One-Year Study (Junior Year Abroad)

Note: it is now too late to apply as a Visiting Undergraduate for October 2016. The deadline for applications for 2017 is 31st January 2017. We do not accept one year visiting students for Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Architecture. For clarification of any of the terms used below, please see our Glossary of Terms.

  1. Pembroke accepts a few students per year from overseas universities for one year of study. You may not apply both to Pembroke and to another Cambridge College.
  2. Normally each student accepted is required to follow a standard course (programme) during the complete academic year and to take the associated University examinations. It is therefore important for prospective applicants to understand the workings of the Cambridge University system, in particular the following points:
  3. The academic year runs from October to June. It is divided into three terms of approximately eight weeks each, from October to December, January to March and April to June. We cannot accept students who wish to study here for one or two terms only under this scheme.
  4. Cambridge does not offer modular degrees. Each Cambridge subject, called a ‘Tripos’, is divided into one-year (occasionally two-year) segments, called ‘parts’. Examinations (which typically comprise several written papers lasting three hours each) take place in May and June. Teaching for most examination papers spans the academic year. A list of Cambridge Tripos subjects offered by Pembroke can be found under Courses – What can I Study on the Undergraduate Admissions pages.
  5. Visiting one-year students follow the same demanding course of study and take the same examinations at the end of the year as Cambridge University students.
  6. A one-year student could, in principle, read Part IB of the Natural Science Tripos, or Part II of the Historical Tripos. This means that regular submission of high-quality independent academic work will be required. Supervisions take place in small groups. However, some courses within each Tripos are suitable only for candidates with considerable previous training – scientific, technical, or linguistic. This is particularly the case in Part II of the Triposes, and in Part IB of Natural Sciences. It is important for prospective applicants to consult the University Prospectus and the Cambridge University Guide to Courses before applying – both are available on the web. It can usually be determined from the Guide which courses require previous advanced knowledge. A greater proportion of courses in the Arts than in the Sciences can be studied without specific prior expertise.
  7. Some visiting students will not be able to sit the full range of papers necessary to pass one Part of a Tripos. This may be because of a lack of expertise needed for a particular course, or because the Part in question is a two-year, not a one-year, course (as with Part I English and History). In these cases, it is often still feasible to construct a worthwhile study programme by picking individual papers from among those on offer. It is possible to sit these papers as a non-standard candidate and to receive notification of the marks awarded for each.
  8. Occasionally we take visiting students who are not required by their home university to take Tripos examinations. We normally still prefer these candidates to take the examinations, and will give priority to those willing to do so. Only in exceptional circumstances is it possible to come to Pembroke and not to study for Tripos papers.
  9. All applicants should explain in some detail their reasons for wishing to study a particular Tripos subject at Cambridge and should indicate individual courses of interest. This means specifying exactly which papers they would wish to take during a year in Cambridge. They should also set out fully their previous expertise in relevant fields so that we can assess their suitability for study in Cambridge. We are aware that firm decisions about each course may not be possible at this stage – we are used to giving successful candidates advice on suitable combinations of courses. However, a clear sense of why and how a particular Cambridge course fits with a candidate’s interests and expertise is crucial. It is also usually possible for visitors to change their minds after acceptance as long as they do so no later than on arrival.
  10. All undergraduates are required to be in residence for the duration of each term. All visiting students are allocated College accommodation (a single room). It is normally possible for undergraduates from overseas to stay in College accommodation over the Christmas and Easter vacations (at extra rent), but permission is needed for this.


  1. Candidates who are applying from Columbia University, Brown University, Occidental College, Butler University or CalTech in the United States do not apply direct to Pembroke. HOWEVER, all candidates must fill in the application form which Pembroke issues for one-year visiting undergraduates. This is available either from the Admissions Office, Pembroke College, Cambridge, CB2 1RF, or by downloading the application form. Applications by either route for entry in October 2017 must reach us by 31st January 2017.
  2. Candidates applying on the Pembroke application form must also send an academic transcript or similar document indicating performance to date at university. Candidates for all subjects should send us synopses of the courses they are taking in their second year at University and those they took in their first year.
  3. Candidates must have completed at least two years of study at their home university before coming into residence in Cambridge.
  4. We decide between applications on the basis of academic performance to date, references, the appropriateness of the proposed scheme of study, and the availability of teaching in the proposed subject. A high level of fluency in written English is a prerequisite.
  5. Undergraduates are not allowed to take part-time jobs in term-time.
  6. Most applicants for one-year studentships fall within one of two schemes. Please note that the schemes operate differently:
  7. Junior Year Abroad schemes from the United States. We consider applications from US students, and make a certain number of places available for students from Brown University and CalTech. We reserve the right to reject applications under any of these schemes.

In almost all cases, JYA students are liable to College and University fees at the overseas rate.

  1. Scholarships offered by EU countries for study abroad. Candidates who are applying for financial support from any of these scholarship schemes other than the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes or DAAD must send with their application a statement explaining the nature and history of the scheme and the level of financial support offered. Candidates should note that estimated fees for EU students are the same as for our standard EU undergraduates (see the University Prospectus for details about bands). It is necessary to have resided full-time in the EU for three years prior to coming to Cambridge in order to qualify for this level of fee rather than the overseas rates mentioned above. Candidates should also note that:
  • applicants are not normally accepted without a scholarship from the Studienstiftung, DAAD or other approved EU scheme;
  • if the scholarship provides less than the total sum for fees and living expenses, we shall require a banker’s letter confirming that the candidate has access to funds sufficient to make up the shortfall;
  1. Please note that Pembroke cannot offer scholarships for EU visiting students.
  2. Visa requirements. If you are applying from outside the EU you will need to obtain a visa issued by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) in order to study in the UK.
  3. The College aims to communicate its decisions about applications in March of each year.