There is no such thing as an average MBE student, in terms of education, skills or aspirations. Applications are received from all over the world from candidates with a first degree in life or physical sciences, medicine, law, finance, economics or an allied disciplines. The specialisms within each year group are very diverse and individuals with, for example, economics, biophysics, bio- and chemical engineering and financial or legal backgrounds are as likely to be admitted as those with a purely biological focus. In general about one third to one half of each class have undergone further academic training and hold one or a combination of Master's, PhD or medical degrees. Each year a number of exceptional students are accepted who have only recently graduated from their first degree. However, the strongest candidates are those who have spent time in business, academia or a professional capacity after graduating with their first degree. Whilst the range of ages within any class often spans several decades the majority of students tend to be in their mid to late twenties.