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Education Quality and Policy Office


The University of Cambridge’s Foundation Year provides a new route to undergraduate study for students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage.

Cambridge’s Foundation Year in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is a free programme aimed at an entirely new stream of applicants who have the ability to succeed at Cambridge, but who have been prevented from reaching their full potential by the educational disadvantage they have experienced.

The course will run for the first time from October 2022. Prospective applicants should visit for further information on eligibility and applications. 

For some students, the disadvantage they experience can create an insurmountable academic barrier to success in our standard admissions process. With targeted preparatory tuition, the Cambridge Foundation Year seeks to overcome educational disadvantage. It is aimed at high-potential students who would not otherwise, at the point of application, be able to meet our high entry requirements or be appropriately prepared for Tripos owing to educational disadvantage or disruption.

Students who are accepted onto the Foundation Year will become part of a College community (i.e. they will matriculate in a College and live in College with other undergraduates); they will have full access to all the University’s societies and facilities; and the same support channels available to all Cambridge students will be available to those on the Foundation Year course. All Foundation Year students will also receive a scholarship to cover living costs in Cambridge including accommodation and food costs.

Upon completion of the Foundation Year, students will receive an Undergraduate Certificate in Higher Education alongside the option of progressing onto Undergraduate study in one of the 18 degrees on offer at the University of Cambridge.

Find out more about the programme in this short video:


Any further questions should be directed to the Foundation Year team at