Kings College Chapel, University Of Cambridge

Oxbridge Candidate Programme

Applying to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge (known collectively as Oxbridge) is a very competitive process, with less than 20% of the students applying each year securing a place at an Oxbridge college.

Students need more than just good A Level grades in order to be successful. Cambridge and Oxford require students to sit extra admissions tests and academic interviews; thorough preparation for these stages of the application process is therefore essential.

To give Abbey College Cambridge students the best possible chance of success we have partnered with the Oxbridge application experts at Leading Education to deliver an enhanced Oxbridge application programme that we call the Oxbridge Candidate Programme.

View Abbey College Cambridge Oxbridge student success from recent years.

Abbey College Cambridge Students Walking In Cambridge City Centre

How does the Oxbridge Candidate Programme work?

The Oxbridge Candidate Programme will be available to A Level students who have expressed a desire to apply to Oxbridge colleges. It will be taken as part of our Elite University Preparation Programme alongside the Pre-Degree Diploma Programme.

As this is a challenging and rigorous preparation programme, students will need to successfully complete an application and selection process to gain a place. Students who are accepted onto the programme will be able to participate at no extra cost.

Maximise your chances of Oxbridge Success

Through the Oxbridge Candidate Programme, students will learn how to approach:

• Knowledge Building
• Admissions Tests
• Interviews
• College Selection

The bulk of the Oxbridge Candidate Programme takes place throughout the Autumn Term in Year 13, beginning in early September and ending in December.

Some progress meetings will take place during the summer holiday between years 12 & 13, so that students can understand how they should be preparing for their Oxbridge applications over the summer.


The Programme covers every aspect of the Oxbridge application process through a combination of online, subject-specific training delivered by Oxbridge tutors and in-college seminars and progress meetings delivered by Abbey College Cambridge tutors and
experienced admissions consultants from Leading Education. We will help students to develop:

• Critical thinking and problem solving skills
• Examination techniques and essay writing skills
• Confidence and improved body language
• Deploying advanced subject knowledge in an interview situation
• Oxbridge-specific interview techniques
• Awareness of academic research practices and current events
• Obtaining and reflecting on work and work experience

Core Programme Components

Mock Oxbridge Interviews (Up to 7 hours)
We provide mock interviews as well as training on approach to questions and body language delivered by subject expert Oxbridge tutors.

Admissions Test Training (Up to 12 hours)
Top universities and competitive courses set extra admissions tests. The tests are difficult and in order to win a place students must score highly. We provide regular practice via online tuition from Oxbridge tutors to improve exam technique.

Application Strategy Seminars (Up to 3 in total)
Delivered by experienced admissions consultants, these seminars are focused on giving students advice on structuring their preparation, and giving extra tips and tricks to maximise chances of a successful application.

Progress Meetings (Up to 6 in total)
We provide meetings, spaced throughout the summer holiday to help students stay motivated and on track and to ensure that adequate progress has been made.

Former Oxbridge Professor Q&A (Once per term)
A professor from Oxford or Cambridge will be available online during the programme to help students understand the universities’ requirements. They will deliver seminars with the opportunity to ask questions.

Knowledge Building
It is essential that you build knowledge beyond the A Level curriculum. We will advise you on which books and topics to focus on and monitor progress with your knowledge building over the summer.

Course Designers

Kieran Hammond Leading EducationKieran Hammond
Kieran holds a BA and MA (Cantab) in English from Cambridge University. He previously oversaw university applications at two top-10 ranked UK Schools, and was also Academic Director at one of them. Kieran now runs Leading Education, helping students to apply to top UK and international universities.

Liam Hammond Leading EducationLiam Hammond
Liam holds an MA from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences, with a specialism in genetics. After working at some of the UK’s best independent schools, he turned
down a job working at the United Nations in New York to become the COO of leading Education.

Oxbridge Candidate Programme Brochure