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Entrance Requirements

Some Cambridge degree courses have pre-requisites: subjects you must have taken to A-level or equivalent in order to apply. These are listed below.

If the course you hope to apply for is not listed here, then there are no formal pre-requisites in terms of specific subjects. You are still advised to check the relevant course page, however, for any subjects recommended as particularly useful or, in some cases, strongly recommended. Not taking 'useful' or 'recommended' subjects will not make you ineligible to apply, but taking them (if available) will strengthen your application and help best prepare you for university study in your chosen subject. Knowing what they are may help you make informed decisions about A-level choices.

All applicants who are studying A-levels or Cambridge Pre-U exams should be taking those qualifications (or a combination of them) in at least three subjects. We also expect three Scottish Advanced Highers where applicable, although realise this option is not available for some Scottish students; in those cases, two Advanced Highers plus one or two additional Highers may be acceptable.

The relevant Cambridge Pre-U or Scottish Advanced Higher is a suitable substitute for A-level in any required subject. Applicants studying for the IB should take required subjects at Higher Level.

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

If you are planning to take a Modern European Language as part of your degree, you must be studying that language to A-level or equivalent; otherwise, no specific requirements.

Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Chemistry, Mathematics, plus Further Mathematics (if available)

Classics (3-year course only)


Computer Science

Mathematics, Further Mathematics (if available; if not available at your school, applicants are encouraged to take Advanced Extension Award Mathematics)




Mathematics, Further Mathematics (if available); occasionally, conditional offers for Economics may include a STEP condition, although most do not.


Mathematics, Physics *


English Literature (English Literature and Language may be accepted if English Literature is not available)

History and Modern Languages

The language you plan to study (if to be studied from post-A-level)


Mathematics, Further Mathematics; a STEP condition will be added to any offers.


Chemistry and Mathematics, and one of Biology or Physics

Modern and Medieval Languages

At least one modern foreign language at A-level (or equivalent) is essential and this will be one of the two languages you apply to study.


Music (ABRSM Grade 8 Theory at Merit and above may be accepted as a substitute)

Natural Sciences (Biological)

Mathematics and two other science subjects

Natural Sciences (Physical)

Mathematics and two other science subjects

Veterinary Medicine

Chemistry, and at least one of Biology, Mathematics, Physics *


Please note, you must be studying these subjects to A-level (not AS) or equivalent in order to apply; some courses also have subjects that are not obligatory but which most successful applicants will also be taking. Please see individual course pages for details of these.

If you are taking qualifications other than A-levels, Advanced Highers, the IB, or Cambridge Pre-U then you should be studying the subjects listed to the highest level possible under your system. If you are not sure if you meet the requirements, please contact the Academic Office.

* Whilst we will consider applicants who meet these requirements, most successful applications in these subjects will offer at least three science/maths subjects.

We are aware, however, that not all schools or educational systems allow for the combinations of subjects listed here and we can be flexible where the inability to study a required subject or combination of subjects to A-level equivalent is beyond the applicant's control.