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CamGuides: Welcome to Cambridge

University structure

Queen's College and punters on the river CamThe structure of University of Cambridge is unlike many other universities. It comprises:

  • 31 autonomous colleges, which are integral to the life of the University, and where many students live, eat and socialise. Undergraduate students receive supervisions organised by their college.
  • Faculties and Departments, which organise subject teaching, and are grouped into six Schools.



The one thing I was really not expecting was how much your college will influence your life. Whenever you meet people, you tell them which college you went to.

- MPhil (Part III) Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, 2017-18

College life

Each of the 31 colleges has its own unique character and traditions, and it's likely that you'll become very attached to your college during your studies. All colleges within the university accept graduate students. Not only is it where you'll probably live and eat, but your college will provide a structure, at least initially, for socialising and meeting other students. While the University provides teaching and research supervision for graduate students, your college will provide pastoral and other kinds of support.

Useful links

Image credits

CC0 by linsusan1963 via Pixabay