If you have not already completed a higher education course, but will be aged 21 or over when you start your studies at Cambridge, you can apply for the three-year BA Law degree as a mature undergraduate.
You apply for the programme in the usual way (though you can take advantage of a later application deadline), and you are expected to possess the same academic potential as the standard-age applicants. But because every application to Cambridge is assessed individually, your past experiences and achievements – both educational and otherwise – will be taken into account when your application is evaluated and some of the usual formal requirements may be waived.
If you already have an approved undergraduate degree from another university, you can apply instead to do the BA as an affiliated student. The great advantage of taking the BA degree as an affiliated student is that you can complete the programme in only two years, instead of the usual three, by taking Tripos Parts IB and II. In this compressed programme, you are required to take the seven ‘Foundation’ subjects – Criminal Law, the Law of Tort, Constitutional Law, Land Law, Contract Law, Equity and European Union Law – together with three further optional papers and the half paper in Legal Skills and Methodology, and at the end of the course you will have earned a BA which is recognised by the professional legal bodies as a qualifying Law degree, and is referred to by these bodies as a 'Senior Status Law Degree'.
Mature and affiliated students experience the same teaching as all of the other students, with whom you will share lectures, small-group supervisions and examinations.
You can also make the most of the collegiate life that Cambridge offers: you can apply to any of the undergraduate colleges, like the standard-age students, but you are also eligible to apply for one of the four Cambridge colleges which cater specifically for mature students: Wolfson, Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s and Lucy Cavendish.
These colleges offer an environment and facilities which appeal to many mature students, as they offer good support for students who may be returning to education after a hiatus, or students with partners and families. And these college communities tend to include a varied mix of students with a bit more life experience than the usual school-leavers. Of course, you will still have all of the usual opportunities to meet, work and socialise with all of the other students, and you are able to join any of the University’s many clubs and societies.