University of Cambridge : Rankings, Fees & Courses Details | Top Universities
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University of Cambridge

Location University of Cambridge, Cambridge United Kingdom
Ranking

# 2QS World University Rankings

PGicon

35Undergraduate programs

PGicon

131Postgraduate programs

Scholarship

AvailableScholarship

About University of Cambridge

COVID-19 Information:

UK students with an offer from the University of Cambridge are advised to wait for further information from the university. The university is working hard to minimize the impact on admissions and is consulting with UCAS and other bodies, while waiting for further government advice.

International students who must take an English-language test should check for updates on when IELTS and TOEFL test centers will reopen.

All offer holders are instructed to keep a log of any disruption they experience, so the university can treat all candidates equitably. Students are not required to send this information now, but may be asked to provide it in the future.

All events and open days have been cancelled until further notice.


Located in the center of the ancient city of Cambridge, 50 miles north of London, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution that serves more than 18,000 students from all corners of the globe. 

The university consists of numerous listed buildings and is divided into 31 autonomous colleges, with many of the older ones situated on the famous river Cam. Applications are made directly to the individual colleges, rather than to the university overall. You can live and are often taught within your college, receiving small group teaching sessions known as college supervisions. 

Six academic schools – Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Technology – are spread across the university’s colleges, housing roughly 150 faculties and other institutions. 

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge’s 800-year history makes it the fourth-oldest university in the world and the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Cambridge students make up 20 percent of the town's population and most of the older colleges are situated near the city center. Its notable buildings give the city of Cambridge a unique character, and include King's College Chapel, the history faculty building designed by James Stirling and the Cripps Building at St John's College.

Cambridge is widely acknowledged as a vibrant place to be a student. On the academic side, the university is home to over 100 libraries, which hold more than 15 million books in total. There are also nine world-renowned arts, scientific and cultural museums such as Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, which are open to the public throughout the year, as well as a botanical garden. 

Extracurricular activities give you the chance to get involved with anything from the university’s renowned student drama societies, which spawned the likes of comedy group Monty Python, to music, politics and hundreds of other clubs and societies. The sports scene at Cambridge is huge too, with state-of-the-art facilities and over 80 sports on offer with teams for novices and experts alike. 

With its reputation for academic excellence and traditional scholarly values, the University of Cambridge often ranks among the very top universities in the world for teaching, research, and international outlook. The university has educated eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors and heads of state. Ninety-eight Nobel laureates and 15 British prime ministers have affiliations with Cambridge as students, faculty or alumni, including the scientists Francis Crick and Frederick Sanger.


About University of Cambridge

COVID-19 Information:

UK students with an offer from the University of Cambridge are advised to wait for further information from the university. The university is working hard to minimize the impact on admissions and is consulting with UCAS and other bodies, while waiting for further government advice.

International students who must take an English-language test should check for updates on when IELTS and TOEFL test centers will reopen.

All offer holders are instructed to keep a log of any disruption they experience, so the university can treat all candidates equitably. Students are not required to send this information now, but may be asked to provide it in the future.

All events and open days have been cancelled until further notice.


Located in the center of the ancient city of Cambridge, 50 miles north of London, the University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research institution that serves more than 18,000 students from all corners of the globe. 

The university consists of numerous listed buildings and is divided into 31 autonomous colleges, with many of the older ones situated on the famous river Cam. Applications are made directly to the individual colleges, rather than to the university overall. You can live and are often taught within your college, receiving small group teaching sessions known as college supervisions. 

Six academic schools – Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Technology – are spread across the university’s colleges, housing roughly 150 faculties and other institutions. 

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge’s 800-year history makes it the fourth-oldest university in the world and the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world. Cambridge students make up 20 percent of the town's population and most of the older colleges are situated near the city center. Its notable buildings give the city of Cambridge a unique character, and include King's College Chapel, the history faculty building designed by James Stirling and the Cripps Building at St John's College.

Cambridge is widely acknowledged as a vibrant place to be a student. On the academic side, the university is home to over 100 libraries, which hold more than 15 million books in total. There are also nine world-renowned arts, scientific and cultural museums such as Kettle’s Yard and the Fitzwilliam Museum, which are open to the public throughout the year, as well as a botanical garden. 

Extracurricular activities give you the chance to get involved with anything from the university’s renowned student drama societies, which spawned the likes of comedy group Monty Python, to music, politics and hundreds of other clubs and societies. The sports scene at Cambridge is huge too, with state-of-the-art facilities and over 80 sports on offer with teams for novices and experts alike. 

With its reputation for academic excellence and traditional scholarly values, the University of Cambridge often ranks among the very top universities in the world for teaching, research, and international outlook. The university has educated eminent mathematicians, scientists, politicians, lawyers, philosophers, writers, actors and heads of state. Ninety-eight Nobel laureates and 15 British prime ministers have affiliations with Cambridge as students, faculty or alumni, including the scientists Francis Crick and Frederick Sanger.


University information

Total students

20,871

UG students

63%

PG students

37%

International students

7,865

UG students

40%

PG students

60%

Total faculty staff

5,735

Domestic staff

48%

Int'l staff

52%

Rankings & ratings

University of Cambridge is one of the top public universities in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is ranked #2 in QS World University Rankings 2023.

QS World University Rankings

  • 2012
    #2
  • 2014
    #3
  • 2015
    #=2
  • 2016
    #=3
  • 2017
    #4
  • 2018
    #5
  • 2019
    #6
  • 2020
    #7
  • 2021
    #7
  • 2022
    #=3
  • 2023
    #2

Ranking criteria

98.8
Overall
100
Academic Reputation
100
Employer Reputation
100
Faculty Student Ratio
92.3
Citations per Faculty
100
International Faculty Ratio
96.3
International Students Ratio
99.5
International Research Network
100
Employment Outcomes

Available programs

To study at Cambridge is the dream of many a 17-year-old with academic aspirations, and the scholastic setting of the medieval city is almost uniquely suited to studying. The university employs a collegiate system, so you apply to your chosen college rather than the university itself. Should you be offered a place to study, this college is where you will live, eat, sleep, socialize and take classes. Cambridge guarantees most students college-owned accommodation for the three years of their degree, which is located either on college grounds or in apartments in and around the city. This system is unlike most British universities, where students must find private accommodation after their first year.

Cambridge offers 30 undergraduate programs covering more than 65 subject areas, from chemical engineering to English, mathematics, medicine, and classics. Unusually for a UK university, undergraduate programs cover the subject area very broadly in the initial years before offering a wide range of options in which to specialize later on. 

Faculties arrange lectures, seminars and practicals which students from all of the colleges attend, while colleges arrange supervisions, which provide personal tuition. Each academic year consists of three eight-week terms. The pace and volume of work is notable and there’s much emphasis on independent and self-directed study. 

Competition for places at Cambridge is fierce, with an acceptance rate of 21 percent. This means you should not only research your subject area thoroughly before applying, but also think tactically when it comes to choosing your college. While some colleges may have an excellent reputation for certain subjects, they could prove more difficult to get into. 

Application is done through completing a UCAS form. In addition, you will be asked to complete a supplementary application questionnaire and take a written admission assessment. Everyone with a realistic chance of being offered a place is then invited to an interview day. Don’t be surprised if you are asked to attend multiple interviews while you’re there, as the process of selecting students can often last more than one round.

When a decision is made about your application, you will either be offered a place, told your application to study was unsuccessful or be informed you’ve been added into a “pool” with other students. This means the college you applied to has no room for you, but that you have been offered to other colleges which might still have spaces. The pooling system is designed to ensure the best applicants still have a chance of gaining a place at Cambridge, even if the college they applied to was over-subscribed.

Tuition fees are currently £9,250 a year for all courses, and living costs – accommodation, food, course costs, study materials, personal expenses and transport – cost around the same annual figure. Financial aid exists in the form of student loans for UK students, and there are Cambridge bursaries that can award up to £3,500 a year. 


Attracting the best minds since 1209, the University of Cambridge is home to 7,500 graduate students who are working towards a master’s or doctoral degree. Half of them come from overseas to study in the famous medieval city, and more than 40 percent are women. 

All in all, there are around 330 postgraduate programs available to study at Cambridge. Students can choose from taught or research-based masters’ degrees, lasting nine to 12 months full-time in subjects ranging from adult education to zoology, with predominantly research-based PhDs lasting three to four years full-time, and up to seven years part-time. 

Full-time masters’ programs are notoriously difficult, requiring students to up their game considerably from undergraduate level. In preparation for postgraduate study, applicants are advised to thoroughly research their program and ideally attend an open day, which take place on campus and include opportunities to speak with the current crop of postgraduate students. 

Visiting the university may also help applicants decide on which college they want to apply for. To apply, candidates must upload academic references, university transcripts, a research proposal, GRE scores, an up-to-date resume, and, in some cases, samples of written work. All of this is submitted to Cambridge’s online portal as part of the application process. International applicants must also provide evidence of competency in English. 

Tuition fees include teaching, supervision, student support and access to university and college facilities. They vary between courses, but as a rule expect to pay around £11,000 (US$15,395) for a one-year MPhil (master’s) course (certain courses that lead into professions such as corporate law, economics or the Master of Business Administration charge considerably more) and £8,100 (US$11,336) for each year of PhD study. 

Overseas students are required to pay more, typically around £24,000 (US$33,588) for a one-year MPhil program, and up to £30,000 (US$41,985) for each year of PhD study. 

There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, which awards approximately 500 scholarships annually, and Gates Cambridge, which awards around 100 postgraduate scholarships each year in any subject. 

Applying for these funding opportunities is easy, with 80 percent of funding opportunities awarded last year simply requiring applicants to fill in the relevant section of the Cambridge application portal. 


MPhil in Music
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African Studies
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Polar Studies
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