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Postgraduate Study


Postgraduate study at Cambridge can be a life-changing experience. Whatever your ambitions for the future, you will benefit from participating here as fully as you can in each of the communities, large and small, to which you belong such as Departments, faculties, museums, libraries and laboratories. One or more of these will be where your course is taught, where your research is undertaken, and where you are supervised by specialists in your field. But like every Cambridge student and many of the academic staff, you will also be a member of a College. This is where enthusiasts from every discipline meet and enrich each other across subject boundaries and generations, and you will remain a member of your College for life.

Your College is much more than a hall of residence. Your College is also where you can eat, socialise, and receive on-going academic and pastoral support from your tutor and Postgraduate Office. Some of the other advantages of College membership include induction in your first weeks, financial advice and assistance, and opportunities for research, teaching, and professional development. Colleges administer formal processes, including matriculation (formally joining the University and College), monitoring international students' status for visa purposes, and graduation. They also work closely with the University's central bodies to shape University policy on a range of educational and financial issues affecting postgraduates, and to negotiate with the University on behalf of their own students.

Other benefits of College membership are the connections you make with fellow students and academics. The conversations and friendships that take you out of your area of expertise and stimulate new ideas, and the excitement of belonging to a truly international group make being a part of a College a special experience. The friendship and advice individual postgraduate students find in Colleges make these communities an indispensable element of your Cambridge life.

A key element of College life is the Middle Common Room (MCR), a term widely used both for the postgraduate student body, and for the shared space and associated facilities that postgraduate students enjoy in College. Using such facilities and participating in your College's postgraduate society can be rewarding – and you can make a real difference by ensuring that the College knows about current and future student needs.

Take a look at our terms of residence webpage for further information and direct any questions to your College or Student Registry.

I've enjoyed being a part of a College. I've found it really rewarding to meet colleagues from across the range of disciplines offered at the university beyond those researched solely at my faculty.

Andy, MPhil in Children’s Literature