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For more info contact:

Telephone: 01223 333313
Fax: 01223 333179

Access Officer,
Cambridge University Students' Union
Old Examination Hall
Free School Lane
Cambridge CB2 3RF

CUSU Shadowing Scheme 2015

CUSU Shadowing Scheme 2012

The CUSU Shadowing Scheme brings UK students from schools without a tradition of top university entry to Cambridge for three days in January or February. Prospective students come to Cambridge on the Thursday afternoon and stay until Saturday lunchtime. In that time you will spend time with a current undergraduate, studying a subject that you are interested in, who you 'shadow'.

As a shadow, you'll see everything students can get up to on a day-to-day basis: lectures, supervisions, getting involved with student societies, clubs and sports teams, going shopping, socialising and so on. You will also be given a lot of information about the applications process by both students and Admissions Tutors. The scheme is open to Year 12 (England and Wales)/ S5 (Scotland)/ Year 13 (NI) students in the academic year 2014-15.

For the first time last year, the Scheme was also open to mature student applicants, i.e. those who will be 21 or over at the time they start their course. After last year's success, this 'mature strand' will take place this year too, and hopefully be even bigger! Mature students applying to the Shadowing Scheme should select the "Mature student applications" option when choosing which form to fill in. Please note, the Mature strand runs only on the third set of dates: Thursday 5 - Saturday 7 February 2015.

The idea is to give people with little or no experience of university a taste of student life at Cambridge, in real time, with real people. The whole trip is funded by CUSU, the University, and the Colleges – all accommodation and food is free, and travel costs to and from Cambridge may be reimbursed, on a needs basis.

The Shadowing Scheme is specifically for students with little family experience of university, students who have great reservations about applying to Cambridge or students whose school rarely sends students to University.

The Scheme is really competitive; we receive more applications than places. As such, we ask that standard-age applicants are on track to achieve As in your AS levels (or equivalent).

Applications for the 2015 Shadowing Scheme are now open! They will close on 21 November 2014. Applications can be submitted through this website between those dates.

If you already know that you want to apply to Cambridge or Oxford, or you have friends or relatives who have studied at Cambridge or Oxford, please come on an Open Day instead.

The 2015 Shadowing Scheme will take place on:

  • Thursday 22 - Saturday 24 January 2015
  • Thursday 29 January - Saturday 31 January 2015
  • Thursday 5 - Saturday 7 February 2015 (also open to mature student applicants)

NB: Those on the Shadowing Scheme must accept the Code of Conduct.

Applications for the 2015 Shadowing Scheme are now open. They will close on 21 November 2014.

Questions or problems?

If you have any questions about the Shadowing Scheme, please contact the CUSU Access Officer via

Check out the CUSU Access Twitter for updates too! @cusuaccess

Shadows' diaries

Here are the winning diary entries from students who participated in the 2013 scheme:

Emma Flint's diary

Emma Jeffery's diary

Sophie Hall's diary

Koren Morgan's diary