A friendly academic community

The Downing College community is inclusive, close-knit and committed.  You will make friends with people from across the world, and find a welcoming home here during the three or four years of your study.

You will be part of a thriving academic community. You will have access to great on-site facilities such as the Maitland Robinson Library and College Computer Room, you will get to know a network of world-renowned academics who will support your learning, and will have many opportunities to engage with your peers socially and academically. 

Eating together in the dining hall is a central part of college life.  Our canteen serves food every lunch and dinner in the week, and brunch and dinner at the weekends.  A traditional three-course Formal Hall by candlelight is on offer three nights per week.

Equal representation and open communication is a vital part of life at Downing.  All undergraduates are members of the JCR which elects representatives who take responsibility for aspects of college life and represent student interests on College committees.

All this is made possible thanks to over 150 dedicated non-academic staff who oversee the administration, catering and maintenance of the College.

Central city location

You will benefit from a central city location, close to many University faculties and departments.  The University Chemical Laboratory and the Department of Engineering are only a few minutes' walk away, and the Downing Site is right on our doorstep.  Those departments located further out from the centre, such as the Sidgwick Site and the West Cambridge Site, are no more than a ten minute cycle ride away.  You can check the University map for more details.

The College's position on Regent Street is well placed for all the amenities that Cambridge has to offer, including its shopping and nightlife. For entertainment, students can access nine museums, four theatres, three cinemas and two popular venues.  Concerts take place in Cambridge most nights of the week, plus lots of other live music. As well as the college and university bars, there are more than 100 pubs, as well as nightclubs and restaurants to suit all tastes. 

Wide open spaces

The Downing site is a hidden gem in Cambridge, with over 20 acres of peaceful gardens to explore and enjoy. Students at Downing enjoy life off the tourist track, while still having easy access to Cambridge city centre.  Our open landscape, close to many University faculties and departments, has a magnificent collection of neo-classical buildings with over two centuries of history.

Excellent accommodation

You will enjoy living in fantastic accommodation, all with excellent kitchens and many rooms with en-suite facilities.  What’s more, Downing provides accommodation on or adjacent to the main college site for three years to all undergraduate students and some accommodation for fourth year undergraduate students may also be available.

A wealth of opportunities

You will can choose from a range of cultural and sporting activities.  There’s always something going on at Downing to get involved with, as well as links to activities across Cambridge, in other colleges and throughout the university.

The 184-seat Howard Theatre hosts regular concerts and plays, and the Master of the College hosts evening music recitals in the Master’s Lodge. Unlike other centrally located colleges, Downing has an open space on-site, regularly used for sporting activities. It’s also a popular spot for picnics and sunbathing in the warmer months. Our main site is fully equipped with a multi-gym and two courts for tennis, basketball or netball. A short cycle away you’ll find the College sports ground for cricket, football, hockey and rugby, as well as our state-of-the-art boathouse and rowing tank, home to our successful Boat Club.