Cambridge University
Judge Business School
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Known for:  Small class size, tech entrepreneurship

Class size:  Sept 2020 intake of 174 students

GMAT average: 687

GRE accepted: Yes

Course length: 12 months

Application deadlines:

- Round 1: 7 September 2020
- Round 2: 19 October 2020

- Round 3: 11 January 2021

- Round 4: 8 March 2021

- Round 5: 26 April, 2021

Application requirements:

- Online Application Form


- CV

- Application Fee

- Reference

- Essays

Essay questions:

Essay 1: Please provide a personal statement. It should not exceed 500 words and must address the following questions: 

- What are your short and long term career objectives and what skills/characteristics do you already have that will help you achieve them?

- What actions will you take before and during the MBA to contribute to your career outcome?

- If you are unsure of your post-MBA career path, how will the MBA equip you for the future?

A good tip for personal statements is to start with why. If you can clearly explain your motivation, the rest of the essay will flow naturally from there. For example, "I struggled to get a bank account when growing up and my ambition is to bring financial services to the unbanked".

From here simply elaborate on how you'll achieve this ambition, first with your short-term career objectives (a fintech?) and then with long-term career objectives (your own fintech company?).

Identify technical skills (python?) and characteristics (charismatic) which you'll need to reach these goals and outline how you'll improve them.

For the sake of your application it's probably best to write as if you have a fairly thought-through career path even if you may deviate from it.

Essay 2: Describe a difficult decision that you had to make. What did you learn from this and how have you changed as a result? (up to 200 words)

Admissions staff are looking to understand how you will behave during the program when you face a difficult decision - perhaps choosing between two internship offers.

Consider using the SCAR format: Describe the Situation (when, where, who), the Challenge you faced (which in this case is the difficult decision), the Action (how you broke down the decision and its trade-offs) and finally the Result (what you decided and what came about from the decision).

With only 200 words you'll have to be concise. Be straightforward with the description of the situation and move quickly to your decision-making process. Explain your motivations at the time so the reader gets an insight into your soul.

Essay 3: Describe a time where you worked with a team on a project. What did you learn from the experience and how might you approach it differently today? (up to 200 words)

Be sure to discuss the people involved - their characters, motivations

Again, consider using the SCAR format: 

Essay 4: If you could give one piece of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be? (up to 200 words

Oxford provides applicants plenty of space in the Academic and Work Experience sections to give the admissions committee a full account of these. Therefore, the 'Anything else' essay is where you must show them your personality.

Recounting a list of roles and achievements will not cut it here. Nor will repeating your academic or professional achievements.

I encourage applicants to talk here about their personal life, particularly emphasising characteristics which tie in to their professional goals in one way or another. Tell a story of a time in your personal life when you showed one or more of the 12 character traits they're looking for.


Perhaps a travel story to show your ability to mingle with people from different cultures. Or perhaps the story of your first entrepreneurial activity, particularly what lessons you learned from this.

Re-applicants essay: What improvements have you made in your candidacy since you last applied to the Oxford MBA? (Maximum 250 words)

Discuss what you did to improve your profile since your last application for example any additional courses or qualifications you've earned. Highlight any improvements to your GMAT/GRE score. Discuss steps you've taken to better get to know the program, such as visits, and mention any new, staff, alumni or students you've spoken to since last time.

Recommenders questions:

Rate the following:

- Intellectual Curiosity

- Leadership Skills

- Ability to Work in a Team

- Energy and Drive

- English Language Ability

On a scale of:

- Needs Improvement

- Developing

- Competent

- Exceeds Expectations

- Unknown/Not observed

Recommenders are asked to upload a letter elaborate on ratings. They are asked how long they have known the candidate and in what capacity, what are the candidate's strengths and weaknesses, and how they think the candidate would benefit from the programme.