Oxbridge Application Data Explained: A Teacher’s Guide

Data is at the heart of many of life's big decisions, with university applications being no different. This guide will teach you how to find and analyse application data from Oxford and Cambridge in order to help you and your student's understand the Oxbridge application process better than the competition.

1st May 2024

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Data and statistics are incredibly helpful for many things in life, and this is especially true for applying to Oxbridge and helping your students with their applications. There are many factors at play within the Oxbridge admissions process, so having a greater understanding of them can only be a benefit!

In this guide, we will be taking a look at why data is so important to the Oxbridge application, how you can find and utilise it yourself and explore some of the most important pieces of data from Oxford and Cambridge. Of course, you won’t remember all of this data off the top of your head, so it is our hope that this guide will inspire you to create your own system for collecting and presenting application data to provide to your students. Let’s get straight into it: 

Why is Oxbridge Application Data Important?

Gathering and utilising this data takes a fair amount of work, so we obviously need to know why we should bother doing so. 

In your day-to-day life as a teacher, you likely use data a lot when it comes to reviewing student performance, measuring difficulty of assignments and planning sessions or entire curriculums. This will also be true of your students, who are expected to provide data to reference and analyse in their projects. So already we should understand that data plays a key role in decision-making, forecasting and reasoning.

All of this plays a key role in not just the Oxbridge application process, but the university admissions process as a whole. Understanding the data behind any course is important, but we believe this to be doubly true for Oxbridge due to how difficult and competitive the application process is. Simply put; knowing more gives you an advantage. 

But what data is available for us to use and what does it tell us? Let’s look into that next: 

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Key Oxbridge Application Data

The amount of data available to us relating to Oxbridge admissions is extremely large, so we need to start off with some core figures that are relevant to any applicant. The biggest one of these is the success rates for each university:

Oxbridge Success Rates


Applicants: 23,819

Offers: 3,645

Success Rate: 15.3%


Applicants: 24,338

Offers: 3,555

Success Rate: 14.6%


Applicants: 23,414

Offers: 3,932

Success Rate: 16.8%


Applicants: 23,026

Offers: 3,895

Success Rate: 16.9%


Applicants: 22,470

Offers: 4,238

Success Rate: 18.9%


Applicants: 22,795

Offers: 4,260

Success Rate: 18.7%


Applicants: 20,426

Offers: 4,710

Success Rate: 23.1%


Applicants: 19,359

Offers: 4,694

Success Rate: 24.2%

This data encompasses all applicants at each university and gives a general idea of how likely an individual is to receive an offer. As you can see, it’s not particularly high and the trends aren’t positive for applicants right now. You can view the acceptance rates for all courses at Cambridge or Oxford in our definitive guides, including 2023 admissions.

To put it bluntly, applicant numbers are rising while offer numbers are stagnating or declining. That isn’t good for your students, but it’s not something that can be changed. However, knowing this information puts them a step ahead of many of their competitors. Having an understanding of the Oxbridge landscape is essential to preparing their application to suit Oxbridge expectations. 

Oxbridge Demographic Data

Although it may feel outdated by today’s standards, the data relating to different demographics of applicants do still display certain trends. Although the differences are often negligible, it will still be important to consider as certain factors could make your students more or less likely to receive an offer, at least on paper. In reality, the Oxbridge application process ensures that discrimination of any kind is not present, so take the data with a pinch of salt.

Oxbridge Gender Ratios

The gender ratios at Oxford and Cambridge are much more equal than they would have been many years ago, so the differences between male and female applicants are usually not large. The following ratios related to accepted applicants who received offers:

Oxford Male:Female Intake

2022: 47:53

2021: 45:55

2020: 46:54

2019: 46:54

2018: 49:51

Cambridge Male:Female Intake

2022: 49:51

2021: 49:51

2020: 48:52

2019: 51:49

2018: 51:49

As you can see, there is generally a higher amount of successful female applicants each year. In some courses, this statistic can be much more exaggerated (the ratio for Oxford Medicine in 2020 was 41:59), but these figures shouldn’t serve as much of a roadblock for any male students in your cohort. 

UniAdmissions' Teacher Tips

Oxbridge Home Applicants

All of these admissions statistics so far have related to the whole cohort, including international applicants, so let’s take a look at the success percentage of applicants and offers made to home applicants within the UK:

UK Oxbridge Applicant Rates


Applicants: 14,569

Offers: 2,806

Success Rate: 19.3%

Percentage of Offers: 77%


Applicants: 14,401

Offers: 2,691

Success Rate: 18.7%

Percentage of Offers: 75.7%


Applicants: 14,104

Offers: 2,950

Success Rate: 20.9%

Percentage of Offers: 75%



Applicants: 14,896

Offers: 3,242

Success Rate: 21.8%

Percentage of Offers: 76.5%


Applicants: 14,804

Offers: 2,866

Success Rate: 19.4%

Percentage of Offers: 67.3%


Applicants: 13,388

Offers: 3,122

Success Rate: 23.3%

Percentage of Offers: 66.3%

UK vs International Oxbridge Applicants
UK vs International Oxbridge Offers

UK applicants still make up the large majority of applicants and offer-holders, although these figures do seem to be changing in opposite directions. Oxford seems to be receiving and admitting fewer international applications while Cambridge is accepting more. None of this should have a major impact on your UK applicants but it’s good to be knowledgeable on the current statistics. 

These statistics aren’t just useful for seeing applicant data, as we can also review statistics relating to each university’s performance and teaching capabilities. Here are two of the most important ones (both of these statistics are based on 2023 performance and are provided by The Guardian’s 2023 University Table):  

Student-to-Staff Ratio

The student-to-staff ratio is a good way to see how much attention a student will receive during their course, with a lower figure being more desirable. Oxford and Cambridge are both famous for their smaller class sizes and intimate teaching style, so it’s no surprise that they consistently have some of the best ratios in the UK: 

Oxford Student-to-Staff Ratio

2023: 10.5

2022: 10.1

2021: 10.3

Cambridge Student-to-Staff Ratio

2023: 11.6

2022: 11.4

2021: 11.2

Oxbridge Employment Rates

Attending a university course is primarily about the end result; your students’ future careers. Therefore, high employment rates are important to maintain for universities with as high reputations as Oxford and Cambridge. Thankfully, they do maintain this year-on-year: 

Oxford Employment rate 2023


Cambridge Employment rate 2023


More Oxbridge Data

We have a wide selection of guides available delving deeper into more Oxbridge and university data. If you are interested in where Oxford and Cambridge place on the various University Ranking Tables available, then our Ranking guides are the best place to begin your research:  

Oxbridge Admissions Tests are a major part of the admissions process, so understanding the results that your students need to achieve is important. Not only can we help you with that, we have also gathered data from previous admissions cycles to help you see the success rates of applicants and determine trends that have occurred throughout the years. Check out our Admissions Test Results Guides here: 

All of this data is a good starting point for you and your student’s research, but it is now time to dig a bit deeper into specific areas, starting with school types: 

Target Grades for Oxbridge Applicants

Oxford and Cambridge aren’t known for providing Unconditional Offers to their applicants, so you and your students are going to need to ensure they put the work in to achieve the expected grades for their course. 

Minimum requirements for courses at each university remain fairly consistent from course to course, although there is some variance in certain subjects. Here is a rough overview of what grades your students should be aiming for: 

Oxford Grade Requirements

The conditional offers for Oxford vary based on the subject but will typically require A*A*A to AAA grades at A Level or 38-40 points in the IB, including core points, with specific grades possibly being required at the Higher Level.

Oxford medicine Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*AA with an A Grade in Chemistry and either Mathematics, Biology or Physics.
Advanced HighersAA at Advanced Highers with AAAAA in Highers with Chemistry and either Mathematics, Biology or Physics.

Oxford Law Grade Requirements

Advanced HighersAAB

Oxford Economics & Management Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*AA with A Grade in Mathematics
Advanced HighersAA/AAB

Oxford Engineering Science Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*A*A with A* Grades in Mathematics and Physics
Advanced HighersAA/AAB

Cambridge Grade Requirements

For most Science courses, Cambridge typically requires A*AA at A Level, and for Arts/Humanities courses, AAA, or 40-42 points in the IB, including core points, with 776 at Higher Level.

Cambridge medicine Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*A*A with grades in Chemistry and either Mathematics, Biology or Physics
Advanced HighersA1, A1, A2 with grades in Chemistry and either Mathematics, Biology or Physics

Cambridge Law Grade Requirements

Advanced HighersA1, A2, A2

Cambridge Economics Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*A*A with Mathematics
Advanced HighersA1, A1, A2

Cambridge Engineering Grade Requirements

A-LevelsA*A*A with Mathematics and Physics
Advanced HighersA1, A1, A2

State Vs Independent Schools: Oxbridge Admission Rates

Over the years, there has been much controversy over the rates of admission between state and independent schools. This is due to concerns over heavily skewed results towards independent schools followed by a course correction that some felt disadvantages those in private schools due to quotas. 

Essentially, the stereotype was that Oxbridge was for those with greater financial support, evidenced by disproportionate percentages of admitted independent school students vs state schools. However, the data made available from the last few years paints a different picture: 

State School Oxbridge Applicants

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffers% Of OffersApplicantsOffers% Of Offers

independent School Oxbridge Applicants

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffers% Of OffersApplicantsOffers% Of Offers

As you can see, applicants from state schools make up a fairly large majority, as well as receiving more offers overall. Success rates are still also comparable, with state schools achieving a 19% Oxford success rate in 2021 compared to 20% from independent schools. However, these figures are always changing from year-to-year so figures from last year won’t truly reflect what will happen in the next admissions cycle. 

Subject Competitiveness at Oxbridge

We’ve seen the success rates for applicants at Oxbridge, but this paints a very broad picture. In reality, the general success rate for the universities is nowhere near as important as the success rate for your students’ specific courses. Some of these courses are much more competitive or have far fewer slots than others, meaning success rates across courses can vary wildly. 

We’ve collected the admissions data from some of the top courses at Oxford and Cambridge to help you get started in analysing subject-specific admissions data. Let’s take a look: 

Oxbridge Medicine Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge Law Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge Economics Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge Engineering Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge Science Success Rates

Cambridge Natural Science
Year Of EntryPhysics Success RateChemistry Success RateBiology Success RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge Mathematics Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge English Success Rates

Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

Oxbridge PPE/HSPS Success Rates

Oxford PPE
Cambridge HSPS
Year Of EntryApplicantsOffersSuccess RateApplicantsOffersSuccess Rate

So what can we learn from all of these figures? Firstly, we can see that the most competitive courses in Oxbridge include Oxford Economics, Medicine and Mathematics, which all average out at below a 10% success rate. Meanwhile, the least competitive courses include Science and English, with Cambridge’s English course even hitting a 31% success rate in 2020.

Oxford is generally more competitive judging by these success rates, as they don’t have any courses with generally higher success rates. This is also true of their shortlisting process as they will typically interview up to 40% of their applicants, around 20% – 30% less than Cambridge. 

This is only a small number of the courses available at Oxbridge, but the data for every course will be available in one form or another. Let’s learn more about how you find and use this data yourself. 

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Where Can You Gather Oxbridge Data?

The data we have presented here is all incredibly useful but the rabbit hole goes much deeper than this. You will be able to find data on incredibly niche topics and sort through information with a fine-tooth comb to learn more about specific demographics of applicants. However, it takes knowledge and work to do so. 

Firstly, let’s take a look at the best official sources of data from Oxford and Cambridge:

Official University Websites

The first place to look for admissions data is the official Oxford and Cambridge websites. Each university publishes various reports each year covering admissions statistics, exam results and much more, so you will have a good chance of finding what you need there. 

Their admissions reports in particular are very details, breaking down the data in numerous ways to display the statistics based on subject, school types, sex and much more. These reports are worth reading and are perfect for referencing if you have any relevant questions. Check them out below:

University Department Websites

Each department at Oxford and Cambridge will have their own website where they provide newsletters, information on courses and data reports. These data reports can relate to admissions test scores, exam results and admissions data, so be sure to check them out if you have a student looking to study a specific subject. 

College Wesbites

If you are looking for college-specific data, most colleges have websites that provide updates regarding their students and admissions. On these sites, you can find reports relating to general admissions and admissions test scores, but you may also find information regarding applicant interview performances if the college in question uses a specific system for judging interviewees. This kind of data is much less common so it is always useful when it’s available. 


Freedom of Information Requests

Under the FOIA, any person can request access to records, documents, or other information that is maintained by public authorities, which includes universities. There are some exceptions to the types of information that can be released, including national security, personal data, and commercial interests. If the public authority decides to withhold information, they must provide a reason for doing so.

If a piece of information you are looking for is not available on any official report provided by Oxford or Cambridge, then you may be able to find it via WhatDoTheyKnow thanks to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). 

Many requests have already been made to Oxford and Cambridge (as well as every other UK university), so this data will be freely available for anyone to view. In order to get the best results when searching for data, you need to be very clear about your search intent (create a search along the lines “University of Cambridge NSAA results 2019” for example). Most of the time, the data will be presented in text or within a table, though some of these data sets can be very long and difficult to interpret. 

How Should I Use This Oxbridge Data?

Now that you have the data available to you, you may be wondering what you should be doing with it all. Here are a few ideas of ways you can use admissions data to improve your student’s application preparation: 

Subject Competitiveness

As you have already seen, different subjects at Oxford and Cambridge have different levels of competitiveness based on the percentage of applicants admitted each year. By gathering yearly success rates for all of the subjects that your students are considering, you can see which ones will be more difficult to apply to. Having this insight will help both you and your student understand the challenges that face them, allowing you both to prepare effectively to boost their chances of success. 

Demographic Data

Although it may feel outdated by today’s standards, the data relating to different demographics of applicants do still display certain trends. Although the differences are often negligible, it will still be important to consider as certain factors could make your students more or less likely to receive an offer, at least on paper. In reality, the Oxbridge application process ensures that discrimination of any kind is not present, so take the data with a pinch of salt.

Data Trends

A major benefit to gathering multiple year’s worth of data is that you can analyse trends over time, which can give you further insight into the current landscape of a certain subject. As a fairly well-known example, 2020 and 2021 saw a relatively sharp increase of medicine applicants across the whole country. This was, of course, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which inspired many more younger people to enter the field of medicine. Trends are typically caused by real-world events or changes within the course itself, so it can be an interesting exercise to work with your students in discovering why certain figures are the way they are.

Predictive Analysis

Analysing the cause of data trends is one helpful application of admissions data, but you can also attempt to make predictions of future admissions cycles based on previous years and current events. It goes without saying but it is impossible to provide an accurate prediction for the future to your students, so this should be done more as an exercise in hypotheticals and data analysis than as serious guidance. 


Without having a point of reference to their chances of gaining an offer, many students will feel less motivated to put in the work for their application, either because they are unaware of how few students are admitted each year or are worried that their chances of success are next to impossible. Having an accurate and definitive figure for how many applicants are admitted to a certain subject will help them understand exactly how much effort is required to improve their chances of success. 

UniAdmissions' Teacher Tips

You should now have a good understanding of why data is so important for the Oxbridge application process for both you and your students. We aren’t expecting you to remember all of these figures, so be sure to have a point of reference with all the information you need. You could create your own spreadsheet, have a file of application data reports or even download our free Oxbridge Data Infographic, which can be used by both teachers and students. 

Whatever you decide to do next, do so with these important figures and data sets in mind to ensure you and your students are working with all the necessary information. 

If you would like to share this information with your students, you can download our free infographic, covering some of the most important facts and figures we have presented in this guide. Remember to read through our other guides in order to get a greater understanding of how the Oxbridge application process works, and find out how UniAdmissions can support your school in creating the ultimate support programme for your students. 

Other Helpful Oxbridge Resources

Free CPD-Accredited Oxbridge Counsellor Course

This free online course is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to help your students secure a place at the world’s top universities. You’ll complete the course as an Oxbridge expert!

Teacher’s Oxbridge Learning Hub

Access all of our highly detailed written guides for teachers, as well as useful resources and information about our school support.