Computer Science Admissions Statistics

The request was partially successful.

Dear King’s College, Cambridge,

I am writing under the Freedom of Information Act to request information regarding Computer Science applicants for the following admissions rounds: 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The information I would like to request is as follows for each separate admissions round:
1) The number of applicants, number of students invited to interview and the number of successful candidates offered a place after interview.
2) For each of the following: applicants who were unsuccessful in obtaining an interview, applicants who were successful in obtaining interviews and applicants who were successful in obtaining an offer, could I please request the following data, where applicable, of their: admissions test score, their GCSE grades (as well as subjects studied), AS grades and UMS scores (as well as subjects studied at AS), and their predicted A Level grades.

If the data is not available for each average UMS score per subject at AS, then could I please request an overall AS UMS score.

If there is any confusion as to what data I am requesting, I would be happy to explain further, however, I would like to keep this short and to the point to ensure I waste as little of your time as possible.

Yours faithfully,
Jake Wells

King's College, Cambridge

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Dear Jake Wells,

This is in reply to your enquiry received by the College on 28 November and made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). I can confirm that the College does hold some information related to your request. For your question 1, the information is available to you at

For question 2, the College does hold the information related to your enquiry, but it is exempt under section 40, personal data. Disclosure would require the processing of personal data for reasons other than those for which it was collected. Therefore, the information is exempt under section 40 of the FOI Act.

We hope the following information will be helpful to you:


At King's, we are looking for promise and potential. So although existing and predicted grades form a central criterion for admission, as do interview scores, we are careful to interpret grades and interview results in light of your personal and educational background. We assess each application individually. We are interested to learn about your existing knowledge and skills, but we endeavour also to find out how you would deal with the new materials and ideas you would encounter at Cambridge. All candidates are considered strictly on the basis of their academic promise.

During the application process, we look at:
* your academic record, including GCSE and AS (or equivalent) grades and marks and A level (or equivalent, e.g. IB) grades or predictions, this record being considered in the context of the quality (but not type) of schools/colleges at which it was achieved;
* your school/college reference;
* your personal statement;
* your admissions assessment (taken at interview);
* your performance at interview(s)

With this holistic view you can understand that it is not possible to predict your chances of success based on predicted grades and/or interview scores.

UMS scores are being phased out with the A level reforms, so not all A level applicants this year will have UMS scores for each subject. In recent admissions rounds, the average Cambridge applicant scored about 90 per cent on this measure, while the average successful Cambridge applicant scored nearer 95 per cent. But please note that both these figures are only averages - applicants don't need to have achieved a certain score in every module and aren't required to achieve 90 per cent or above in all modules. There were successful Cambridge applicants who had UMS averages in their best/most relevant three subjects below 90 per cent.

We read the whole of each application and take all parts of it into account before deciding which students to invite for interview. As we only invite students for interview who could potentially be made an offer, it would be unusual to invite a student predicted less than our standard offer for Computer Science that year. The standard offer has changed over the past four years.

We have no set quota for the number of applicants we invite for interview - we invite all candidates who we could potentially make an offer to after reading the paper application. In an average year, this is 80-90% of applicants.

If you have further questions please ask me in the first instance. I attach a leaflet outlining the College's FOI Act policies and procedures. If, after following those procedures you are still not satisfied with the way in which your request has been dealt with you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the Commissioner will not entertain your complaint unless you have exhausted any relevant internal review procedures.

Patricia McGuire (Dr)
King's College
Cambridge CB2 1ST

Tel: 01223 331444
FAX: 01223 331891

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