Lara in the lab

Why Wolfson?

Driven by restless curiousity & a desire for excellence

Wolfson is an exciting place to study, with postgraduate scholars from all over the world taking degrees in many fields and adding to the intellectual and social mix of College life.

Lara in the lab

Postgraduate Studies at Wolfson

Postgraduate life at Cambridge revolves around two main locations: the Department, Faculty and/or laboratory where you work, and the College.

College is not just a place to live but also a community of which you become a member. Wolfson is your home while at Cambridge and the place where you can relax, socialise, make friends, receive personal support and feel like you belong.

College life is your launching pad into the wider intellectual life at Cambridge; fully part of the University yet offering a more intimate environment for everyday life, work and recreation.

The majority of students at Wolfson College pursue postgraduate degree programmes and they enjoy the fact that College life reflects the preferences and interests of mature undergraduate and part-time students. We have a stimulating international atmosphere and strong overseas presence, bringing together students, Fellows and academic visitors. We offer onsite accommodation for many of our our postgraduates for the duration of their degrees, and we provide significant financial support.

Different study options are available including PhD, Certificate of Postgraduate Study, EdD, LLM, MPhil, MRes, MBA, MFin, Postgraduate Diploma and the Master of Advanced Studies in Mathematics. We offer full-time and part-time programs

View the complete 2018-2019 Course Directory.

A number of Wolfson awards and bursaries are available for our postgraduate students.

Our Postgraduate Administrator would be pleased to answer any further questions that you may have. She can be contacted by email or by Tel: +44 (0)1223 335905.

Who we are

  • We are culturally very diverse; we have students from over 90 different countries, ranging in age from 21 to their 70s. The average age is around 25. We are family-friendly and children are very welcome in College.
  • We are egalitarian. Unlike other colleges, there is no ‘high table’ where Fellows eat separately, and no separate common rooms for Fellows. Postgraduate students are an integral part of the intellectual and cultural life of College.
  • The community here is close-knit, friendly and welcoming. Fellows, visiting academics and students mingle together in social and academic circles.
  • We have a wide variety of intellectual and social events, lecture series in the humanities and science, debates, panels and invited speakers.

Where we are

  • The College is in a quiet and beautiful part of Cambridge, just five minutes’ walk from the Sidgwick site, where most Humanities faculties (English, Law, Modern & Medieval Languages and History) and lecture halls are situated, ten minutes from the University Library and fifteen minutes from the town centre. We are also conveniently located for the West Cambridge site, where the Mathematics Faculty, Vet School, Cavendish Laboratory and Computer Laboratories are found.
  • We offer an environment where you can have peace and quiet to work – but also where there is plenty going on socially from chocolate-tasting to the Howler (our comedy night).
  • Our neighbourhood is next to the picturesque Newnham area where there are grocery shops, a post office, pharmacy, butcher, baker, hairdresser, pub and church. We are very close to the beautiful Grantchester Meadows where you can picnic by the river.

Where to live

  • We can usually guarantee full-time PhD students three full years of onsite accommodation so you can truly be part of the community, close to the academic and pastoral resources to help you succeed.
  • We have flexible letting periods, as short as 26 weeks (9+9+8 weeks), with only four weeks’ notice of moving out required.
  • We have some of the lowest-priced rooms in Cambridge, with a range of four prices for a single room. The rent is all-inclusive: there are no extra charges for electricity, gas, water, IT, insurance or cleaning.
  • Our community continues year round, with accommodation being available in vacations as well as term time, and catering continuing almost throughout the year.

Academic Support

  • We support all our students to pursue academic excellence and allow every member of the College to realise their full potential.
  • We enhance the primary teaching of the Department by offering structured support for students' academic and personal development at all levels, from admission to graduation.
  • Our PhD Mentoring Programme pairs students with Fellows or Senior Members working in a related subject. 

Financial support

  • Every student can apply for up to £350 per year to help with course-related costs (eg conferences and travel).
  • We have a Hardship Fund to help with unforeseen financial difficulties.
  • Wolfson College Students Association (WCSA) membership charge is currently just £15 a year to all students.

What to do

  • The basketball/tennis court, table tennis tables, Club Room, Coffee Bar, rooms for socialising or holding events are all on the College site and free.
  • We have one of the best College gyms in the whole University, including a dedicated weights room, onsite and completely free to Wolfson students.
  • We offer a variety of sports clubs and social societies ranging from salsa dancing to badminton, table tennis to Tiddlywinks. We have free weekly yoga classes and well-being events. We also host the infamous Wolfson Howler comedy night, which has recently staged headliner performances from the likes of Russell Howard and Adam Kay.

What about the food?

  • The dining hall is open for three meals a day, seven days per week.
  • Our food is delicious and Head Chef Sam works with the students to improve the menus and the facilities, including vegetarian options with every meal.
  • We have formal hall twice a week during term, with themed events including Burns' Night, Boat Club Dinner, St David's and Festive Formal Hall.
  • There is no minimal meals charge as other colleges have – you only pay for the meals you eat.

Pastoral care

  • We recognise the unique support required by postgraduate students, and offer facilities tailored specifically to their needs. Along with a dedicated tutorial team (all postgraduate students are assigned a pastoral tutor who looks after their welfare throughout their studies), there are student welfare officers who have been fully trained to provide peer support.
  • We have a College nurse and counsellor on site.
  • Our porters are the friendliest in town!


  • Students remain members of Wolfson College for life. A great many Wolfson alumni maintain a close relationship with College, and regularly return for informal visits.
  • Our alumni network provides mentoring and networking opportunities, not just in Cambridge, but across the globe
  • The College fosters alumni relations through regular communications and dedicated events.

What's on

Barton House Garden by Fiona Gilsenan

National Garden Scheme Open Garden

31/08/2019 at 13.00

Head Gardener Phil invites visitors to enjoy the garden as part of the National Garden Scheme Open Days.

Dr Steve Evans

Wolfson in Bangladesh

02/09/2019 at 10.00

Wolfson Fellow Steve Evans is visiting Dhaka from 2nd - 5th September and will be taking the opportunity to engage with Wolfson College alumni in the area. 

Sue Swaffield

Wolfson in Hamburg

02/09/2019 at 19.00

Wolfson Fellow Sue Swaffield will be visiting Hamburg in early September and would be delighted to meet with alumni in the local area. 


Ken Cheng comedy

Out-of-Term Howler with Ken Cheng

02/09/2019 at 20.00

It's the first ever out-of-term Howler and we're craving some comedy!

Henry Moore Gardens

Emeritus Fellows Trip - Henry Moore Studios & Gardens

11/09/2019 at 10.00

You are cordially invited to the next excursion organised by the College Society of Emeritus Fellows. This year we have already visited the North Norfolk coast in May, Grime’s Graves and Felbrigg Hall in June and Gainsborough Old Hall in July. The next outing will be  to the Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, Much Hadham, Hertfordshire.