A former pupil of Ivybridge Community College, now a student at Cambridge University, returned to talk with current Sixth Form students about life at Oxbridge.

Thomas Chapman explained what it was like to study there and gave a frank account of the challenges involved, including high workloads and having classes on a Saturday.

Thomas also explained the application process, including the ‘Pooling’ system, giving students an opportunity to study at a different college should they be unsuccessful in securing a place at their preferred choice, the flexibility around course studies, and the opportunity to be awarded a Masters.

He also outlined the amazing facilities that the University offered including their 140 libraries and access to eight million books (every book that has been published since 1920)

The Cambridge University Library was designed by Giles Gilbert the same man who designed the classic red telephone box.

For those looking to complement their hard work and studies with a social life, Thomas also mentioned that there were nearly 1000 student-run clubs and societies with the opportunity to start your own if you cannot find one in line with your interests.

He also mentioned the 93% Club (a special society made up of students from a state education background) as well as the Cambridge Union, which has hosted speakers ranging from Margaret Thatcher through Michael van Gerwen, to Bill Gates.

Despite the high workload, Thomas acknowledged the privilege of having the opportunity to study at Cambridge and walk in the footsteps of some amazing people who have contributed to wider society.

Giving their thoughts as to the benefits of studying at Cambridge, he also quoted the views of students who said amongst other things, ‘living independently, but with plenty of support’ and ‘being around like minded people’ even if he got annoyed by some who say that one of the Colleges ‘looks like Hogwarts’

Cambridge is a “collegiate” university made up of academic faculties and departments along with 31 colleges.

Trinity is one of the largest and wealthiest college.

Peterhouse is the oldest founded in 1284 and Robinson the newest opened in 1981.