Applying to Oxbridge

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Thomas Pocklington Trust.

The universities of Oxford and Cambridge, known together as Oxbridge; are recognised world-wide as leading universities and centres for research. It is unsurprising that every year, thousands of applications are received, making places highly competitive and an achievement in their own right. We have spoken to current students to find out more about the application process and how students with vision impairment can prepare at each stage to give themselves the very best chance at success.

We have produced a step-by-step guidance document for new applicants, collating student insight and top tips, to help you through every stage.

Download the full Oxbridge_Guidance document here.

One top tip for each step:

Open days

Talk to lots of staff and students when you visit – it will help you get a sense of the atmosphere living and studying there, helping you decide where you feel most comfortable and indicating their approach to support.

Personal statement

Start early! It takes longer than you think, and with the Oxbridge deadline much earlier than that of other universities, it can quickly become a rush to finish.

Admissions test

Check where you will sit your exam when you register, and get in contact with the centre straight away to discuss accessibility and any reasonable adjustments required. Some centres and exams are more prepared for students with vision impairments than others, so give everyone plenty of time to get plans in place.


The tasks involved in an interview vary from subject to subject. Ask in advance what you will be required to do so that you can request any adjustments that may be needed, for example providing materials in an alternative format.

Transition to Uni

Stay in contact – introduce yourself to the various support teams and discuss what will be needed once you take up your place in September. You may want to choose a specific room in your accommodation, or have orientation and mobility training to learn the new city. Asking other students for advice on university social media groups can help, and be a good way to start getting to know your peers.

Want to know more about life as a vision impaired student at Oxford or Cambridge?

Source: Thomas Pocklington Trust

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