Cambridge raises entry offer for science degrees

Cambridge University Cambridge was one of the first universities to use the A* grade which was introduced in 2010

Related Stories

Students who hope to take up a place on a science degree course at Cambridge University will need to score higher grades in their A-levels from 2015.

The university has upped its standard entry offer so that anyone aiming for a science-based degree will need two A*s and an A at A-level or equivalent.

The current offer is one A* and two A grades.

For other subjects, the standard entrance offer will remain A*AA, the university said.

Cambridge insisted that the change was not "raising the bar" for would-be students, as more than nine in 10 (92%) successful science applicants had already scored A*A*A or better at A-level.

In a statement, the institution said: "The university believes that the revised offer gives applicants a clearer indication of the level of attainment realistically required to compete for a place, and to thrive on science courses.

"The university will continue to make non-standard offers where appropriate, based on consideration of relevant contextual data including any extenuating circumstances which may have adversely affected an applicant's academic attainment."

A* grade

The A* grade was first awarded in the summer of 2010 as part of a bid to distinguish between the best students.

To receive the grade, students must score at least 90% on their papers in the second year of their A-levels and obtain an A overall.

Figures published last summer show that 7.6% of exams were awarded an A* in 2013 compared with 7.9% in 2012.

Cambridge was among the first universities to adopt the A* grade - its standard conditional offer to students in 2010 was A*AA.

Oxford University did not use the A* grade for the first two years, but has used it as an admissions requirement since 2012.

The standard minimum entry requirement for Oxford varies by course - from AAA for history, to A*AA for medicine and A*A*A for mathematics. Most science courses require A*AA.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Education & Family stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ReadingBest books

    BBC Culture takes a look at ten books you should read in February


  • A car being driven by Cruise Automation technologyClick Watch

    The tech which could allow any car with an automatic gearbox to become self-driving

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.