Is downing college (Cambridge) significantly more competetive for law?

Badges: 5
Report Thread starter 1 month ago
I’ve heard this thrown around and I saw a graph too, they do seem to have a very large number of applicants for their spaces.

I know through the pooling system I’m equally likely to get into *cambridge*but then I could be pooled to any college, more likely Homerton or Robinson or something right? (Not that they aren’t lovely too)

But like, my first choice would for sure be downing, but Corpus Christi is a close second for me. I wouldn’t say I’m an above average applicant, probably below average if anything, so should I bother applying to Downing, or am I more likely to get into corpus and so should apply there?

I guess what I’m asking is? Is the competition at downing for law places overstated, or is it really that all the best law applicants apply there, and so many people get pooled?


(Also if anybody does law at any Cambridge college feel free to leave application tips, bc I am struggling 🥲😭)
Badges: 22
Report 1 month ago
#2 see for yourself. Excluding offers from other colleges via the winter pool, yes Downing law is particularly competitive.

You would be more likely to get the college you applied for if you applied for Corpus Christi than if you applied to Downing, basically.
Badges: 20
Report 1 month ago
Note that provided you are interviewed, your odds of getting an offer should be roughly the same across colleges due to the pooling system - it's just that if you apply to an oversubscribed college for a given course (e.g. Homerton education, Trinity maths, anything at Kings) you might be more likely to be pooled. However the system is in place to ensure that applicants who are "Cambridge material" don't miss out by applying to a more competitive college.

However, the pooling system only comes into play after interviews, and so you need to be interviewed to be pooled. So if for some reason the college/course combo you apply to uses other factors to shortlist to interview and doesn't interview as high a proportion of applicants as usual (such is the case with Trinity maths I believe, where they use among other things GCSEs to shortlist applicants, unlike most other colleges where they are considered but not used so formally I gather), then you might be at a slight disadvantage applying to that particular college if your aim is just to get into Cambridge at all.

All in all I think something between 20-33% of applicants across the board end up getting pooled so I don't think it's worth getting too attached to any particular college from the get go. Also remember that your college won't really make a difference academically, since lectures are usually arranged centrally and tutorials may be arranged at any college by your tutor or DoS, so you may well end up having tutorials at Downing if you do law elsewhere anyway. Also I believe the general consensus is most people are happy with the college they end up at, even if it's not the one they applied to (or even if it's one of the ones applicants often dread the prospect of ending up at *cough*Girton/Homerton*cough* - as it goes I gather Girton is very popular among its students incidentally and I've heard their balls are quite...much. Also they have a pool unlike every other college!).

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
new posts
to top
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.


Feeling behind at school/college? What is the best thing your teachers could to help you catch up?

Extra compulsory independent learning activities (eg, homework tasks) (14)
Run extra compulsory lessons or workshops (34)
Focus on making the normal lesson time with them as high quality as possible (34)
Focus on making the normal learning resources as high quality/accessible as possible (31)
Provide extra optional activities, lessons and/or workshops (57)
Assess students, decide who needs extra support and focus on these students (41)

Watched Threads

View All