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University of Cambridge


With more than 18,000 students from all walks of life and all corners of the world, nearly 9,000 staff, 31 Colleges and 150 Departments, Faculties, Schools and other institutions, no two days are ever the same at the University of Cambridge.

At the heart of this confederation of Departments, Schools, Faculties and Colleges is a central administration team. It is small because the Colleges are self-governing and teaching staff carry out much of the daily administration at Cambridge.

Cambridge is structured differently from other universities, and these differences make Cambridge special. To help you get started let us explain the basics.

The Cambridge advantage: our courses

Cambridge is one of the best universities in the world, offering undergraduate degree courses (also called Triposes at Cambridge) in the arts, social sciences, sciences, engineering and medical sciences.

Our courses are distinctive for their:

Flexibility – many courses encompass several subjects (with some options available in several courses, where the subjects overlap), meaning they can be much more flexible than more narrowly focused courses elsewhere. Look closely at the Subject A-Z and courses section and the descriptions for the related courses listed in each entry

Exploration – most courses cover the subject area broadly to start with before allowing you to choose from a range of specialisms. This means you can explore the subject and your strengths and interests fully before you decide on which area to focus.

When researching what Cambridge has to offer you may come across the term 'Tripos', which is the formal term we use to refer to our degree courses. You can find an explanation of the Tripos system and more information in the course section.

A collegiate university: who does what?

Cambridge is a 'collegiate' university. This means that it comprises of various faculties and departments in different academic subjects and a number of Colleges

The key functions that the University (through its faculties/departments) and Colleges are responsible for are outlined below, to show how it all fits together.


The University:  


  • determines course content
  • organises lectures, seminars, practicals and projects
  • sets and marks examinations
  • awards degrees


The Colleges:


  • admit undergraduate students
  • organise small-group teaching (supervisions)
  • are responsible for academic and pastoral care 
  • provide accommodation, places to eat and recreational facilities


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Course UCAS Points Fees for an English student
Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic [QQ59] 152 9000
Architecture [K100] 152 9000
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies [TT46] 152 7875
Bachelor of Theology for Ministry [] 152 9000
Chemical Engineering via Engineering [H810] 168 9000
Chemical Engineering via Natural Sciences [H813] 168 9000
Classics [Q800] 152 9000
Classics (4 years) [Q801] 152 9000
Computer Science [G400] 168 9000
Economics [L100] 152 9000
Education with Biological Sciences [X3C9] 152 9000
Education with Classics [X3Q8] 152 9000
Education with English [X3Q3] 152 9000
Education with English and Drama [X3W4] 152 9000
Education with Geography [X3L7] 152 9000
Education with History [X3V1] 152 9000
Education with Modern and Medieval Languages [X3R8] 152 7875
Education with Music [X3W3] 152 9000
Education with Physical Sciences [X3F0] 152 9000
Education with Religious Studies [X3V6] 152 9000
Engineering [H100] 168 9000
English [Q300] 152 9000
Geography [L700] 152 9000
History [V100] 152 9000
History of Art [V350] 152 9000
Human, Social, and Political Sciences [L000] 152 9000
Land Economy [KL41] 152 9000
Law [M100] 152 9000
Linguistics [Q100] 152 9000
Mathematics [G100] 168 9000
Medicine [A100] 168 9000
Modern and Medieval Languages [R800] 152 7875
Music [W300] 152 9000
Natural Sciences [BCF0] 168 9000
Philosophy [V500] 152 9000
Psychological and Behavioural Sciences [C800] 152 9000
Theology and Religious Studies [V600] 152 9000
Veterinary Medicine [D100] 168 9000