge' before you think about completing and submitting the online application form.

Information you must have before you apply:
  • Course codes.
  • Application deadline dates, and funding deadline dates.
  • The relevant required supporting documents (e.g. transcripts, CV, etc.) in pdf format to upload. See each individual course entry in the Qualifications Directory for information on documents required. These must be provided within 2 weeks of submitting your online application form.
  • Email addresses for your academic referees (please see 'Supporting Documentation: References' for details on what to do if you do not have this information).
  • You may choose up to two colleges to consider your application.
The final course deadline for applications is:
  • 30 June for admission in October
  • 30 September for admission in January
  • 31 December for admission in April (Easter Term)
For UG Courses
An application to the University consists of both an online UCAS application and a Cambridge On line Preliminary Application (COPA). If you are applying for a

Manmohan Singh Scholarship or if you would like to be considered for interview in Delhi in September, your completed COPA must be submitted by 9 September 2013 and your UCAS application must be submitted as soon as possible in early September 2013.

If you are not applying for a Manmohan Singh Scholarship and /or are intending to come to England to visit universities in December/January and prefer to be interviewed at that time in Cambridge, your completed COPA and UCAS application must be submitted by - 15 October 2013.

Total annual cost of studying: £29,000 to £49,000 (depending on subject, and excluding travel and summer vacation living costs)
Overseas fees (per year) for students commencing in 2013–14: £13,662 to £33,069 (depending on subject)

College fees
All overseas students normally have to pay College fees in addition to University tuition fees. The College fee covers the cost to your College of providing a range of educational, domestic and pastoral services and support. College fees vary slightly between Colleges but are typically in the range of £5,000 to £6,500 per year.

Accommodation Facilities and Living Expenses

Student accommodation is provided by the Cambridge Colleges. The University of Cambridge is made up of 29 undergraduate Colleges and 2 graduate Colleges. The colleges provide essentially the same range of facilities: accommodation, food, pastoral care and personal tuition. Colleges are also the centre of social life for students at Cambridge.
The minimum resources needed per year (excluding tuition and College fees) are estimated to be approximately £8,850, depending on your lifestyle.

There are various scholarships available for Indian students to pursue UG or Graduate studies at the University. A few of them are
  • Commonwealth Scholarship
  • Commonwealth Shared Cambridge Scholarship
  • SGPC Cambridge Scholarship
  • Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship
  • PHFI Cambridge Scholarship
  • Narotam Sekhsaria Cambridge Scholarship
  • Cambridge International Scholarship
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust Cambridge Scholarship
  • Cambridge Assessment Scholarship
  • Rajiv Gandhi (UK) Foundation Cambridge Scholarship
  • Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship
  • Saha Cambridge Scholarship in Physics
  • Pemanda Monappa Scholarship
For complete list and scholarships details, visit

Visa and Student Immigration
The UK operates a points-based immigration system. This system consists of five tiers; Tier 4 is relevant to full-time students at Cambridge. This includes students registered for a full-time course at Cambridge, and students registered at an overseas institution coming to Cambridge as part of those studies.
For complete information on UK Visa, visit

You must receive a 'Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies' (CAS) from the University of Cambridge before applying for your Tier 4 General Student visa. To obtain your Tier 4 visa, you must submit a valid application. You must obtain this visa before starting your studies at Cambridge. Your Tier 4 visa must be for the course you are undertaking at Cambridge. You may not start on a visa issued for another course at another institution.

If you have UK immigration permission in another capacity, for example a dependant visa, work visa or ancestry visa you may be able to study on that visa without needing to apply under Tier 4. You will have to evidence this permission before starting your course.
Published date : 10 Aug 2013 04:22PM

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