Downing welcomes talented and committed students, irrespective of their background, and this is reflected in the cultural diversity of our whole community. We are steadfastly opposed to discriminating in favour of any particular kind of applicant.

Admission is strictly on academic achievement and perceived potential. This does not just mean an ability to pass examinations but also a capacity to think, present arguments, communicate and work on your own and in groups.

A full-time School and College Liaison Officer was appointed in 2002 to encourage applications from schools and colleges with little or no history of sending students to Cambridge. We welcome undergraduate applications from state and independent schools and colleges, and undergraduate and graduate applications from UK, European and International students. You should visit the Discover Downing website to find out more about Downing College, our outreach and widening participation work. 

Below you’ll find more details of how to apply to Downing.


Please note that Downing College will NOT be able to accept applications from any OVERSEAS CANDIDATES for MEDICINE for 2020 entry.  Downing College has fulfilled their quota for OVERSEAS APPLICANT ENTRY FOR 2020 and will not be offering any places for OVERSEAS MEDICINE APPLICANTS FOR ENTRY IN 2020.  If you are considering making an application for entry in 2020 for Medicine and are an overseas applicant, please consider making an application to an alternative College.

Please note that this notice DOES NOT apply to any overseas applicant making a deferred entry 2021 application to read Medicine at Downing College.

If you have any queries about this notice please feel free to contact the College at and we would be very happy to provide any further clarification about this notice.