FAQs for Graduate students

This page aims to answer some of the more common general questions that are asked by potential applicants. If you would like further information not explained in these pages, please contact the Tutorial Office where the staff will be happy to help you, or forward your enquiry as appropriate.

How do I apply for graduate study at the University of Cambridge?

Applications are made online through the Graduate Admissions Office.  Once a department makes an applicant a conditional offer, the Graduate Admissions Office seeks college membership.  If you want Wolfson to consider your application, you should make us your first choice college.  You will be able to track your application via your CamSIS self-service page.

How does the Cambridge collegiate system work?

Each college has its own character, and choosing between them can be difficult. (Read more information about how the University and colleges work). Wolfson is a mature college (i.e. our students are over 21) just a short distance from Cambridge city centre.  The majority of our students are carrying out research towards postgraduate degrees, and we have  a number of mature undergraduates. This guide to making your college choice is aimed at undergraduates but graduate students will also find it helpful.  

Does Wolfson offer any scholarships?

Wolfson College offers a number of studentships of varying amounts which you can apply for (.doc). In addition, a number of Wolfson awards and bursaries are available for graduate students. You are welcome to contact our Student Finance Officer to find out more about these and other funding opportunities.

Do I have to apply separately for funding?

By applying via the Applicant Portal, you will be considered for all University-wide funding for which you are eligible.

Does Wolfson have open days?

We welcome visits from potential applicants for College tours at any time – please contact the Postgraduate Administrator if you're interested. Prospective applicants are also encouraged to attend the Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day held in early November.

I have a conditional offer; when can I book accommodation?

When you have met all the conditions of your offer, the Graduate Admissions Office will confirm your place.  We will write to confirm our offer of membership and will invite you to book accommodation. It is not possible to reserve accommodation until your place is confirmed.

We are fortunate to have a large amount of accommodation and the majority of our students live on site.  We guarantee accommodation for any 3 out of 4 years’ study.  (Graduates who start in the Lent and Easter terms will have a reduced choice of rooms.)

The only circumstances in which accommodation cannot be guaranteed are:

  1. If your admission is confirmed very late in the admissions round. We try to provide accommodation if your place is confirmed by 31 July for Michaelmas entry, and are sometimes able to provide a room for those whose places are confirmed later than this date, but we cannot guarantee immediate availability.
  2. If you wish to live in College with young children. The College has five dedicated family units on site, but demand for these usually exceeds supply. If you are applying with a family, you are advised to contact the Tutorial Office for advice about available accommodation.

Applicants are reminded that, as explained in the Graduate Prospectus, if they decline the offer of a College place there is no certainty that they will receive an alternative offer.

If you prefer to live outside college, you are entitled to participate fully in college life and would enjoy the same privileges as students living in.  If you are interested in securing accommodation in the private sector the University Accommodation Service can assist.  Please note, graduate students are required to live 10 miles or less from the University.

When will I hear if my funding application has been successful?

By applying via the Applicant Portal, you will be considered for all University-wide funding (i.e. Gates, Cambridge Trusts) for which you are eligible and will be notified of the outcome directly by the funding body.  The Cambridge Trusts website has information on when you can expect to hear the result of your funding application, some time between March and July.

You will be required to sign a financial undertaking form stating that you have the funds available and should not come to Cambridge without funding to complete your course. 

What happens in the first few days after I arrive at Wolfson?

On arrival go straight to the Porters' Lodge (sign-posted from the main entrance) and you will be shown to your room.

Induction takes place the weekend before Michaelmas Term begins; a number of social events are organised to allow you to meet your fellow students, as well as the senior tutor, your personal tutor, key members of staff and the student association.  You will receive a welcome pack containing your University ID card, together with information about the College and University, and there will be sessions on College and academic life, as well as the matriculation photo.

Once you’ve paid your fees, you can matriculate, the formal registration process, with the Praelector.  You should also make an appointment to meet your tutor who will support your personal, academic and financial welfare, and will give confidential help and advice on any subject.

Rent is payable termly, in advance; you need to visit the Finance Department to pay.  

If you are under PBI regulations (i.e. in the UK on a visa) please visit the Tutorial Office to have your passport and BRP scanned.  Helpful information for international students is available in this document, A-Z for international students.

You need to register with a doctor; there is a list of surgeries on the notice board opposite the Porters' Lodge.  Most Wolfson students register with Newnham Walk Surgery, which is just a few minutes’ walk from College.  Students are automatically registered with the University Dental Service, and so there’s no need to register individually.

I need to open a bank account in Cambridge; can you help?

If you need to open a bank account, we can provide a letter of introduction to your preferred bank on arrival in Cambridge.  All the main high street banks are represented in Cambridge city centre.

Why do I need to become a member of a College?

All students of Cambridge University are required to become a member of a College. It is our responsibility to enable you to matriculate at the beginning of your course and graduate at its completion. On matriculation all the facilities and resources of the College are at your disposal throughout your course. Once admitted, you are a member of Wolfson College for life.

What is the role of my College Tutor?

The main responsibility of the College Tutor is to provide pastoral support. They will be a constant contact that you will maintain throughout your studies.

What is the accommodation like?

See the website sections on accommodation,

Will I have internet access in my room?

Yes. All accommodation at Wolfson is wired for high-speed Internet access. Students can bring their own computers and plug them in to the College network. Students may also use the College Library’s computer laboratory, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  See the website sections on computing facilities.

What are the dining arrangements in College?

Students make their own arrangements for catering. Each College room has access to shared catering facilities and students may also take meals in the College Dining Hall.

What are the opening hours of the Library?

The Lee Library is open to all current students, fellows and staff of Wolfson College, as well as Visiting Fellows and Scholars. Access to the library is by Smart card, and is available 24 hours a day during term and vacation.

As a part-time student, can I book College accommodation outside my residential periods?

Yes. College accommodation outside your residential periods can be booked via the Accommodation Office, subject to availability. This can be particularly useful for part-time students if you wish to take advantage of the extended opening hours of the Lee Library facilities for quiet study.

Can my spouse/partner/family participate in College life?

Yes. We make a point of welcoming the spouses/partners of our members and they are encouraged to participate fully in College life.