Downing College Welcomes MSt Students

We are looking forward to meeting you when you arrive in Cambridge for your first residential session from 10 September to 22 September.  Please find a student plan of the College here to assist you on arrival.

As the method of study and rhythm of the academic year is somewhat different to other degrees, it is hoped that the following information will outline what you need to know about being an MSt student at Downing College.  If you have any further questions, please contact the Graduate Admissions Officer.  Alternatively, the Tutorial and Admissions Office is located on 'B' staircase and the office staff will help you with any queries you may have.  If you have difficulty visiting during the opening hours, please contact the Tutorial and Admissions Office to make other arrangements.

College Induction - Monday 11 September

Your timetable for Registration is as follows:

4.00 pm to 4.15 pm Register in the Senior Common Room (SCR) on A staircase
4.15 pm to 4.30 pm Introductory talk by the Senior Tutor
4.30 pm to 5.30 pm Architectural and historical tour of the College by the Vice Master

If you have a visa (in the form of a Biometric Residence Permit or BRP) to study in the UK the MSt Administrator will scan this, together with your passport, as the University is required to do so within seven days of your first entry into the UK.

Whilst living and studying at Downing, please read and refer to the following information:

  1. Rules and Guidelines
  2. Policy Statements
  3. Getting Started with IT @ Cambridge Leaflet
  4. IT Matters @ Cambridge Leaflet
  5. College IT and Computing Information
  6. The Counselling Service:  General Information for Students

University Card

You will be issued with your University Card at Registration.  It is increasingly used around the University and College to grant access to services and facilities.  Click here for further information regarding the uses and benefits of the University Card.

Matriculation - Thursday 14 September

Matriculation marks your formal admission to membership of the University and College.  You will remain a member of Downing College for life and, as such you will be entitled to book guest rooms, use the dining and bar facilities, internet and computer resources, as well as access the College Library. 

Your timetable for Matriculation is as follows:

6.00 pm to 6.15 pm Arrive in the West Lodge and Maitland Room on E staircase
6.15 pm to 6.30 pm Matriculation ceremony
6.30 pm to 6.45 pm Photographs in the West Lodge Garden
7.00 pm to 7.30 pm Drinks reception
7.30 pm Matriculation Dinner

Dress code is smart; men are requested to wear a jacket and tie, women are requested to wear a suitable equivalent.  An academic gown must be worn throughout.  Please find below details of how to obtain one.

Academic Gown

Wearing a gown is a symbol of your joining the community of scholars.  You first wear a gown for Matriculation on Thursday 14 September.  You will also need a gown for other formal occasions, to attend Formal Hall and for your graduation.  It may be possible to hire, borrow or purchase gowns, subject to availability, for such occasions from the Graduate Union.  Many new graduate students opt to have a gown of their own.  It is important to wear the correct gown.  Guidance regarding gowns can be found here.  New gowns may be purchased through outfitters in the city (approximate cost £95 for a BA gown or £110 for an MA gown).  However, it is possible to purchase good quality ex-rental BA, MA, BA status and MA status gowns through the College, at a reduced price of £47, by completing this order form.  Gowns are supplied on a strictly first-come, first-served basis, as supplies are limited.  Gowns ordered by Monday 4 September are to be collected from Ryder & Amies between Monday 11 September and Wednesday 13 September (inclusive) during their hours of business.  Please click here for directions.

College Charges

As part of your College membership you will have a College account in order to charge items such as meals consumed in College.  College bills will be issued immediately following your stay in College, and will need to be settled within fourteen days of the date of issue.  If you wish to make a payment whilst you are in College, then please visit the Bursary which is located on 'B' staircase or contact the Senior Accounts Clerk.  As part of your College membership you also receive life membership of the Downing Alumni Association.


Your accommodation has been booked for you at Downing College for each residential period.  Should you have any queries regarding accommodation please contact Conference Services.  The cost of your accommodation will be charged to your College bill.

Eating at Downing College

There is up-to-date dining information here including the opening hours for the College Servery, a self-service cafeteria, and The Butterfield Café, which serves breakfast and, later in the day, a range of hot and cold baguettes, snacks, cakes and speciality coffees.

Formal Hall is held on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm during Term only.  These times are subject to revision; please check the notice board outside the Hall [or the College website].  On these days you may choose to dine at Formal Hall instead of using the cafeteria service.  Formal Hall is a fixed-price, fixed-menu formal dinner with waiter/waitress service.  It is an occasion for junior members to bring in students from other colleges, and other visitors, as guests.  Further information can be found here.  You must book Formal Hall in advance via UpayChilli.  An academic gown must be worn by members of the University at Formal Hall.


You are allocated a pigeonhole in the Porters’ Lodge so that any post addressed to you at Downing College will be placed here.  If you wish your post to be forwarded to your residential address, please notify the Deputy Head Porter, Mr Dave Mahoney. The cost of postage will be added to your College bill.

Graduate Tutors

Your Graduate Tutor at Downing College will be Dr Jay Stock. Tutors are responsible for the general welfare of their students and represent them in official contacts with the central administration of the University.

It is in each student's best interest to inform their Tutor as soon as any illness or difficulty occurs which is likely to affect study or examination performance.  In such cases, Tutors help to deal with health or other personal problems and are in a position to assist with special needs or disabilities.  Requests to take examinations under special conditions can be arranged by the Tutor.  Your Tutor is contactable at any time by email.  They can be seen by appointment and such appointments should be made via email. In an emergency contact the Tutorial & Admissions Office (+44 (0)1223 334811) or the Porters’ Lodge out of office hours (+44 (0)1223 334800).

If you have any disability or access issues you wish to disclose, please contact Downing College’s Disability Liaison Officer.   If you require special conditions for examinations due to disability or illness, please contact the Academic Registrar.

Downing College MCR Events and Facebook

MSt students become part of the Middle Combination Room (MCR) a multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse and international community, closely integrated into the academic and social life of the College.

If you would like a tour of the College with a member of the MCR (a graduate student) at the beginning of the academic year (2 October), please contact the MCR directly.

The MCR website lists forthcoming events.  You are very welcome to attend these.

The members of the MCR want to help you feel at home at Downing and enjoy life in Cambridge to the fullest when you are here.  You will find more details and helpful advice in the MCR's carefully prepared Freshers’ Guide.  If you find yourself in Cambridge during Freshers' Week you are most welcome to participate in any of the events listed here to enable you to meet some like-minded, friendly people.

Their Facebook page is Downing MCR Events. You will automatically be added to the MCR mailing list through which their events are advertised.  All graduate students are automatically members of the MCR (Middle Combination Room).

Alumni Events

Alumni events take place in Cambridge, London, USA, Hong Kong and other destinations across the world.  MSt students are added to the mailing list of Alumni events now, rather than after graduation, to enable you to access these wider events. You will be warmly welcomed.


As an MSt, we would expect you to graduate together with the rest of the Real Estate cohort in October 2019.  The MSt Administrator will contact you nearer the time to confirm the arrangements.  An application form must be completed and returned in order to be entered for graduation.  Information about graduation can be found here as well as the booking form.  If you have any queries, please contact the Tutorial and Admissions Office.