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Graduate support and events

The MCR may have certain events scheduled in the first week of term to let you meet your fellow Catz students and become acquainted with life in Cambridge. For more information on the events due to take place in October, please visit the MCR website at

University of Cambridge - International Student Portal
International Student Welcome - Cambridge Christian Student Society

The Postgraduate Research seminars are organised by the MCR  and bring together St Catharine's Fellows and Postgraduate students in an informal setting. They are an opportunity for St Catharine's Postgraduates to present their research to a non-specialised audience. Talks range across all disciplines and once each term, a Research Fellow is also invited to give a talk.

Twice a year all Postgraduate students are invited to formal dinners with the Master and Fellows. The Gostlin dinner is held in Michaelmas Term, followed by the Fellows' and Postgraduates' dinner in Lent Term. At the end of Easter Term  a Garden Party is held in the Sherlock Court. You will receive a formal invitation to these events a month in advance by the Postgraduate Administrator.

Please Note: The Gostlin dinner has now been cancelled for Michaelmas Term 2020.

The College Chaplain is The Rev’d Ally Barrett. Following a music degree at Clare College, Ally worked as a research assistant for the Theology Through the Arts project, then trained for ordination at Westcott, spending eleven years in parish ministry and a year as a children's minister in the USA before returning to Westcott as a tutor in 2015. Her research and writing interests include the integration of theology and human experience in relation to preaching and worship, especially baptism, and reflective practice.  She is also a published hymn writer, and last year she won the Hymns for Peace Competition for a hymn commemorating the Armistice.

Ally is available to talk to anyone, of any faith or none. If you wish to speak with someone in confidence on any matter, be it to do with work, money, stress, relationships, family, homesickness, addictions, or simply being ‘you’, the Chaplain is there to listen. You may even have something to celebrate!

Please never feel isolated or that there is no-one to talk to. Ally can help if you wish to be put in touch with your own faith leaders and communities or if you would like spiritual direction, guided reading, the opportunity to talk about your faith or doubts or to share in prayer.

The welfare of students is a high priority for the College and new postgraduate students are welcome to make an appointment for an informal conversation in the first few weeks of term. The Welfare Hub on the College website provides up to date information and resources, and suggestions for what to include in this are always welcome:

If you would like to speak to someone regarding your mental, physical or emotional health and wellbeing, you are welcome to contact the Health and Welfare Team for support. If you are concerned that another student is particularly vulnerable, please do reach out to them and encourage them to contact us. You are able to contact a member of the Health and Welfare Team in confidence if you feel that your friend needs further support. 
• College Nurse – Dee Williams
• Welfare Officer – Mary Simuyandi
• Chaplain – Ally Barrett
• Welfare Team -
Emails sent to the team address will be seen by both Mary and Ally, so that if you need support urgently one of us can respond to you as soon as possible and we can work together to ensure you get the support you need.

As a Postgraduate student with more specialist needs, the University or Faculty libraries will be your main source of books and journals, however St Catharine's has two working libraries on the main site that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Induction sessions are not compulsory for postgraduate members of College, but there will be guided tours offered during the first week of term. Alternatively, feel free to approach the Librarian or Assistant Librarian directly to learn how our collections can help you with your studies.

The College Library also facilitates access to a wide range of electronic resources maintained by the University. We're as happy to provide assistance with e-journals and databases as we are with printed books and medieval manuscripts. So let us know if you need help with any of these.

More information about the College libraries (we have two) can be found by following the link above. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the librarian, Colin Higgins, directly by email ( We look forward to meeting you in October.

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