The Student Room Group

Oxford or Cambridge?

Most of my friends seem to be somewhat decided on which uni they want to go to but I can't choose between Oxford and Cambridge. From what I have read online, Cambridge seems to be slightly easier to get into (but I am sort of emotionally attatched to Oxford haha). Also I would feel happier if I got into Oxford rather than if I got into Cambridge, but it would be a shame if I applied for Oxford and didn't get in and maybe I could've scraped getting into Cambridge.
Does anyone have any advice on which to aim for?
Original post by bacchanalia
Most of my friends seem to be somewhat decided on which uni they want to go to but I can't choose between Oxford and Cambridge. From what I have read online, Cambridge seems to be slightly easier to get into (but I am sort of emotionally attatched to Oxford haha). Also I would feel happier if I got into Oxford rather than if I got into Cambridge, but it would be a shame if I applied for Oxford and didn't get in and maybe I could've scraped getting into Cambridge.
Does anyone have any advice on which to aim for?

I don't think either university is easier to get into. Cambridge require higher A levels, Oxford are stricter in other admissions criteria. Overall, they're about the same. They're also both great universities to study at and they're both very prestigious. It's just a matter of personal preference, and whether the course at Oxford or Cambridge would be better suited to your interests and aspirations.
Reply 2
Cambridge is not easier to get into.

Use the course as a variant.
Reply 3
Original post by emilyalexandria
I don't think either university is easier to get into. Cambridge require higher A levels, Oxford are stricter in other admissions criteria. Overall, they're about the same. They're also both great universities to study at and they're both very prestigious. It's just a matter of personal preference, and whether the course at Oxford or Cambridge would be better suited to your interests and aspirations.


Ohh thanks. I was starting to think that I was making it harder for myself by going for Oxford because of things I saw online but I guess they roughly equal out.
Reply 4
Original post by avery_
Cambridge is not easier to get into.

Use the course as a variant.


In that case I should start to figure out what exactly I want to do loll
Reply 5
Original post by bacchanalia
Most of my friends seem to be somewhat decided on which uni they want to go to but I can't choose between Oxford and Cambridge. From what I have read online, Cambridge seems to be slightly easier to get into (but I am sort of emotionally attatched to Oxford haha). Also I would feel happier if I got into Oxford rather than if I got into Cambridge, but it would be a shame if I applied for Oxford and didn't get in and maybe I could've scraped getting into Cambridge.
Does anyone have any advice on which to aim for?


yeah i agree that the only way to decide between them is by looking at the courses.

however for me, i liked the look of both courses and so instead resorted to thinking about living in either place ie oxford is more of a city while cambridge is more in the countryside etcetc
i also looked at exams and when they are taken and other factors like that if it ultimately doesnt come down to the course.

keep in mind that they dont offer all the same courses as well eg cambridge doesnt offer bio chem and phys as straight degrees instead the offer natural sciences which is a broader scientific degree and stuff like that

hope this helps!
Original post by bacchanalia
Most of my friends seem to be somewhat decided on which uni they want to go to but I can't choose between Oxford and Cambridge. From what I have read online, Cambridge seems to be slightly easier to get into (but I am sort of emotionally attatched to Oxford haha). Also I would feel happier if I got into Oxford rather than if I got into Cambridge, but it would be a shame if I applied for Oxford and didn't get in and maybe I could've scraped getting into Cambridge.
Does anyone have any advice on which to aim for?

What course are you actually wanting to apply to?
On a general perspective I wouldn’t consider either one significantly better then the other - but if you have specific interests or requirements then you may find one is more suitable.
Reply 8
No-one can give any guidance without knowing which course you would apply to.
Reply 9
Original post by artful_lounger
What course are you actually wanting to apply to?

Basically anything that includes physics, but preferrably physics on its own.
Original post by bacchanalia
Basically anything that includes physics, but preferrably physics on its own.

Then Oxford sounds like it would be a better choice, since Cambridge doesn’t offer physics on it’s own as it instead offers NatSci. Taking NatSci means waiting until much later on in the course to specialise into physics and not having to study additional content besides.

I would recommend reading some of the posts by @PAT_22 regarding getting into Oxford physics or possibly asking them a few questions (though you should bear in mind they are now a full time uni student).
Original post by bacchanalia
Basically anything that includes physics, but preferrably physics on its own.

Well there are some major differences, at Cambridge you normally do physics via two routes - either natural sciences (doing two other sciences in first year as well) or the maths with physics option in the maths course (doing a lot more maths). From 2nd year onwards assuming you do physics natsci with both physics papers and the maths paper you're doing the same as any other physics student though. At Oxford you do physics as at any other uni from first year without additional maths or other science options. All three options also have different admissions assessments (PAT for Oxford, NSAA for Cambridge natsci I think still, both taken before interview, while for Cambridge maths including maths with physics, you do STEP after interview).
Reply 12
Ox and Camb are equally brilliant and equally difficult to get into, so the choice should be based on the course and/or on the city you would prefer to live in.

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