top of page

Oxbridge & Russell Group


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

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.​

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 

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: 

All courses at University of Cambridge

All courses at University of Oxford

All Medicine degree programmes (including Medicine with additional Access/Foundation year)

All Dentistry degree programmes (including Dentistry with additional Access/Foundation year)

All Veterinary Medicine or Veterinary Science degree programmes

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 applying to Oxbridge or other Russell Group university, speak with your personal tutor or an adviser from the Careers and Employability team​.

bottom of page