Information for new postgraduates with a confirmed place

We look forward to welcoming you to Downing. At registration you will need to do the following:

  • Provide original documentation to confirm your identity - we are unable to register you without these.
  • If you are a visa holder, you will need to bring your visa (BRP) and passport documentation, which will be scanned.
  • Student Loan payment authorisation - If you are a new Clinical Medic, Clinical Vet, PGCE student or have taken out a Postgraduate Master's Loan from the Student Loan Company, the process to release your student loan will start as soon as we have seen either your UK passport or driving licence.
  • Collect your Registration documentation and University Card.

If you need to gain access to the College, please ring the bell on the wall just inside the College gates, or call the Porters’ Lodge on 01223 334800.

Your CRSid test

Once you have completed your University of Cambridge registration, you will receive your Cambridge credentials [CRSid@cam]. After this, you will automatically be sent your Downing credentials [CRSid@dow] which will enable you to access the Downing College intranet where more information for Freshers is available.

Welcome and Matriculation

Thursday 5 October 2023

All new Postgraduate students will be formally welcomed into College membership by the Master and Praelector at a Matriculation Ceremony.  Matriculation will consist of welcome talks in the Howard Building Assembly Room from 9.15am in the morning, with a break for lunch, followed by the group photograph and your Matriculation ceremony. The Tutorial team will email you with more details and arrival times.

More information on the welcome talks and Matriculation is found on the intranet. Login here with your Downing [@dow] credentials.

If you haven’t yet already done so, you will need to purchase a Downing College academic gown from Ryder & Amies. Wearing a gown is a symbol of your joining the community of scholars.  You first wear a gown for Matriculation.  You will also need a gown for other formal occasions, to attend Formal Hall and for your graduation.

Gown purchase

It may be possible to hire, borrow or purchase gowns, subject to availability, for such occasions from the Graduate Union.  However, many new postgraduate students opt to have a gown of their own, which can be purchased directly from Ryder & Amies.  Before ordering your gown, please contact the Tutorial and Admissions Office to obtain a voucher code, which is redeemed online to receive a discount on the cost of any postgraduate gown over £50. It is important to wear the correct gown, so please contact the outfitter if you require any guidance before making a purchase.  Alternatively, please refer to the Graduate Union's Gown Guide for further information.

Postgraduate Matriculation dress code

Dress code is as follows, which is defined without reference to considerations of gender identity or expression:

  • Dark suit
  • Long, smart trousers or a skirt (dark colours only)
  • Shirt or blouse (shirts should be collared and should be worn with a tie or cravat)
  • Smart dress
  • Smart shoes (no trainers)
  • Jeans or shorts are not allowed
  • Downing College postgraduate gowns must be worn. 
  • Reception and Dinner

  • From 6:45pm in the Fellows' Garden.
  • Please note: all students must adhere to Matriculation dress code.


Arrival in College

If you have obtained College accommodation, you will be informed of the arrival date by the Accommodation Office.

Information for international students including pre-arrival and orientation information


Information on postgraduate accommodation at Downing.


The College policy and how to increase your cover

Accommodation: Room agreement Once received by email, must be signed and returned immediately
Accommodation: Room inventory

If you are living in College accommodation, you must undertake an inventory and condition report of the fixtures, fittings and furniture in your College room on arrival in Cambridge.  The link to an online room inventory will be published in September.  Please ensure this form is submitted as soon as possible to avoid the cost of any damages caused by previous occupants being charged to your College bill.

Please see the Accommodation Handbook for further information on Furniture, Fittings and Decoration

Academic gown Purchase a gown - see information above.
Health and wellbeing at Downing

Introduction to the Head of Student Welllbeing and College Nurses and health information

Registering with a College Nurse via Moodle

Cambridge health and wellbeing

How to register with a doctor in Cambridge

Check which vaccinations you need before coming to Cambridge

Health Questionnaire

At the beginning of September, or following confirmation of your place, you will be emailed a link to your personalised online health questionnaire.

If your place at Downing is confirmed in late September, please complete the health questionnaire as soon as possible.

Information Technology

IT services for students at Cambridge

Quick-start guide for Freshers

IT and computing at Downing

University Student Registration process How to update your personal information and collect your Cambridge email address and passwords

College Bill

How and when to pay your College Bill

Postgraduate Financial Support Form 2024-25

University Card Information on your University Card and how to collect your card

Visa advice

Information on a range of Tier 4 and related areas of immigration

Postgraduate Tutor Appointment Book an appointment via Moodle
Director of Studies Appointment - BTH, LLM, MCL and MAST students only Book an appointment via Moodle
College Policies and Terms & Conditions Confirm you have read the policies via Moodle

Any queries should be directed by email to the Tutorial and Admissions Office.

Pre-arrival Freshers' events this summer

If you're a new student coming to the University of Cambridge this autumn you're probably feeling excited, nervous and have lots of questions. Get answers, tips and advice by speaking to current students and alumni at one of the optional pre-arrival Freshers' events taking place around the world in August and September.  Hosted by Cambridge alumni groups, these events are an opportunity to make some friends before you arrive.

Visit the Freshers' Events website to find your nearest event and book a place.

Please don't worry if you are unable to attend any of the above events, as there will be plenty of opportunities when you arrive in College as part of Freshers' Week.