With more than 18,000 students from all walks of life and all corners of the world, nearly 9,000 staff, 31 Colleges and 150 Departments, Faculties, Schools and other institutions, no two days are ever the same at the University of Cambridge.
At the heart of this confederation of Departments, Schools, Faculties and Colleges is a central administration team.
It is small because the Colleges are self-governing and teaching staff carry out much of the daily administration at Cambridge.
The University is a confederation of Schools, Faculties, Departments and Colleges. The Colleges are governed by their own statutes and regulations, but are integral to the make-up of the University of Cambridge.
Students live, eat and socialise in one of the University’s 31 autonomous Colleges. Undergraduates receive College supervisions – small group teaching sessions – regarded as one of the best teaching models in the world.
Each College has its own internal procedures. They select their own students, subject to University regulations, and most admit both undergraduate and postgraduate students. College representatives sit on the University Council and Finance Committee.
There are six Schools, which each form an administrative grouping of Faculties and other institutions. They are: Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Clinical Medicine, Humanities and Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Technology.
There is a Council of each School – including representatives of its Faculties and Departments. The Schools are represented on the General Board.
Faculties and Departments
University Faculties organise teaching and research into individual subjects or groups of subjects. Their work is normally organised into sub-divisions called Departments.
Centres of studies are controlled by committees of management, bringing together representatives from several disciplines.
The mission of the University of Cambridge is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning, and research at the highest international levels of excellence.
The University's core values are as follows:
The University's relationship with society
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Undergraduate Certificates, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Advanced Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificates, Professional qualifications
If you want to apply to Cambridge, the process is much the same as that for other universities. However, at Cambridge the application process starts earlier to allow time for interviews to be organised.
Five simple steps:
You’re going to be studying the subject to a very high level for several years so make sure you choose a course you’re passionate about and will really enjoy!
Where would you like to live when you're here? You can either choose a College or make an open application.
Submit your UCAS application online by 15 October - our institution code is CAM C05.
Submit your Supplementary Application Questionnaire (SAQ) - a few extra questions requesting information not included in your UCAS application which we find helpful.
Everyone with a realistic chance of being offered a place is invited to attend an interview. That's over 80 per cent of applicants each year.
We'll advise you of our decision before the end of January. If you're offered a place, you'll be informed by the College and through UCAS - you must reply, observing UCAS requirements and deadlines.
Information used to assess applications
There's no blueprint for an ideal Cambridge student and we want to give applicants as many opportunities as possible to demonstrate their strengths and potential. Therefore, each applicant is considered individually, using all of the following information:
Further information can be found in our Admissions Policy. If your education has been significantly disrupted or disadvantaged, it may be appropriate for your school/college to complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form.
The University of Cambridge maintains a long tradition of student participation in sport. The earliest known established sports club was the Cambridge University Boat Club in 1828, and now, nearly 200 years later, the University has 52 sports clubs registered with the Sports Syndicate.
University Sports Clubs
The sports scene at Cambridge is huge. As well as team games, water sports, martial arts, racket sports and aquatics there are plenty of other more unusual and extreme sports available. For more information on what each University Sports Club has to offer, visit their website (see list below).
Amateur Boxing Club
Association Football Club
Women's Association Football Club
Women's Basketball Club
Women's Boat Club
Women's Cricket Club
Eton Fives Club
Hare and Hounds Club
Ice Hockey Club
Women's Ice Hockey Club
Women's Lacrosse Club
Lawn Tennis Club
Lightweight Rowing Club
Modern Pentathlon Club
Real Tennis Club
Revolver & Pistol Club
Rugby Union Football Club
Women's Rugby Union Football Club
Rugby Fives Club
Ski and Snowboarding Club
Small Bore Club
Squash Rackets Club
Swimming and Waterpolo Club
Table Tennis Club
While it is hoped that your time at Cambridge will be an untroubled one, there may be occasions when you need additional help and support.
The University of Cambridge does not have its own medical practice, and all students are advised to register with a local GP (general practitioner) when they arrive. Your College should be able to provide a list of local practices, or you could use the NHS Direct search facility.
The University has its own Dental Service that can provide NHS treatment to students. It also offers emergency after-hours treatment.
Every year the University issues Health Guidelines to staff and students. These include information on meningitis, vaccinations, anaphylaxes, and sexual health. In the event of an epidemic or pandemic it may also release information on the advice of the Health Protection Agency.
For some courses, students may be required to undergo health screening from the University's Occupational Health Service. You will be advised by your College if this is a requirement of your course.
Health and safety
The University's Health and Safety Office also has a broad range of guidance documents that you may need to refer to during your time at Cambridge, for example, cycle safety and security.
Your College will also play a very important pastoral role and can offer support through your tutor, the Senior Tutor, College Nurse, Chaplain and student welfare offices. Consult your College's website for further information.
As well as University and College services, there is a broad range of other sources of help available in the local region.
There is also an autonomous part of CUSU whose objective is to represent and look after the welfare of international students: CUSU International Forum.
Do you have ambitions to follow in the footsteps of Stephen Fry, John Cleese, Emma Thompson, Tilda Swinton, and Tom Hiddleston, or are you just interested in theatre? There are many opportunities to display your dramatic talents, be they in acting, directing, writing or producing. The ADC is the biggest student theatre, but there are many student drama clubs and societies in the University who perform in other venues. Auditions are usually very well advertised and hard to miss.
There are an amazing number of student music societies, choirs, and orchestras to join, or just to listen to. The biggest society, but most certainly not the only one, is the Cambridge University Music Society (CUMS); nearly every College has its own musical society, and if you cannot find one that suits your taste, why not create one while you are in Cambridge?
As you may be beginning to suspect, there are too many societies to list here, so instead we have included a link so that you can find the societies that suit you.
The Office of External Affairs and Communications' Public Engagement team work closely with voluntary organisations, and support public engagement, community and outreach work.
Food & Drink
Cambridge boasts a delicious choice of places to eat and drink, whatever your appetite there is something to suit all tastes.
For a romantic dinner for two, why not choose an intimate brasserie dining setting at one of Cambridge's many hotels, or choose from an extravagant fine dining experience at some of the region's best Michelin Starred restaurants.
If you are looking for something a little less formal, the city and surrounding villages are host to some of the best pubs in the region, you can choose to dine at some of the vibrant and bustling inner city pubs and bars or take a trip out into the coutryside to visit one of the many village pubs available.
For the best places for mums and dads to take the family, there are a number of family-friendly restaurants where the little ones can run around and make as much noise as they like.
For those of you that enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea or barista coffee, we have some of the best around, from charming tea rooms to quaint coffee shops, spilling out onto the bustling Market Square, linning King's Parade or tucked away in quiet back streets - whatever you favour, Cambridge has something to suit.