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Living in College

Fisher Building, Queens' College

The colleges provide a varying amount of accommodation for graduate students. The quality, price and method of allocation differ from College to College – some Colleges will offer accommodation for one year only while others can offer you a room for the duration of your studies. Further information can be obtained from the college you are interested in.

Living in college can be enjoyable and is a great way of making new friends and generally feeling more involved in University life, but it can require compromises such as sharing cooking facilities and bathrooms with many others. It used to be the case that living in college could be relied on to be cheaper than renting privately, though recent rent rises in College accommodation mean that this is no longer true for all colleges.

Living out of college has advantages such as feeling less restricted and having a greater sense of privacy. Unfortunately, renting in Cambridge is expensive; consequently, do expect that it may cost more than what you are used to.


Graduates with families

Unfortunately, it is more difficult to secure College accommodation for families than it is for single graduates, as many colleges do not have the facilities to accommdate families. If you might be looking for family accommodation, it is worth finding out about it from the Colleges you are considering applying to. A summary of the availability of accommodation for families is available via the Childcare Office.


Catering and the Kitchen Fixed Charge

All Colleges provide a canteen service; typically breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided during the week. At weekends and outside of term, provision varies by college. Food is usually reasonably cheap, and dietary requirements are catered for, so do speak with the catering department at your college.

Most colleges also provide graduates with reasonable self-catering facilities. However, you may find that some colleges have microwaves, hobs but not ovens in their student kitchens. Many colleges also levy an additional charge on graduates, called the Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC), which is supposed to cover some of the costs to the college of running a canteen for students.



Landlines are frequently cheaper for international calls into and from the UK. Many colleges provide landlines which can accept incoming calls within their accommodation blocks/houses or sockets where you can rent your own phoneline. If you are travelling a long way and will not be able to return home often then you may want to ask colleges about their telephone provision.