Can You Apply to Both Oxford and Cambridge University?

can you apply to both oxford and Cambridge

It is extremely difficult to get into both Oxford and Cambridge, and you cannot apply to both. How can you determine which university will suit you the most?

There are a lot of significant distinctions even if Oxbridge may share many similarities. Let’s get a few details about them so you can choose the best fit for you!

Oxford and Cambridge were the only two universities in England more than eight centuries ago. Even if there is still rivalry between the two, it has strengthened the bond between the two institutions. Studying at one of these esteemed colleges is a dream for students all around the world.

In this article, we’ll break down the key information you need to know about applying to both Oxford and Cambridge and help you navigate this challenging decision.

Can you apply to both Cambridge and Oxford?

Unfortunately, no. You cannot apply to Cambridge and Oxford in the same admission year. The sheer volume of applicants who want to attend one of these universities would make it logistically impossible to evaluate all the applications.

Limiting candidates to choose between the two reduces the number of applications they must assess for their limited intake each year.

Further, given that Oxford and Cambridge are fully aware that they have world reputations for being two of the best universities in the UK and the world, they know that when an applicant applies to their university, that student has made a conscious decision of preference.

In doing so, you as the applicant signal to that university that you believe they can provide you with the best launching pad to future success and a lifetime in that collegiate community. Therefore, if you have set your targets on attending Oxbridge, it is essential you know which of these two universities is most suitable for your future aspirations. Then you can decide which university is best for you!

Both Oxford and Cambridge fully grasp that they’ll be inundated with a substantial influx of applications. By permitting individuals to apply to both institutions, it would exacerbate the already considerable workload of assessing applications for their limited admission slots.

Additionally, it could lead to both universities engaging in interviews with applicants who might eventually attend only one, a practice primarily driven by efficiency.

One positive aspect of this arrangement, emphasized by both universities, is that it compels applicants to carefully consider which of the two they genuinely prefer, rather than simply aiming to “study at Oxbridge.”

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Cambridge and Oxford- Which of these universities should you opt for?

Your decision largely hinges on your chosen field of study. While both universities offer robust educational programs spanning a variety of arts and sciences, their course offerings can diverge. It’s imperative to delve into their respective course catalogs to pinpoint the best fit for you.

Some degree programs are available at both universities, while others are exclusive to one institution. Make sure to consult each undergraduate prospectus or website for detailed course information.

Be aware that even if two courses bear similar titles at both universities, their modules and content may differ. Hence, it’s vital to scrutinize the course details to ascertain the best match for your academic pursuits.

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Cambridge and Oxford- Application Process

The two institutions follow somewhat distinct application procedures, with key distinctions:

Firstly, Cambridge mandates that certain students complete the Cambridge Online Preliminary Application (COPA) alongside their UCAS application. Additionally, all Cambridge applicants must fill out an online Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) to ensure uniform information about candidates.

In contrast, Oxford doesn’t require applicants to complete any additional forms. They typically require applicants to undergo a written test or assessment as part of the application process, a subject we’ll explore further in the section about interviews. This assessment comes into play if an application is shortlisted, but for now, it’s important to note that no extra forms are needed.

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Cambridge and Oxford- Interview Process

Although the interview experience may vary for each student, the fundamental purpose, structure, and flow of these university interviews are quite similar at both schools.

They resemble mini-tutorials or supervisions, a common aspect of the university experience. Typically, students receive a brief passage to read or a small problem to solve, which they discuss with the interviewer(s).

The primary goal of these interviews is to provide the interviewer(s) with insight into how each student applies their existing knowledge and personal skill set to address the questions posed, as well as their approach to processing available information.

It’s important to note that these interviews aren’t a race; they don’t hinge on how quickly one arrives at an answer or whether an answer is reached at all. The questions posed in interviews often lack definitive right or wrong answers.

Instead, they focus on exploring each student’s problem-solving process and thought patterns. This aspect holds the greatest significance for interviewers, who are keenly interested in understanding how each student thinks.

While this might seem intimidating, it’s genuinely beneficial for students to stay relaxed and be themselves. There’s no need to rush to a conclusion or fear providing an incorrect response. Simply work through your thought process clearly and audibly.

Moreover, keep in mind that a student’s interview performance isn’t the sole determining factor in their application’s success. Both Cambridge and Oxford consider a variety of factors when selecting their student intake for the upcoming academic year.

For those considering studying in Cambridge, it’s worthwhile to explore the available student housing options in the area. Ultimately, remember that the interview is an opportunity to showcase your abilities and thought processes, so approach it with confidence and authenticity.

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Can You Apply to Both Oxford and Cambridge for Masters

Sure. Graduates are not restricted in any way; the UCAS rule restricting applicants to Cambridge or Oxford only applies to school leavers. If you are having trouble selecting both Universities, please get in touch with UCAS directly.

Can You Apply to Both Oxford and Cambridge in UK?

It is not possible to apply to both Oxford and Cambridge in the same year, and you may only apply to one course at Oxford. View additional details about each of these courses. Verify the prerequisites for your course’s admittance. Every course page also lists the specific grades and courses that are needed.

Read this for more information on how to apply.

Oxford Application Deadline 2024

October 16, 2024

October 16, 2024 is the deadline for international students applying through UCAS to be admitted to Oxford for undergraduate studies.

The deadline for graduate program admission at the University of Oxford varies depending on the program. Learn more. Check the deadline for accepting UCAS offer for 2024.

Cambridge University Application Deadline 2024

22 October 2024, 6 p.m. UK time, is the deadline for submitting My Cambridge application. If you choose to study at Cambridge, you must fill out this additional application form. Learn more.

Why Can You Only Apply to Oxford or Cambridge

But why is it the case? The two colleges are so competitive that they do not want to be second choice to anyone, much less their longtime competitor, according to certain theories that have been floated in the past, although it’s a little less dramatic than that. In essence, supply and demand determine everything.

Can You Apply to Both Oxford and Cambridge for Medicine

If you’re a home student in the UK, you apply to Oxbridge Medicine through UCAS. You can only apply to one university, therefore you will have to decide between studying medicine in Cambridge or Oxford.

As colleges comprise the organizational structure of both Oxford and Cambridge, you will also need to decide which college to apply to.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to both Oxford and Cambridge at the same time?

Yes, you can apply to both universities in the same application cycle. However, you’ll need to meet each university’s specific admission requirements and deadlines.

Are there any restrictions on the combination of courses I can apply for at Oxford and Cambridge?

Both universities allow you to apply for different courses at each institution. For instance, you can apply for Engineering at Oxford and Economics at Cambridge if you meet the requirements for both programs.

What’s the application process like for applying to both universities?

You need to submit separate applications to Oxford and Cambridge through the UCAS system. Each university will require its own set of documents, such as personal statements, academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation.

Is it more challenging to get into both Oxford and Cambridge compared to applying to just one?

Applying to both universities can be more competitive because you’re competing against a pool of highly qualified candidates. However, if you genuinely meet the academic criteria and are passionate about your chosen field, it’s worth considering.

Can I receive offers from both Oxford and Cambridge, and how do I choose between them?

It is possible to receive offers from both universities, but you’ll eventually have to choose one. When making your decision, consider factors like course content, teaching styles, location, and your overall preference for the university’s environment


Applying to both Oxford and Cambridge University is possible, but it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Consider your academic strengths, interests, and career goals carefully.

Research the specific requirements of each university and program, and remember that competition is fierce. Whether you apply to one or both universities, your dedication, passion, and hard work will play a crucial role in your journey to success.



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