What is the accommodation like at Wolfson?
Wolfson College is situated within a picturesque ten-acre site with 409 units of student accommodation. The majority of our rooms are for single occupation, alongside a limited number of double rooms and flats for couples. We also have five family flats, each accommodating up to two adults and two small children.
A useful summary of room types, rent costs, licences and insurance details is provided in the accordion sections below.
- Room types
Broadly speaking there are five categories of rooms available in College:
Single rooms - We have 70 single rooms across our College site with their own washbasin and access to shared bathrooms and a shared kitchen. These include the cheapest rooms on campus (small singles), alongside a limited number of larger single rooms, which come at an increased cost.
Ensuite rooms - There are a further 271 single rooms with private adjoining bathrooms (ensuites) as well as access to shared kitchens. Ensuite rooms come in small and standard sizes.
Shared sets - We also have 48 bedrooms within "shared sets", which consist of two separate bedrooms alongside a self-contained kitchen and bathroom within the set.
Double rooms - We have five double rooms, which have a double bed and access to shared bathrooms and a shared kitchen, and are for couples only.
Flats - We have 15 flats specifically for couples, as well as five "family flats" for up to two adults and two small children. Lastly, there are six flats for single occupancy.
Typically, all bedrooms have a bed, bedside cabinet, wash basin, desk, chair, wardrobe and a bookcase or shelves. All residents have access to the College laundry block which has eight washing machines and dryers. The family flats have a separate laundry room and a private garden with a children's swing set.
- Rent costs
College rents are arranged into seven different bands according to room type. The prices listed below apply from 1 Oct 2023 and are subject to annual changes.
Band Price per week Room types Band 1 £131.25 Small Single Room Band 2 £150.15 Small Single Ensuite, Medium Single Room Band 3 £169.75 Standard Single Ensuite, Standard Single Room, Shared Set Band 4 £210.35 Single Studio Flat, Large Single Room Band 5 £234.15 Double Room Band 6 £292.60 Double Studio Flat Band 7 £317.80 Double Flat, Family Flat
All our rents are fully inclusive - there is no separate charge for electricity, gas, water, WiFi, network access, insurance, or consumables such as toilet paper. Room cleaning is provided by our Housekeeping team as a College service, with the exception of the family flats, where residents must conduct their own cleaning.
Please note that refurbishment works will be taking place in and around the college kitchens during Lent term 2024. We anticipate that there may be some noise disturbance in the early stage of the work that might affect some rooms close to the site. Residents in those rooms will therefore receive a 15% discount on their rent during the Lent Term. Affected rooms will be clearly marked in the accommodation portal to inform students when selecting their room preferences.
- Licence types
There are up to three options for the licence types available for your room:
Termly licence - Termly licences are the cheapest licence type available as you only rent the room during term time, and fully vacate your room during the breaks. Students are given the weekend before and Friday night after term to move in and out, alongside one additional week after the end of Easter Term. PhD students are not eligible for termly licences, and it is not possible to terminate a termly licence early.
Period licence (9 or 12 months) - Period licences run for a continuous fixed period of 9 or 12 months. Period licences can be terminated with a given notice of one calendar month, which provides flexibility for students who want to leave College earlier for any reason, including fieldwork or course completion.
All students are strongly encouraged to check the end date of their study programme when selecting a licence type. We cannot guarantee that there will be rooms available for those looking to extend their stay at Wolfson past their licence end date. Hence, 12 month period licences are recommended for any students looking to stay in College over the summer, including all full-time postgraduate students with submission dates in July or later. Students can always end these licences early with a given notice of one calendar month.
- Insurance policy
The College has an insurance policy on behalf of, and for the benefit of, all Wolfson students who rent a room in College. The basic policy is provided free of charge to all residents. You can find details of the current policy in the Appendix D of the Accommodation Guide, although this is subject to change from year to year.
Make sure you check the insurance information carefully to decide if the basic level of cover is sufficient for your needs. There is an option to increase the level of cover on, for example, your laptop, computer or bicycle if required.
- College facilities
Wolfson has a variety of on-site facilities that all students can use over the course of their studies:
The Cafeteria and Coffee Bar serve a range of meals, snacks and drinks for Wolfson members and their guests across the year. Visit our Food pages for opening times, menus, and prices.
Our Lee Seng Tee Library is open 24/7 for all College members. There are around 50 study spaces over two floors and an outdoor area with 16 spaces for quiet study.
We have an on-site gym that is free to use, open seven days a week, and boasts a training room and a weights room. We also have an outdoor multi-purpose tennis and basketball court, with free sports equipment that can be signed out from the Porter's Lodge.
For complete and detailed information, please consult the Accommodation Guide.
Who can live at Wolfson?
We aim to offer accommodation to all our full-time students, but due to demand there are some restrictions on the number of years in which you can stay in College. Undergraduate students are usually offered onsite accommodation for the first three years of their degree. PhD students are usually offered two years of onsite accommodation, but this may not always include the first year of their degree.
For further eligibility details, please consult the sections below.
- How is eligibility determined?
Eligibility for College accommodation is calculated and awarded in relation to academic years (1 October - 30 September). A "year of eligibility" means that a student will be invited to apply for and could be offered accommodation in College during that academic year. Please note that being eligible for accommodation is not a guarantee of an offer of accommodation.
Early termination of any licence within the academic year will not allow the remaining eligibility to be transferred into future years. Unused terms within a cancelled licence cannot be carried forward, so you should always give careful consideration before terminating a licence.
Students starting their courses later in the academic year, such as Lent term (January), will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If accommodation is still available at this point in the year, the two remaining terms (Lent and Easter) will be considered to be a year of eligibility.
- Undergraduate students
Undergraduate students are eligible for College accommodation for the first three years of their course. MML and AMES students who live offsite during a "year abroad" as part of their degree are given eligibility for College accommodation for their fourth year.
We are usually able to guarantee three years of onsite accommodation for all undergraduate students who begin their course in Michaelmas Term (October). For undergraduates who start their courses later in the academic year, we may no longer have accommodation available, as rooms become occupied by other students.
- Masters students (full-time)
Full-time Masters students are eligible for College accommodation for up to one year, however the availability of rooms for masters students is not guaranteed.
New postgraduate students – both Masters and PhD – are sent invitations to apply for accommodation in the order that they are confirmed by the University as having met all their offer conditions. Allocation of rooms will continue until College accommodation is full.
For those wishing to live on-site, it is important to meet your offer conditions and confirm your offer as soon as possible. The earlier you are able to confirm your offer, the better your chance of getting College accommodation.
- PhD students (full-time)
Full-time PhD students who started their course in or prior to the academic year 2020-21 (October 2020) are eligible for up to three years accommodation. PhD students who started their course in or after the academic year 2021-22 (October 2021) are eligible for up to two years of accommodation.
If you wish to live on-site in the first year of your doctoral course, it is important to meet your offer conditions and confirm your offer as soon as possible. This is because new postgraduate students – both Masters and PhD – are sent invitations to apply for accommodation in the order that they are confirmed by the University as having met all their offer conditions. Allocation of rooms will continue until College accommodation is full.
PhD students who do not receive any College accommodation in their first year will retain their eligibility for future years, and also gain priority over all new students (being now classed as a continuing student).
PhD students are encouraged to think carefully about the years in which they wish to use their eligibility to live in College. For example, a student may apply to live onsite in their first and third years, to ensure they can leave Cambridge in a flexible way to conduct fieldwork in their second year.
If you choose to go on fieldwork in a year in which you have received College accommodation, please note that your eligibility will not be carried over if you choose to terminate your licence early. Unused eligible terms within a year's licence cannot be carried forward, so you should always think carefully before terminating a licence early.
- Part-time students
Part-time students are not eligible for any contracts that allow them to live on site permanently, but some Departments do reserve accommodation for students on their part-time courses.
If you don't have reserved accommodation, you are able to book guest accommodation for your residential courses and study time where availability allows.
How do I apply for College accommodation?
Accommodation is allocated in stages across the year, starting with our continuing students and then moving on to our new students. You are not able to apply for accommodation until you have received an invitation from the Accommodation Office, and you do not need to contact the Accommodation Office before you receive an invitation email.
Once you receive your invitation, you will be directed to register on our online accommodation portal, where you can select up to three room preferences.
Please note the eligibility conditions described in the previous section, which determine whether or not you will be invited to apply for accommodation.
- When will I receive my invitation email?
The Accommodation Office sends out invitations to eligible students in the following order:
- Continuing students who are currently residing in College accommodation are invited to renew the contracts for their current rooms (late June).
- Continuing students who are currently residing in College accommodation but wish to move rooms are invited to apply for a different room on the College site (mid July).
- Continuing students who are currently residing off-site are invited to apply for a room on the College site (late July).
- New students are invited to apply for a room on the College site (late August).
For new undergraduate students, we reserve accommodation in particular residential blocks, and invitation emails are sent out in bulk in August.
For new postgraduate students, invitation emails are sent out in batches according to the order in which students were confirmed on their academic programmes, with rooms being allocated until the College site is full. If you are a new postgraduate student, it is important to meet your offer conditions and confirm your offer as soon as possible. The earlier you are able to confirm your offer, the better your chance of receiving College accommodation.
- How do I use the accommodation portal?
The link to our accommodation portal will be sent out to you in your invitation email, alongside instructions for how to register and log in.
Once you are logged in to the portal, you will be able to browse the rooms available in College based on type, location and licence. Each student is able to select up to three preferences for their chosen room type and location on the College site.
Once you have selected your preferences and submitted your application, rooms will be allocated by the Accommodation Office in batches. If none of your preferences are available at the point at which your application is processed, you will be offered the next most similar room.
You will receive a notification of your room offer by email, which you can then log in to the accomodation portal to accept. You have seven days to from the receipt of your offer to accept and confirm your room. Once you confirm your room, you will receive your electronically-signed contract by email.
- What if I have a partner or family, or accessibility requirements?
We have limited number of double rooms and flats for couples, as well as five family flats that each accommodate up to two adults and two small children. These rooms and flats are allocated through the portal in the same way as our other rooms, with the added restriction that they are exclusively for couples and families.
If you have any accessibility requirements or a disability that affects the accommodation you will need, please contact the Deputy Senior Tutor, Tania Davis, at your earliest convenience.
- What if I am required to arrive in Cambridge early for the start of my course?
Some course have start dates before the beginning of the University term, such as the Foundation Year and Judge Business School programmes. If your course has an early start date (in September or before), and you have not received an email from our Accommodation Office after your offer to study at the University is confirmed, please send us an email to ensure your early start date is in our system.
- What if I don't get College accommodation?
New students at the University of Cambridge can register with the University Accommodation Service for help in accessing a wide range of accommodation provided by the University and private registered partners.
There are also a range of online platforms for finding private accommodation through estate agents and private landlords. Please note that Wolfson does not vet or endorse any of the following links.
New students may also choose to join one or more of the moderated Facebook groups for finding housing and flatshares in Cambridge. The largest of these groups are listed below:
Please exercise caution when arranging private accommodation outside of an official provider, such as a registered Estate Agent. You should always visit the property and see the rental contract before making any payments. This will help you to avoid falling for potential online renting scams.