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Most famous Cambridge University graduates

Cambridge University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world.

Cambridge University is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world.

It's part of the so-called Golden Triangle that includes a handful of elite UK universities in London, Oxford, and Cambridge. It's known for its exceptional research and education and has produced countless Nobel laureates, including Stephen Hawking.

From famous actors to writers and scientists, these are the university's most famous and notable alumni who are still living:

Emma Thompson

A British actress and screenwriter secured a scholarship at Cambridge by taking A levels in English, French and Latin. She studied for an English degree and graduated with upper second-class honours. At Cambridge, Thompson was the first female member of the Cambridge Footlights, the university's prestigious sketch comedy troupe, where she also met and befriended other famous British actors Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Sam Mendes

A famous British film and stage director, producer, and screenwriter was rejected from the University of Warwick, the only university in the UK that offered an undergraduate film course back in the day. However, he graduated from Cambridge with first-class honours in English and directed several plays while being a student there.

Arianna Huffington

A co-founder of The Huffington Post, author and one of the most influential women on the planet moved from Greece to the United Kingdom at the age of 16 and studied economics at Cambridge. She was the first foreign and third female president of the Cambridge Union, a debating and free speech society in Cambridge.

Charles III

Charles III graduated from Gordonstoun in Scotland, one of the UK's top independent schools, with five O-Levels (GCSEs) and two A-Levels: a B in History and C in French. He then went on to Cambridge University, graduating with a 2:2 degree in History after studying history, archaeology and anthropology. He was the first British royal to get a university degree.

Salman Rushdie

After moving to England in 1954 and attending a school here, an Indian-born British-American novelist enrolled at Cambridge, from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. Rushdie's book Midnight's Children won the prestigious Booker Prize in 1981.

Antony Gormley

A renowned British sculptor studied art history, archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge. His 20 meter high sculpture of an angel called the Angel of the North (it's located in Gateshead in the north of England) is seen by 33 million people every year, according to Gateshead Council.

Michael Foale

In 1995 Foale, who was the second Briton in space, became the first British born astronaut to take part in a spacewalk while aboard NASA’s space shuttle Discovery. On the whole, he went into space six times.

Foale graduated from Cambridge with a first-class honours degree in natural sciences and a doctorate in laboratory astrophysics.

Sacha Baron Cohen

British comedian who created popular fictional satirical characters Ali G, Borat Sagdiyev, Brüno Gehard, and Admiral General Aladeen studied history with a focus on antisemitism at Cambridge, graduating in 1993 with upper second-class honours.

Tom Hiddleston

Famous English actor graduated from Cambridge with a double first in classics, performed in Greek and Latin, and was spotted by a talent agent while studying there. He then went on to RADA, one of the UK's most prestigious drama schools.

Want to know more about what it's like to study in the UK and how to get into the best universities in the country? LEO International Online School offers a diverse and intensive two–year A-Level programme designed to prepare students for university entry in the United Kingdom. Learn more about this programme and our other courses here, and don't hesitate to contact us at

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