There are 31 Colleges in Cambridge: three are for women (Murray Edwards [the current trading name of New Hall], Newnham and Lucy Cavendish) and two admit only graduates (Clare Hall and Darwin). The remainder house and teach all students enrolled in courses of study or research at the University.

(Visit for links to each College website and their respective JCR and MCR websites)

The role of Colleges in University life

Each College is an independent institution with its own property and income. Like the University, they are governed by their own statutes and regulations and are responsible for appointing their staff and selecting students – in accordance with University regulations. Teaching is shared between the Colleges and University departments; degrees are awarded by the University.

Links between the Colleges and the government of the University are ensured through membership of the Council and the Finance Committee. This is furthered by the fact that many Fellows of Colleges also hold University teaching appointments, and vice-versa.

The role of the Colleges in student life

A College is the place where students live, eat and socialise. It is home to the Tutors (responsible for pastoral care), the Directors of Studies (specific responsibilities in relation to the courses of study and academic progress of their students) and the Supervisors (carry out supervisions; set and mark work). Colleges also provide additional resources to that of the University, such as a library, sports facilities, bars and theatres. Most have their own clubs and societies: offering a variety of non-academic activities.

Benefits of the College system

  • Teaching: The supervision system, regarded as one of the best teaching models in the world
  • Accommodation: Is provided to almost all undergrads for the entire duration of their time at Cambridge.
  • Welfare: A variety of support systems; in particular allowing overseas students to be fully integrated.
  • Financial support: Many Colleges offer awards for their own members.