This information is for those holding unconditional and conditional offers of places to study at Downing College. Any questions not addressed here can be directed to the Admissions Office via email.

Please don't forget to let us know if your email address is changing! Just email

What happens when you get your exam results

You will receive a letter on or shortly after 17 August 2017. This will be an email if you have an overseas correspondence address or have requested the letter via email.

This will direct you to the August checklist for Undergraduates. It includes links to various forms, including an accommodation form for you to complete and return.


All Downing College first-year students will be offered accommodation in college.  You will be sent an accommodation form to complete and return in mid-August 2017.  If you are going to be away from your mailing address in mid-August, please let the Admissions Officer, Kate Flint, know and the accommodation form can be emailed to you.

Please note that the accommodation company called is completely unrelated to Downing College and does not provide accommodation for Downing College undergraduates.

We will write to you again at the beginning of September if you are due to start your course in October 2017, with:

  • information about the accommodation that has been reserved for you
  • the name of your personal Tutor and your Director of Studies
  • information about arriving at Downing


Reading lists

Reading lists are currently being updated and many still have 2016 details at the moment.  Do have a look at these, but be aware that they may change over the next few months: Reading lists

It is important to try to do as much of the recommended reading as possible before you arrive in Cambridge as work starts almost immediately when you arrive.

If you need any further information please contact the Admissions Office.

Cambridge Bursary Scheme

If you are a UK or EU undergraduate student with a household income of below £42,620 then you are likely to be eligible for a Cambridge Bursary of up to £3,500 per year.  The Cambridge Bursary is in addition to any loan for maintenance or tuition fees which you receive from the UK government.  Most UK students do not need to apply separately for the Cambridge Bursary, you will be automatically assessed by the Student Loans Company as part of your application for student Finance from the UK Government.

There is further information and how to apply here.


The College and University work together to offer all disabled students the maximum possible support.

Now that you have received an offer, we would like to give you a further opportunity to let us know if you have a disability and if you will require any support or advice when you come up to Cambridge.

If you have already disclosed your disability as part of your application you do not need to get in touch but if you have not, please contact the Admissions Office now.

Student Registration and IT

In late August you will be sent an email from the Student Registry containing detailed instructions and a link to the CamSIS Student Registration web pages. You can complete the registration process before you arrive in Cambridge.

Please contact the Admissions Office if your email address is changing.

When to arrive

UK students will need to arrive at Downing College between 12.00 noon and 4.00pm on Saturday 30 September 2017.

A few students will need to arrive earlier e.g. for Classics language classes or for instrumental award auditions, etc.

It is important to arrive on Saturday 30 September as there will be things to do and people to meet, including an informal meeting with your Tutor on the Saturday early evening.

If there is any reason why it is impossible for you to arrive on this day, please contact the Senior Tutor.

International students are invited to arrive from Wednesday 27 September to attend International Orientation but must contact the Senior Tutor to request this and to ensure a room is available.

Please note that the room allocated for you to stay in before 30 September may be different to your final room allocation which will be available to you on 30 September. International students who do not wish to arrive early must arrive between 12.00 noon and 4.00pm on Saturday 30 September 2017.

Welcome to Cambridge events

A number of events in the UK and overseas are organised by Cambridge alumni: You may be interested in attending one of these events but please note that these are not events necessary for student induction and that there is absolutely no obligation to attend. Please note that some events require the payment of a fee.

Term dates

The College operates a system of Normal Periods of Residence (NPR) which allows students to be in residence for a few days at either end of University Full Term. Term dates are as follows:

NPR 2017/18

2017/18   Full Term  Term NPR
Michaelmas 2017 03 Oct – 01 Dec 01 Oct – 19 Dec  30 Sep – Sat 09 Dec 2017 *
Lent 2018 16 Jan – 16 Mar 05 Jan – 25  Mar Sat 06 Jan – Sat 17 Mar 2018
Easter 2018 (01 Apr) 24 Apr – 15 June 17 Apr – 25 June Sat 14 Apr – Sat 23 June 2018

* First-year students leave one week earlier

University Full Term

Each teaching term (also known as Full Term) is eight weeks long. There are three terms per year:

  • Michaelmas (running from October to December)
  • Lent (January to March)
  • Easter (April to June).

Full Term dates are available on the University of Cambridge site.

Useful links

Downing College rules and guidelines

University rules and guidelines

CUSU Freshers guide - this is the 2016 entry guide, the new guide will be posted here when it is available.

CUSU International Freshers guide - this is the 2016 entry guide, the new guide will be posted here when it is available.

Information for International Students

Settling In - a short University film

The first few weeks at Cambridge - University information

Cambridge Student Union events