University of Cambridge


When I applied to Cambridge I only had 3 GCSEs at the time! I had just embarked on an Access to HE Diploma at a state-run college in Manchester. This video is a brief summary of my story of getting accepted at Lucy Cavendish College. I applied as a mature student, so my story is a little different compared to standard applications. However, I thought I’d share a few thoughts during this new application season because people can easily be put off from applying based on old school ways of thinking about Oxbridge elitism. If you’re thinking about it – just go for it!

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Good luck if you’re applying to university this time around!

Phia x


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  • Hey I found this story really inspiring well done on your achievements! i'm currently in year 12 and thinking of applying my gcses arent that great i got 1A 6Bs and 3Cs but i got 4As for my as in English lit economics psychology and media do you think i should go for it and apply?

  • That's an inspiration!! I am at year 11 doing my alevels under Edexcel board. I have been rumored that Edexcel is less prefered to cambridge in universities. Is that the case Phia? Then what should be done? Thanks ????

  • This is so true. My daughter was applying from France and EVERYONE told us it was impossible. One private school professional informed me that in 15 years, not a single person from his school had made it. She just did the application the way she thought best, virtually without research into "proper essays" and the like. Throughout, she was herself, never posing, just presenting what she had done, mostly on her own. She got in and it was the perfect place for her. I would encourage every inspired young person who wants to go to oxbridge to try.

  • Heya! I'm only in middle school but I'm still thinking about going to Cambridge. I'm worried that I won't be able to get in even though my sister got into Stanford and I still manage to be smarter than her (not trying to brag in any way of course). Anyways, I have great grades and I always have been an amazing student. I've had a passion for teaching since kindergarten and recently I wanted to also be a financial planner. My dad and I looked into the courses and decided on economics, educations, and English (English because of my love for literature and writing) This Christmas my parents are going to be getting a few books on the courses. Of course it's just basic run-downs but it'll keep me entertained. Now to the question, what would be some advice for relaxing during the interview. I only ask because when I'm stressed out I get stress headaches and can't focus. Thanks!

  • Thank you for your video! I am in a similar boat to you, after not being able to complete my A levels for health related issues, I have sent off my application to Cambridge this September! Hearing your video really inspired me, so thank you, its nice to hear from someone who was in a similar boat to me! :)

  • Thank you so much! This is inspiring. I dream of being offered a place at Cambridge, but I know I'm not an academically strong student due to personal circumstances that severely affected my last two years at GCSEs – I only achieved 1B, 1C and 2Ds, as well as Cs in functional skills in maths and English. I am grateful that I was given the chance to study a levels (I'm in my AS year) even though I was below entry requirements. I am trying to make up for my year. Is there any tips you could offer, other than the ones you've mentioned? I want to prove to myself that I am not defined by my past.

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