There are many myths about getting into Cambridge. We are interested in hearing from anyone who has enthusiasm and intelligence and is willing to work hard. You don’t need to have studied History of Art before starting the course!
What are we looking for in our prospective students?
We don’t expect any specialised knowledge of the History of Art, but we do want enthusiasm and motivation to find out more. You need a good visual memory and a love of art objects in any medium, including architecture. You also have to be able to express yourself clearly in writing (in English).
Recommended A-levels or equivalent
Cambridge accepts applications from students who have met, or are predicted to meet, the University's basic entry requirement of A*AA at A-Level. If one of these A-levels is either Art or Art and Design the Department recommends students obtain a third academic A-Level subject. This is particularly the case where students are offering a History of Art A-Level as well as Art or Art and Design. Please note, however, that this is only a recommendation and not a Department requirement. The candidate's full academic profile, which includes GCSE results and school references as well as performance at interview for those who are shortlisted, will all form part of the assessment process for admission for the subject. Extenuating Circumstances will, of course, also be taken into consideration as appropriate.
The minimum grades for admission are A*, A, A at A level, or 40-42 points in the IB (with 776 or 777 at Higher Level). For other qualifications, see the University’s main Entrance requirements pages.
The role of the Colleges
You need to apply through one of the Colleges. The College will be your social centre, but will also organise your small-group teaching (in so-called ‘supervisions’ - usually with two or three students at a time). All Colleges accept students to study History of Art, except Girton, Robinson and St Catharine’s. To help you to choose your College, look at the websites of some of them, and try to attend a College Open Day so that you can look around. Most Colleges do not have a Fellow in the History of Art, but that should not deter you from applying to any College you think would suit you which accepts art history students.