St Catharine's offers accommodation in College for all three or four years of the normal undergraduate course. The College's accommodation is accredited by ANUK (Accreditation Network UK). 

All first years live on the main site and will be allocated rooms based on band preference, subject to availability. Second years live a few minutes away in St Chad's flats on Grange Road unless the intake for that year is higher than the number of rooms available, in which case students will be offered rooms on main site. Third years are allocated rooms on main site, unless the intake for that year is higher than the number of rooms available in which case alternative options will be offered during the ballot process. Where relevant, fourth years can also be housed in College accommodation.

Rooms in the second and third year are allocated by ballot, and students (including first years) worried about their finances can request a smaller, cheaper room. Final-year linguists are counted as 'third years' for accommodation purposes.

Fourth year rooms are allocated by the accommodation office and are usually located at South Green Lodge. From Michaelmas Term 2023 the 2 new builds at Chads will be used to house 4th years. You will receive an email towards the end of Lent term asking you to confirm if you plan to continue for a fourth year and if you will require accommodation. The exception to this is fourth year vets and medics who should apply for accommodation via the graduate application process. 

There are usually a couple of main site rooms available for students’ guests during term (see the 'you might like' section).

We have modern rooms and ancient rooms, small (cheaper) and large (less cheap) rooms, ensuite and non-ensuite but no 'typical' room. The College's buildings have been constructed and modified over the centuries so that few rooms are the same. However, all rooms are of a good standard, and where possible year groups are never split between sites, so you will always be accommodated close to others in your year. Room rents depend on room size, location and facilities – most are centrally heated but a few have electric heaters. All rooms are furnished however, bed linen, towels, crockery and cutlery is not provided - read here for further information. 

In the academic year 2022-23, room rents are between £1266 and £2146 per term, which includes the costs of heating, lighting, internet access and provision of the College's self-catering and communal dining facilities. Small increments are expected in future years. To get an idea of rents and costs, see the page on student finances.

Room keys are issued by the Porters and must be returned to them at the end of each term, when vacated. Students must never leave their rooms unlocked. The College does not accept liability for loss or damage to private property in College rooms, so students are strongly encouraged to take out insurance for their belongings, either as an extension of their parents’ household policy or from a company specialising in insurance for students.

Cambridge was not built for cars. Students may ask their tutor if they believe they have an exceptional reason to keep a car in Cambridge, but the rare issuing of a permit does not mean they will find anywhere to park it! Fortunately, Cambridge is so compact that many students find that they can cope without even owning a bicycle.

Breakfast, lunch and an evening meal are available in the self-service cafeteria in the College Hall or bar. Guests may also be invited to these meals for a small surcharge. Formal hall (gown needed!) is also available several nights each week.

Rooms on the main College site have access to a small shared kitchen with fridge, sink and microwave. Off-site accommodation such as St Chad's contains fully-equipped kitchens to enable students to cater for themselves if they wish. The Colleges gyp room use policy can be viewed here.

If you require a fridge or long bed for your room please refer to the Colleges policy on requests for extra items in bedrooms. To make a request before the start of Michaelmas Term please complete the extra items for bedrooms request form

Undergraduates must live in Cambridge for nine terms to obtain a degree. The academic year begins around 1 October and is divided into three terms, each about ten weeks long: Michaelmas, Lent and Easter. Within each term there is a period of about eight weeks called 'Full Term', during which all formal university and college teaching takes place. Undergraduates usually arrive in Cambridge on the weekend before Full Term starts, and leave during the week after Full Term finishes.

The general timing of Full Term is:

Michaelmas Term: early October to early December
Lent Term: mid-January to mid-March
Easter Term: mid-April to mid-June

The precise dates for the next few years can be found here on the University website.


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