Admission Requirements

General conditions for admission

There are general conditions for admission that apply to all students regardless of course, and to independent students who put together an individual programme. Each course also has its own specific admissions requirements, given below.

  1. The Institute admits women students who wish to study as a member of this Catholic House within the ecumenical Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF). Most of our students are Catholic, but individuals from other Christian denominations have studied with us and we welcome such applications.
  2. The Institute also welcomes applications from Catholic men at doctoral level.
  3. Individuals seeking admission to the Margaret Beaufort Institute must possess the general educational background appropriate to admission to university or other tertiary level programmes.
  4. The nature of the programmes on offer, integrating theology with pastoral practice, means that most students in the Institute and the CTF are over the age of 21. Again, there have been individual exceptions to this norm who have benefited from and succeeded on the courses. Applicants under the age of 21 who are attracted to any of the courses on offer are invited to make informal contact to discuss their interest.
  5. The Institute is seeking to admit students who will themselves benefit from the opportunity to combine study with membership of a community of prayer and worship.
  6. The Institute is seeking to admit students who have an intention to serve the Church’s mission to the world, even though the form that service may take is not yet known to them.
  7. All students on taught courses leading to a university award normally take the compulsory Margaret Beaufort course, Life and Service in the Catholic Tradition.
  8. Students are advised that the Institute’s women-only policy applies to students but not to staff, research scholars, doctoral students, sabbatical visitors or to residency.

Specific Admission Requirements

All CTF programmes carry specific admissions requirements which applicants to the Margaret Beaufort Institute must fulfill before the Institute can reccommend their application to the validating university. For details of those requirements see specific course pages on the CTF website.

Admissions Procedure

Our admissions process is designed to secure a close match between:

  • The opportunity the Institute offers
  • The interests and aptitudes of the individual
  • The potential for service, widely defined, to the Church.

Decisions are made taking into account all the information and the applicant’s full profile.

  • UK enquirers are invited for an informal visit to meet staff and students, to see the environment and be introduced to the ecumenical nature of teaching in the Federation; the requirements of the Institute’s house-based teaching and community life; and financial and funding issues. The application form is also discussed.
  • Our application form includes a reflective section designed to help interviewer and interviewee assess suitability.
  • In situations where more information is required to make a decision, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of written work.  This is a formal requirements for all Cambridge University applications.
  • Once a formal application is received, applicants are invited for interview. The admissions panel is normally two members of the teaching staff.
  • References are required and must be able to cover academic suitability, pastoral experience or aptitude, and commitment to the Catholic Church.
  • If the Margaret Beaufort Institute accepts an applicant, then the applicant will be recommended to apply, via the Institute, to the particular programme in question.  This will involve a further formal application form and supporting documentation including but not limited to transcripts, references, passport/visa evidence.
  • In the case of applicants from overseas, the Institute will make every effort to conduct an interview in the applicant’s country with a person who is familiar with the Institute, and able to make a recommendation to the admissions panel.  In all cases a video interview (skype, for example) will be an additional requirement where an in-person visit to the Institute is not possible.

For an application form, please contact our Administrator at

Visiting Before Applying

We strongly advise an informal visit before you make an application. This will enable you to get a feel for our ethos and meet other students, and experience shows that this opportunity will be very helpful to your decision-making. You will be able to discuss different course options and financial matters.

If you are able to visit Cambridge on a Thursday afternoon during term-time, you would be welcome to sit in on a class, meet with a member of the academic staff for an informal discussion and stay on for Mass and supper. We are able to offer overnight accommodation.

You are of course welcome to visit at other times. Please phone, email or write to ask for an informal visit.

12 Grange Road
Cambridge CB3 9DU

Tel: (+44) (0)1223 741039



The fees for all our degree programmes, are explained on the Cambridge Theological Federation (CTF) fees page, here.  Margaret Beaufort Institute has no extra fees for our degree programmes.   The fees shown are all inclusive.

The fees for Catholic Theology and Practice courses run on Thursday afternoon, are £200 per 4 week course.    If you take five of these CTP courses, you attain a Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology certificate.  Bursaries are available.

The fees for MBIT Study Days and Short Courses range from £40 to £120, with discounts for Cambridge University, Anglia Ruskin University, or any CTF student.

International Students

We welcome applications from international students. We appreciate the contribution that students from other parts of the world and other parts of the Catholic Church make to the learning experience and to the community.

Over the years we have had students from Latvia, the United States of America, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Ireland, Nigeria, Poland, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea, Uganda and Ghana.

For international students considering study at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, here is a link to some of the frequently asked questions about applying which include queries about visa issues in relation to Cambridge Theological Federation programmes:

Look for these questions:

  • From outside of the United Kingdom, how will I find out about the need for a visa?
  • What type of visa do I need?
  • Will the Federation arrange my visa for me?

We warmly welcome follow up enquiries to the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology from international applicants, but these frequently asked questions should be checked first so you have a clear idea of what will be involved.

For scholars, Religious and other ministers enquiring about sabbatical stays, see this dedicated page: sabbatical opportunities

Fees and funding

  • Students from outside the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) are considered international students.
  • International student fees are set by the awarding universities. It is our normal practice to provide bursaries for good applicants from developing countries. Please check our information on bursaries.


  • All international students will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK. Before you can apply for a visa you will need to have:
    • Applied and been accepted onto your chosen course
    • Received a formal letter of acceptance from the awarding university along with a letter of admission from the Institute with information about residency and any bursary (where relevant)
  • You will also need to demonstrate that you have the funds to support your period of study in the UK
  • Visa requirements mean that you will need to allow a good six months between application and the start of the academic year. Applications should be made no later than 1 March of the year of study, and you are advised to arrive in Cambridge in the middle of September.

Margaret Beaufort Institute Student Bursaries

The Institute has three types of student bursary:

1. Named bursary:

  • Cornelia Connelly Bursary (donated by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus)
  • Newman Bursaries – for the DTM

2. Unnamed bursaries
3. Bursaries for students from African countries.

Value of Bursaries

It is the Institute’s policy to retain flexibility about the value of bursaries in order to respond to the needs of an individual student, and to make best use of the funding available in each of the three types of bursary funds.

We consider the whole of a student’s course in allocating our bursaries. This ensures that students on two- and three-year courses have their need for funding throughout the duration of their study considered from the outset. Each case will be reviewed annually.

Use of Bursary Funding

Bursary funding may be applied to the payment of fees and/or student maintenance. Each case is considered individually.


  • No funding will be allocated to anyone who is over the age of 60 at the start of her course.
  • International students are not normally eligible for bursary support, with the exception of the separate provision for students from African countries. [Note: The definition of ‘international student’ used here is the one used by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Wales. It does not include European Union nationals].
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate applicants are eligible for bursary funding.
  • Full and part-time students are eligible for bursary funding.
  • Students may apply at any stage of their course of studies, provided they apply before the cut-off point in any particular year.
  • The prime criterion for the selection of eligible students is financial need. This means that applicants must be willing to divulge their financial situation. They must also be able to show that they have exhausted other avenues for funding, including the advice they will be given by the Institute about other sources of funding. Students who are eligible for state grants, support through the Access to Learning Fund, or bursaries of Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge University must take up any such support as a condition of receiving a bursary. In the case of students eligible for a student loan, there is no requirement to take up a loan but the Principal will wish to discuss this with the applicant.
  • The second criterion used is the degree of match between the student and the Institute’s admissions criteria, as judged by the Bursary Panel.
  • If there are more applicants who fulfil f. and g. above than there is funding available in any one year, preference will be given to students who are intending to work in Britain or in a developing country.

Timing of Applications and Decisions

Applications for funding should be made after the normal admissions process has been completed and a place has been offered. During the admissions process, applicants will indicate any intention to apply for a bursary and will receive advice on making an application, including the completion of an application form.

Individuals intending to make an application for bursary funding will therefore wish to complete the admissions process as early as possible in the academic year and by 1 May at the latest. Any applications made later than 1 May will not automatically be considered and such applicants may have to defer their entry if it is dependent on a bursary.

Students in the second or third years of their programme whose financial situation has changed and are applying for a bursary for the first time should also apply by 1 May. We encourage you to discuss your situation with the Principal as soon as possible.

Applicants for bursaries will be interviewed by the Principal during May and their application will be considered by the Bursary Panel (see below) during May or early June. Late applicants should inform the Principal of their interest in applying for a bursary and she will make a decision about whether a special panel meeting should be convened.

Conditions of Bursaries

  1. Prospective students who have been awarded a bursary will be expected to show a firm commitment to taking up their place at the Institute, for example by prompt completion of any forms required, or booking of accommodation.
  2. Continuing students must have successfully completed all the requirements of the year before a bursary can be renewed. They should also have paid all outstanding bills to the Institute and Cambridge Theological Federation.
  3. The Bursary Panel will determine whether a student receives a named or unnamed bursary. Students in receipt of named bursaries will be expected to provide a brief profile of themselves, using a proforma that can be shared with the donors of their bursaries. They will also be asked to provide a short personal reflection at the end of their course of study.
  4. Recipients of the Cornelia Connelly bursary or CWL Bursary should be willing to meet with representative member(s) of the benefactors if requested.

Bursary Panel

The Panel comprises the Principal, one other member of the academic staff and one member of the Institute’s Council or Trustees.

Appeals Against Decisions of the Panel

The decision of the Panel is final and there is no appeals procedure.

Hardship Fund

The Principal has a small hardship fund available to meet time-limited and unforeseen circumstances that might arise during the year. This is separate from the bursary fund and is likely to involve arrangements for repayment at some stage.

You can download the Bursary Application Form.

Government Funding and Universities Bursaries

Applicants who have not studied for a degree are eligible to take out a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the cost of your tuition fees.  For more detailed information on tuition fee loans please see here.

You may find the following organisations useful:
Department for Education
The Council for International Education – for international students
Access to Learning

University bursary schemes also apply to eligible students. This means that students accepted for the BTh are eligible for Cambridge University bursaries for Years 2 and 3 of their degree course, but not for the Qualifying Year. The Cambridge Bursary Scheme is a generous one.

The Margaret Beaufort Institute offer bursaries for full and part time study. Please see the separate webpage for details. All bursaries are subject to terms and conditions.