Oxbridge, Russell Group & competitive courses


Short-hand phrase referring to "Oxford and Cambridge". You can only apply to one of these two universities in each UCAS cycle. Usual entry requirements are A levels, but alternatives may be accepted- contact the universities to find out what they accept. As a minimum, you will need grades AAA, but some programmes of study will have higher requirements. You will also need to pass an admissions test as well as a successful interview to be offered a place.

Guide to applying to Oxbridge

Access Oxbridge is a free programme exclusively for state school students from underprivileged backgrounds.

We employ a number of selection criteria to target our services at students who may not otherwise receive the support they need to reach their full academic potential.

STATE SCHOOL  Applicants must have attended a state (non-fee paying) school from the ages of 11-16

POST CODE FLAG  Applicants must come from post codes flagged by Oxbridge as “disadvantaged” areas

ACADEMIC POTENTIAL Applicants must have a strong academic record, with at least six A* or A (9-7) GCSE grades

If you would like to join college's Oxbridge Programme for accessing additional support and opportunities, to help you prepare and strengthen your application, just speak with your personal tutor or an adviser from the Careers and Employability team. More info here.

Russell Group

Represent a group of 24 'research intensive' universities "which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector." *

  • They produce more than two-thirds of the world-leading research produced in UK universities and support more than 300,000 jobs across the country

  • Their economic output is more than £32 billion every year

  • In 2015-16, 417,000 undergraduates and 192,500 postgraduates were studying at a Russell Group university.

Russell Group universities often have very high academic entry requirements, such as A*s and As at A level and Distinction/Distinction* at BTEC. An increasing number are also asking for additional Admissions Tests. Your Personal Statement is a good place to help you stand out, and prove your high level passion, insight and potential, given that many applicants will all be applying with the same high predicted grades.

More information about Russell Group 

*information taken from Russell Group profile

Competitive courses

All Higher Education courses require an application, which will be assessed against entry requirements and other applicants, to judge who can be offered a place. In this sense you are competing for a place. While best to think about how you can make your application the best it can be, familiarise yourself with what is expected of applicants to make your application strong. Check out our subject guides below, for Medicine, Law, Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine/Science.


Some programmes of study have challenging entry requirements, including very high grades, exceptional performance at interview and strong performance on additional entry tests.

Admissions Tests

Does the course you are interested in require you to sit an additional admissions test? 

You will need to register yourself, and arrange to sit the test without being invited to. This is important because you may need to apply for the test before applying for your course through UCAS.

Check the Admissions Test​s page on UCAS for information and links.

If you need support in preparing for your test, check:


Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing

Cambridge Test of Mathematics

STEP Support Programme

Points to remember

  • Check the degree's entry requirements published on the course's information page, on the university's website

  • Check registration and booking deadlines to make sure that you register for tests on time. It is recommended that you register early.

  • It is your responsibility to register and make arrangements to sit admissions test.

You need to lead the process, but if you want to discuss admissions tests, speak with your personal tutor or an adviser from the Careers and Employability team. 


Some of the programmes of study require early submission of your UCAS application, usually mid-October of the year before your course starts, these are: 

Note: You will need to agree with your personal tutor an earlier date for when you will finish your application to allow time for your tutor to complete the reference and ​college to send off the approved application. Therefore, early preparation is vital.







What you need to do and consider

  • Check all course details and entry requirements

  • Check the course you are applying to suits you and your goals

  • Consider joining the college Careers Club Network to expand your network of support and access to additional opportunities.

This is part of the admissions process - you are being tested from the very start, that you can research well, take responsibility for your future, and ask for help when you need it.

If you want to discuss your application or join one of the Careers Clubs at Westminster Kingsway College, speak with your personal tutor or an adviser from the Careers and Employability team​.


Advisers are available at King's Cross, Soho and Victoria centres

If you would like to book a 1:1 appointment, visit our Contact page

Alternatively, you can access lunchtime drop-in (times below)

King's Cross
Mon - Fri
12pm - 2pm 
Room K004
12 - 2pm 
12 - 2pm
Reception areaLEX Reception area

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