Study Support

At Abbey College Cambridge we offer personalised study support for every student, at every level.

Support ranges from super-curricular and stretch programmes, such as our Pre-Degree Diploma and weekly ‘Abbey Inspires’ academic evenings, where you will explore higher level topics and develop your thinking outside of the traditional syllabus. Through to bespoke support for students with special educational needs, or who need extra tuition to help push that A grade into an A*.

Our study support is designed to help you achieve top grades, and to secure your place at your first choice university. It includes;

Pre-Degree Diploma

The Pre-Degree Diploma is our unique university preparation programme. It takes place during your first year A Level studies, through the Spring and Summer terms. You will be in class for two hours each week, working with like-minded students and being taught by experts in the subject area you plan to study at university. Pre-Degree Diploma subject areas include:

  • Architecture
  • Art & Design
  • Biology
  • Business Management and Leadership
  • Chemistry and Pharmacy
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Physics and Engineering
  • Psychology

Other subject areas are available on demand.

The Pre-Degree Diploma provides dedicated time to prepare your university application and gain deeper level knowledge and skills in the areas that you are interested in studying at university. You will be asked to study outside of the curriculum and at a higher level, with weekly reading and assignments set by tutors to direct your learning.

We also build in support with your university application, which will include advice on selecting the right universities and courses through UCAS, feedback and support to help write your personal statement, and preparation for admissions interviews and entrance tests.

You will gain important transferable skills such as the ability to conduct research, work as a team, and present to an audience. We’ll encourage and help you to practical work experience in your field, so that you understand the types of careers your studies may lead to.

The most important outcome from the Pre-Degree Diploma is to allow you to develop and demonstrate a passion and a love for your subject. As these are what admissions tutors really look for in applicants. They will help you to ‘stand out’ from other applicants to the most competitive universities.

Specialist University Course Preparation

If your goal is to gain a place at one of the top UK universities, such as Oxford or Cambridge, or to gain a place on a competitive course such as medicine, dentistry or law, then we offer you another layer of preparation on top of the Pre-Degree Diploma.

Our specialist course preparation programme will help you to prepare for entrance examinations, additional entrance tests such as the UCAT, MAT and MAT, admissions interviews, and if you plan to apply to Oxbridge, support and advice to help you select the best college to maximise your chances of success.

We are able to bring in admissions tutors from Oxbridge and medical schools to deliver workshops and admissions advice sessions alongside interview preparation sessions for our students.

Abbey Inspires

Every week we offer a changing programme of evening lectures, practical activities and revision classes as part of our ‘Abbey Inspires’ programme. Sessions are delivered by our tutors and selected guests from the academic and business worlds. They often focus on contemporary developments or on subjects not covered by the traditional syllabus. Recent events have included:

  • Infectious Disease and Immunity, Biochemistry and Plant Physiology
  • Stem Dissection
  • Dream Poetry Workshop
  • Quasars: The Key to the Universe?
  • Isaac Physics Workshops
  • Why do people get eating disorders?
  • Alliance to Armada, a 1588 Armada Campaign role play
  • Exploring the Business of Soccer
  • The Mysterious Neutron
  • The Economics of the Art Market
  • Modern American Politics

Personal Tuition

Throughout your time at Abbey College Cambridge you will have daily access to a dedicated personal tutor to guide you through your studies. Your personal tutor will be a member of our academic staff, you will meet with them every morning before lessons as part of a small tutor group, and then meet them individually throughout the term. They will guide you academically, and help you understand the routine of college life, providing regular reports to your parents and/or guardian.

Academic English Support

A Level and International Foundation Programme students will attend up to five hours of Academic English lessons per week (GCSE students will study English Language GCSE). Academic English lessons are compulsory for all students who speak English as second language, or who have an English level less than IELTS 7.5.

Academic English will help you to better understand the terminology used and to improve your understanding of lesson content and its context. This is especially important if you have been taught outside the UK, as even if you have studied in an English language school, the terminology we used here might be slightly different. Academic English is also designed to help you achieve the English level needed to progress to your first choice university. Lessons are compulsory until you achieve an IELTS level of 7.5, lessons become optional to attend after this.


UCAS Support

UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, who manage the application process for most UK universities. Our Directors of Studies are here to help guide you through the UCAS admissions process, providing advice on completing your application form and writing your personal statement.

Abbey College Cambridge Director of Studies Dr David Shah talks through the processes involved in helping our students to select and applying for the right UK university and course.