Downing College Welcomes MSt Students

We are looking forward to meeting you when you arrive in Cambridge for your first residential session.  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.

Information for Visa Holders

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 on your arrival, together with your passport, as the University is required to do so within seven days of your first entry into the UK.  For visa advice, please refer to the International Student Office website. 

Induction and Registration

The timetable for your induction and registration is as follows:

University Student Registration You will be emailed by the University in August or September to undertake this process
College Identification Checks and University Card Collection  
College Online Induction and Registration on Moodle  

Firstly, you will be emailed by the University in August or September to update your personal information.  At the end of this process you will collect your Cambridge email address and passwords.  Please do not attempt to register until you receive an email asking you to log in to your Self-service account and complete the University Student Registration process.

Secondly, you will need to attend the Tutorial and Admissions Office during office hours to provide original documentation to confirm your identity.  We will be unable to register you without this.  You will also be issued with your University Card.  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.  An electronic copy of your registration document is available here.

The final part of the College Registration procedure requires all students at Downing to read and agree to the following terms & conditions and College policies within the first two weeks of Term as a requirement of living and studying at Downing.  You will be able to do this online on Moodle.

Terms & Conditions or College Policy:
Alcohol Policy
Data Protection Statement (Students)
Plagiarism Policy
Respect and Dignity Policy
University Card:  Terms and Conditions of Use

Please also read and refer to the following information:

  1. Rules and Guidelines
  2. Accommodation Handbook
  3. Bicycles, Cars and Parking in College  [please note, parking is not available in College for part-time students]
  4. Getting Started with IT @ Cambridge Leaflet
  5. IT Matters @ Cambridge Leaflet
  6. College IT and Computing Information
  7. The Counselling Service:  General Information for Students


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. 

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

  • Suit
  • Long trousers or a skirt
  • Shirt or blouse (shirts should be collared and should be worn with a tie or cravat)
  • Dress
  • Smart shoes
  • Jeans or shorts are not allowed

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.  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.  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 at checkout to receive a discount on the cost of any postgraduate gown over £50.00. It is important to wear the correct gown.  Consequently, 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.  Gowns are available at a reduced price of £42.50 compared to significantly higher prices in the city (approximate cost £95 for a BA gown or £110 for an MA gown).

College Charges

Payment for all catering charges can be made at the time of purchase either by debit or credit card (Visa or MasterCard only).  Please note, the College does not accept cash payments.  As part of your College membership you also receive life membership of the Downing Alumni Association.


Your accommodation has been booked for you by your Departmental Administrator at Downing College for each residential period.  An invoice for your accommodation will be sent to you in advance of your stay.  This invoice will need to be settled by the due date specified on the invoice, which will generally be prior to your arrival in Cambridge.  Payment can be made by bank transfer.  Should you have any queries regarding your accommodation please contact Conference Services.  Alternatively, please contact the Senior Accounts Clerk for invoice and payment queries. 

Formal Hall at Downing College

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.  Please note, an academic gown must be worn by members of the University at Formal Hall.  Please book and make payment directly with the Catering Department.  


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 Porters' Lodge.  The cost of postage must be paid for in advance.

Graduate Tutors

You will be assigned a Graduate Tutor at Downing College.  Graduate Tutors are responsible for your general welfare and will represent you in official contacts with the central administration of the University.  You will find out which Tutor you have been allocated as part of the College online Induction and Registration process.

It is in your best interest to inform your Graduate 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, disabilities or access issues.  Requests to take examinations under special conditions, due to disability or illness, can be arranged by the Tutor, who is contactable at any time throughout the year by email.  Your Tutor 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 (+44 (0)1223 334800).

College Nurse

College Nurse can provide you with nursing care, treatment, advice and support within clinic times (clinic room O5.) Registration with a College Nurse is optional for MSt students, but if during your time in Cambridge you wish to see the Nurse, registration will be carried out as part of the initial consultation.  If you wish to make an appointment, please visit Moodle.

It is important that your immunisations are up to date prior to your arrival in Cambridge; please see the University's advice and vaccine checklist for newly arriving students regarding the MenACWY (Meningitis), MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) and Influenza (flu) vaccinations.  Please make arrangements to be immunised now, if necessary. 

Downing College MCR

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 postgraduate student) at the beginning of the academic year, please contact the MCR directly.

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.  If you find yourself in Cambridge during Freshers' Week you are most welcome to participate in any of the 'orange' events listed here to enable you to meet some like-minded, friendly people.

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

Alumni Events

As part of your College membership you also receive life membership of the Downing Alumni Association.

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.  The MSt Course Administrator will contact you nearer the time to confirm the arrangements.  To be entered for graduation, you must book a place.  Information about graduation and booking can be found here.  If you have any queries, please contact the Tutorial and Admissions Office.

Downing Enterprise Competition

Get your business idea or invention off the ground with the Downing Enterprise competition.

  • Win £2000 for a one-page business plan
  • Enter for the chance to win up to £25,000 investment for your startup

The Downing Enterprise Competition is open to ALL TEAMS where at least one member is a student or alumnus of Downing College, University of Cambridge.  For full details see the Downing Enterprise Competition website.