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Accommodation matters

If you have met your conditions you should have received an email from the Graduate Office with further instructions on securing College accommodation. If you haven't received this please contact the Graduate Office at

For those who have received their accommodation offer, please remember that rooms will not be reserved without a deposit or arrival date.

Graduate Accommodation

The College aims to offer single graduate students new to Cambridge and who have been formally admitted to the University by 1 September accommodation during their first year. Accommodation in subsequent years is offered subject to availability in line with the College’s Accommodation Policy which is reviewed on an annual basis.

The Graduate Administrator is responsible for allocating accommodation, and they or the tutors are available to discuss any difficulties that you may have. Relations between the College and junior members are governed by the code of practice of Accreditation Network UK.

Room allocations: Rooms are allocated to first year students upon receipt of a £100 accommodation deposit and confirmation of your arrival date. We will inform you of the residence and rent-band of the room you have been allocated before you arrive in College, with your room number to be confirmed on arrival.

In subsequent academic years room requests are made via the online Graduate Accommodation Questionnaire which runs during the latter half of Lent Term. The College does it best to respond to particular requests, and in turn we would ask that student are reasonable in their requests.

For further information about our accommodation, please refer to the links in the right sidebar

St Catharine's graduates may rent accommodation via the private market if they prefer. However, if you will be living outside the the University's precincts; that is, the 10 mile radius of Great St Mary's church, you must apply to the Board of Graduate Studies for permission. For further details, please click here.

Arriving in Cambridge
Upon arrival in Cambridge you first port of call should be the Porters’ Lodge on the Main College site to sign in and get your College key. Do not go to your residence as there are no custodial staff. The front door of the College is closed at 11.45pm, however keys will only be issued between 8am and 10pm. If you arrive and there is no-one there, please wait - the Porter should return within 15 minutes or so.

If you are arriving by taxi, you may wish to hold the taxi while you check-in. Alternatively, if there is a large queue at the Porters' Lodge when you arrive, you can remove your belongings from the first taxi, wait for keys, and then book a second taxi from the Porters' Lodge.

The Porters will confirm you room number and issue you with the relevant key. For students at Russell Street, Barton Road, Lingholme Close and Coleridge Road this will also function as your College key. Students living at Harvey Road, Fitzwilliam Road and Chesterton Road will receive a separate ASSA key for use in College.

Tenancy Agreements
All Tenancies for new students run for 51 weeks from 1st October - 22nd September. A sample Tenancy Agreement and the College's Occupancy conditions will be sent you to you via email in September prior to your arrival. A signed hard copy should be returned to the Graduate Administrator via the Plodge prior to Matriculation and you should also keep a copy for yourself. You should also find an inventory in your room when you arrive, please complete this and return to the Housekeeping department as soon as possible.

Residency dates
The accommodation billing quarters are as follows:

Michaelmas: 1st October - 31 December
Lent: 1 January - 31 March
Easter: 1 April to 30 June
Long Vacation: 1 July to 22 September

Bills will be issued in the first few weeks of term and should be settled within 31 days. If you have difficulty in paying, please contact the finance office ( at the earliest possible opportunity.

College rooms
The termly Accommodation Charge for a College room varies according to its size, location and facilities. The Charge includes the costs of heating, electricity, water and internet connection. Most rooms are centrally heated, but a few have electric heaters. All rooms are furnished, but no bed linen, towels, crockery or cutlery are provided. Students who reside in College are reminded that the room is allocated for their use only and cohabitation is not permitted. Failure to comply will result in the student being asked to leave College accommodation. College furniture is not to be removed and all rooms must be cleared of personal belongings at the end of the year. If you bring a television (or use you any other device to watch live content) you must have your own licence.

The decoration of each room may not be altered without the Bursar’s permission. Students must make their room available for cleaning on a regular basis. Occupants will be charged for any repairs or additional cleaning work that is necessary. Blu Tack or similar substances must not be used to fix posters to walls. At the end of your tenancy, rooms and communal areas must be cleared completely. Any defects in College rooms must be reported to the Maintenance Manager by the online system available on the College Website at: College Life → Maintenance Requests. Additional item of furniture of furniture, decoration, floor coverings, fixtures or fittings or any cooking appliances including toasters, or fridges, any heating or cooling appliances or fans and the like, must not be brought into your room without the College’s written permission, which will only be granted on medical or similar grounds (applications should be made to the Buildings and Services Manager at

Cooking: Cooking in student rooms is not permitted except in rare circumstances, when permission to have a microwave may be granted on medical grounds. All rooms have access to a kitchen which has simple cooking facilities. Fridges and freezers are not permitted in student rooms except with the permission of the Bursar, which will only be granted on compelling medical, dietary or religious grounds.

The Bursar will refer to the Dean any case in which there is abuse of the regulations or facilities outlined in this notice on accommodation. Also, where appropriate, the Dean may elect to discipline a member by downgrading the member’s accommodation. In some cases, College accommodation may be withdrawn altogether.

Keys: The front door of the College is closed at 11.45pm. Your room key will also open the lock to the front door of the College. Whenever the College is locked access can be gained either through the front door or the door by the bicycle shed in Queens’ Lane. Any misuse or loss of keys represents a serious breach of College discipline and will be dealt with accordingly. A fine of £30 is automatically levied for the loss of a key. The room key is the responsibility of the student concerned and must not be lent to anyone else, including other College members. Duplicate room keys will only be issued to the occupant and must be returned immediately.

Security: Your college room is not secure unless you lock it as you leave; valuables should never be left in unlocked rooms. Room keys must be returned to the Porters’ Lodge at the end of term.

Fire Precautions: Members of the College should familiarise themselves with escape routes, assembly points and the location of fire fighting equipment. If any fire equipment is suspected of being faulty, the Buildings & Services Manager should be informed at once. In the event of a fire, the alarm must be raised by informing the Porters’ Lodge immediately, and then students should move to the assembly point.  You should never assume that a fire alarm is just a rehearsal. However, we will have fire drills to help you familiarise yourselves with the procedures. Fire extinguishers, and other equipment should on no account be tampered with, and heavy penalties will be incurred by anyone responsible for such tampering. In the event that any fire extinguishing equipment is found to be deficient, the occupants of a staircase will be charged for its repair or replacement.

Insurance: The College does not insure students’ property and we strongly recommend that you take out specific insurance for the possessions which you are bringing to College – especially valuables, electronics and bicycles. Sometimes this can be covered on your family’s home contents insurance but there are also separate policies available. The College does not hold either medical or public liability insurance for students and once again we recommend that you make separate arrangements, especially if you intend to take part in sports.

Car parking: There are no facilities for parking visitors’ cars in the College and public parking in the immediate vicinity of the College is very limited. Similarly, car parking at the Graduate residences is limited. There are two parking spaces for students at Russell Street and at Chesterton Road, with additional parking space at South Green Road. Students who wish to apply for parking should contact the Graduate Administrator. There is no student parking available at Fitzwilliam Road or Harvey Road, with very limited on-road parking available in the Barton Road, Lingholme Close and Coleridge Road areas. 

Musical instruments: There are restrictions on the hours during which music of any kind may be played in College. Details will be found in the Dean’s notices. Any student who wishes to have a piano in a College room should consult the Director of Music. Music should be inaudible in neighbouring rooms. There is a dedicated music practice room on the main College site.

Bicycles: A covered bicycle park with racks is provided at Russell Street, Barton Road and underneath the Fellows' Car park on the main College site. Bicycles should not be kept in student rooms, common areas or placed against the walls of the College buildings or in the College courts.

Mopeds, etc.: The College bicycle park is not suitable for mopeds and there is no parking space elsewhere in the College.

Motor vehicles: No motor vehicles of any type may be kept or used in Cambridge by a student without permission from both the tutor and the University Motor Proctor. Permission is normally granted to Graduate students but is also dependent upon arrangements for adequate parking. You can apply for a license from the University Motor Proctor here

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