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Undergraduate Study


At Cambridge, rather than choosing a hall of residence or dorm, you live in a Cambridge College.

There are 29 undergraduate Colleges. Each College has its own services, facilities and community. This includes a dining hall or cafeteria, library, and usually a gym and sports grounds.

Applying for accommodation

You don’t need to apply for accommodation separately. If you’re offered a place to study, you will automatically be guaranteed a room in College accommodation for your first year.

Accommodation is guaranteed for 3 or 4 years for single students without children. This accommodation will be in College-owned property.

Typically, you won't have to pay 12 months of rent per year. Our accommodation contracts are around 27 to 39 weeks. Check individual College pages for details.

Cost of accommodation

Accommodation costs vary from College to College. They also usually depend on the size of your room and whether it's en suite.

Your accommodation costs will usually cover:

  • water, electricity and heating
  • cleaning
  • internet access
  • basic self-catering facilities

Find out more about individual College accommodation costs on College websites.


  • All Colleges offer catered accommodation as standard. They have dining facilities where you can buy cafeteria meals.
  • Some Colleges may require you to eat a certain number of meals in the College cafeteria or dining hall each term.
  • Basic self-catering facilities are also available if you want to cook for yourself.
  • You can have a three-course dinner in College at a reasonable price. These are known as 'formal halls'. Usually, they happen a few times per week and are optional.

Find out more about living costs at Cambridge.

Where you will live

During term time, you will need to live within a 3-mile radius of Cambridge city centre. This is marked from Great St Mary's Church.

You can live outside of this area if you get permission from your College or if you're studying abroad as part of your course.

If you think you’ll need to live outside of the 3-mile radius, you should contact a College to talk about your options before you apply.

College student life and support

Your College is where you do a lot of your studying and socialising. You can find out about College facilities and student life on the College pages.

Each College community offers pastoral and academic support.

Discover how you’ll be supported by your College.