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Postgraduate Study


We are committed to widening participation at the postgraduate level, both for Master's and doctoral study.

Our aspiration is to improve representation of students with caring responsibilities, first-generation students, students who themselves experienced being in care as a young person, and students who did their first degree at less research-intensive institutions, amongst other groups.

If you match any of these criteria, you may be eligible for widening participation funds. You can use the Postgraduate funding search to look for funds that contain 'Widening Participation'. Please note, though, that not all funds with WP eligibility describe themselves in this way.

Funds for underrepresented backgrounds

We welcome and encourage applications from people from groups that are underrepresented in postgraduate study, as well as students from home and overseas who may have faced an educational or socio-economic disadvantage.

You can use the Postgraduate funding search to find funding opportunities that may be relevant to your circumstances. Some of our key funds for students that fit this criteria include:

  • Cambridge Opportunity Studentships and Get In Cambridge Studentships: Cambridge Opportunity Studentships are for home students from low-income households with experience of educational disadvantage. Get-In Cambridge Studentships follow the same criteria and are reserved to address under-represented students from Black British, British Bangladeshi or British Pakistani backgrounds.
  • Mastercard foundation scholarship: Full scholarship opportunities for African students from economically marginalised or disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship: Full scholarship for undergraduate and postgraduate students that are from areas of instability or conflict and/or have been at risk of discrimination, persecution, or human rights abuses.

Application fee waiver

You may be eligible for an application fee waiver if are from a low-income UK household, have asylum seeker, refugee or humanitarian protection status or are an international applicant from certain countries.

Applicants through the Mastercard Foundation can also apply for a manual fee waiver.

You can view the full waiver form eligibility criteria on the fee waiver page. Please bear in mind that there is a deadline to submit your application fee waiver request form.

How we use contextual data in the postgraduate admission funding process

The University of Cambridge is committed to ensuring that we offer funding to applicants of the highest academic quality. To achieve this, individual applications are considered holistically using all the information available to assessors.

As part of this process, the University considers information that provides a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances that underpin applications, academic performance, and performance at an interview.

We believe it’s important to be transparent about the kind of information we use for this purpose and how it affects the selection process. To express this, this page sets out what contextual data we use in the funding process, where they come from and how they’re appended to an application.

We use the following kinds of contextual data as a way of obtaining a more in-depth profile of an applicant. The data we use is derived from information provided by the applicant in their application form or by the applicant’s referee. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to tell us about the following factors in the appropriate sections of the form:

  • Any background of educational, financial and or social capital disadvantage.
  • Academic results that were achieved under circumstances that adversely affected the ability of the applicant to apply themselves fully to their studies.
  • Adverse circumstances that could inhibit an applicant's performance at an interview.

The information on this page was last updated in September 2023 and focuses on our use of contextual data when assessing applicants for funding who are applying from September 2023 for entry in the academic year 2024/25. We frequently review our use of contextual data, so we encourage interested parties to check this page regularly.