skip to content

Academic Division

Students and academic sitting on sofas chatting in a modern university building

What we do

Our purpose is to attract and support the admission of a diverse body of undergraduate and postgraduate students. We aim to equip them with the skills and capacity to successfully transition into their chosen subject discipline.

Our teams

Student Admissions and Access is divided into the following teams. You can read more about these teams and what we do, below:

  • Widening Participation and NEACO 
  • Student Fees and Funding 
  • Undergraduate Admissions and Data Services  
  • Postgraduate Admissions Office
  • Cambridge Foundation Year 
  • Student Recruitment and Marketing  

Widening Participation and NEACO 

Widening Participation

The Widening Participation team runs a wide range of outreach activities and programmes aimed at prospective applicants and their supporters, who come from underrepresented groups across the UK. Our activity shares insight and understanding that will help prospective applicants to make informed and competitive university applications.

We also support Colleges and departments in the University with training and development around widening participation and outreach.


The Network for East Anglican Collaborative Outreach (neaco) is led by the Widening Participation team. The scheme is made up of universities and Further Education colleges in East Anglia that work closely with dozens of schools and other organisations, to support young people from underrepresented neighbourhoods to progress into higher education.

Student Fees and Funding 

The Student Funding and Fee Policy team supports funding activities around the University.

Specifically, we:

  • Administer the Cambridge Bursary Scheme for undergraduates and government loan schemes (in particular UK and US)
  • Provide guidance and quality assurance for Research Council studentships for Postgraduate Research students
  • Disburse financial assistance funds and certain University Trust funds and prizes
  • Administer the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship and Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Programmes

We are leading a project that will transform the postgraduate applicant experience of applying to Cambridge for funding.

Undergraduate Admissions and Data Services  

The Admissions and Data Services (ADS) team supports the Colleges with a range of undergraduate admissions processes, including:

  • Collating data from applicants
  • Managing key digital systems that Colleges use to assess applicants and make admissions decisions, in partnership with the University Information Services (UIS)
  • Organising the Winter, Summer and August Reconsideration Pools
  • Receipting and processing the examination results which offers are based on

We also provide administrative and policy development support for relevant committees and working groups.

Our Research Unit focuses on admissions and course research, such as attainment and completion. We also evaluate the impact of outreach activities.

Postgraduate Admissions Office

The Postgraduate Admissions Office (PAO) oversees and coordinates the admission of postgraduate students to the University. We receive and process nearly 30,000 applications each year.

Our team:

  • Ensures minimum University standards are met when making a formal offer of admission
  • Sets appropriate offer conditions
  • Processes documents received to meet those conditions
  • Confirms admission
  • Ensures admitted applicants are compliant with visa sponsorship requirements

We also:

  • Set and communicate postgraduate admissions policy and practice
  • Manage postgraduate admissions enquiries
  • Maintain supporting admissions systems and managing information, statistics, and admission data

Cambridge Foundation Year 

The Foundation Year team delivers the University’s Foundation Year programme. This is a unique course that provides a stepping stone to Cambridge for students who have been prevented from realising their potential due to educational disadvantage or disruption.

We deliver all aspects of this programme, including:

  • Coordinating admissions
  • Designing and delivering the teaching and assessment
  • Supporting progression from the course to future study at Cambridge or another university

Student Recruitment and Marketing 

The Student Recruitment and Marketing (SRM) team leads on information, resources, events and activities for prospective students and their supporters.

Working with students from all backgrounds both in the UK and internationally, we give prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students the information they need to make an informed choice about applying to Cambridge and to support them through the process.

Some of our main responsibilities include:

The team is split into three sub-teams; International, Marketing, and UK and Events.

How to find us

Education Services is based in the Student Services Centre:

Student Services Centre
New Museums Site