1. Application resources
  2. >
  3. Mentorship Schemes and Open Days

Mentorship Schemes and Open Days

This is a page about all the ways you can get an insight into Cambridge before you apply.

Open Days

These are a great chance to find out about different Colleges and the University as a whole - you can walk around the town, pop into different colleges and find out university life through presentations. These cover the application process, student life, and finance. You’ll be able to talk to current undergraduates and staff from the Colleges and academic departments. The next Open Days will be Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July 2020! You need to register in advance and bookings open in April of that year.

College Open Days πŸ”— - College open days give you the opportunity to get a sense of what College life is like.

Department Open Days πŸ”— - There are also open days offered by specific faculties or departments, where you can meet lecturers and see the libraries and facilities.


Cambridge Access is about supporting students who apply to Cambridge from under-supported backgrounds. There is a lot of free support out there so we want to help you find it.

Project Access πŸ”— - Project Access is an organisation not affiliated with the university that offers free support to applicants from certain backgrounds (comprehensive schools, low income families, working class, first generation to attend university, BME students). They offer a tailored mentoring system where Cambridge students guide you through the application process.

Target Oxbridge πŸ”— - A free mentoring programme that helps applicants of black African and Caribbean heritage through the Oxbridge application process by pairing them up with current or recently graduated students. Since launching in 2012, Target Oxbridge has helped 81 students to secure Oxbridge offers. The programme is open to UK-based students in Year 12 (as well as, in certain circumstances, Year 13).

Insights into Cambridge

Insight πŸ”— - This is an academic programme aiming to develop your academic interests and tackle barriers students might face when applying to university.

The Subject Matters πŸ”— - They offer sessions where experienced Admissions Tutors can give you key advice about making informed A Level (or equivalent) subject choices. You’ll also be able to participate in academic taster sessions in either the Arts and Humanities or the Sciences and ask current undergraduates questions.

Target Schools πŸ”— - If you want a Cambridge student to come and speak to your school, your teacher can request one through this Cambridge initiative. It's good to meet students in person because it's the best time to grill them on their thoughts about Cambridge.

Subject Master Classes πŸ”— - Subject Masterclassesance to experience typical undergraduate teaching at the University of Cambridge Booking is essential and is open to individuals at a cost of Β£20 (to cover event costs). Funded places are available for anyone eligible for Free School Meals and for children in care!

Oxford and Cambridge Conferences πŸ”— - The events are aimed at Year 12 students (or equivalent) who are studying for their A Levels/IB (or equivalent) and are beginning to consider their options for study beyond sixth form. These full day events provide up to date information about our courses, clearly outline the admissions process and provide students with the opportunity to hear first-hand how our current undergraduate students find life at Oxford and Cambridge.

Higher education fairs πŸ”— - The University of Cambridge is represented throughout the year at regional higher education (HE) fairs and UCAS Conventions across the UK. Cambridge representatives will be happy to chat with you and answer any queries you, your parents and your teachers/careers advisers may have about applying to and studying at the University.

Cambridge Science Festival πŸ”— - The Science Festival happens yearly and provides opportunities to go to talks, film screenings and engage with issues of scientific interest. This is especially great if you’re considering a career science, technology, engineering or mathematics.


Sutton Trust Summer Schools πŸ”— - The Summer Schools programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They are designed to provide an insight into what studying at university is like and what the University can offer.

Applications for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools are now closed for 2019​ but register your interest for 2020 Sutton Trust Summer Schools to be alerted when applications for our Summer Schools open.

Experience Cambridge πŸ”— - Experience Cambridge can be thought of as a condensed version of the Summer Schools, it is a day-long, subject specific event which aims to provide attendees with an insight into what studying their subject of interest is like at undergraduate level.

You can’t apply to attend Experience Cambridge as they select participants from applicants to the Sutton Trust Summer Schools. If you have made an application to attend the Summer Schools, you will have the chance to indicate that you would also like to be considered for Experience Cambridge

CUSU Shadowing Scheme πŸ”— - The students union offer potential applications the chance to spend a few days with current students in January. Applications open in August, the scheme is targeted at students from state schools.

CamSpire πŸ”— - It is run by CUSU to inspire young Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Arab (BPA) students to apply to selective universities. The programme will allow you to experience both the academic and social life here at Cambridge, as well as alleviate any potential concerns you may have, with students who were in your position in the past. The programme runs over the course of 18 months, from Spring of Year 11 (or equivalent) to Autumn of Year 13 (or equivalent), and includes three trips to Cambridge; a residential event in Years 11 and 12, followed by an interview workshop in Year 13. These will be run by current BPA students. Between these visits, participants will have access to online mentoring with current students studying the same subjects, with most from a BPA background. You will also have access to some online webinars and vlogs.

BAME Students

There are an increasing number of schemes and programmes specifically for BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) students. These include things such as the Target Oxbridge mentoring scheme and the CamSpire residential.

See above for details, and check out some prominent BAME Cambridge bloggers and vloggers πŸ”— who talk about their experiences at university. This article πŸ”— tells you about three of them!

FLY Guide to Cambridge πŸ”— 🌟 - a guide to Cambridge student life written by and for women and non-binary students of colour.

It is I, a feedback box