skip to content

Postgraduate Study


Your College is your base while you're studying at Cambridge but it's much more than a hall of residence.

You become a member of a College when you join the University and can choose two College preferences when you make your application.

What do the Colleges offer?

The 31 Cambridge Colleges are located across the city, within walking or cycling distance of the city centre and the academic faculties and departments. All the Colleges offer:

  • Welfare and practical support through a Graduate Tutor. They monitor your progress and provide information on academic and pastoral matters and organise an induction programme to help you settle in. Colleges also provide a College nurse, Chaplain and/or counsellor and provide advice on childcare provision in Cambridge.
  • Accommodation and catering with College catering offered in formal and informal environments, at a reasonable price. College accommodation and catering is not guaranteed – contact the Accommodation Office for more information about accommodation outside the Colleges (
  • Academic enrichment and support with the provision of library and IT facilities, and opportunities to supervise undergraduates (where applicable).
  • A cross-intellectual community with opportunities to exchange experiences across disciplines and generations in an informal setting through networks and seminars.
  • Finance and funding: advice on identifying and obtaining financial assistance and help in cases of unforeseen and unforeseeable financial difficulties.
  • A strong social focus with a student association or graduate society run by students with College support.
  • Social, cultural and recreational activities with suitable facilities to enhance your personal development.
  • Lifelong membership of the College.

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 facilities in College, where postgraduate students can relax and socialise. For many postgraduates, it's the connections you make with fellow students and academics in your College that makes College life so special.

I would like to emphasise the positive effect of College membership on the life of a Cambridge student. While it provides academic and logistics support, I am especially appreciative of how College serves as a social anchor in town. This is especially important in PhD life which could otherwise be very insular.

Benjamin, PhD in Physics

Colleges for postgraduate applicants