Information for Offer Holders

Congratulations on receiving your offer to study at Darwin College!

Darwin is the oldest and largest of Cambridge’s graduate colleges, with nearly 700 current members from 80 countries.  We were also the first college to admit both men and women as students and fellows.  Informal, inclusive and inter-disciplinary – our 2017/18 intake are 51% scientists and 49% arts and humanities graduates – Darwin is a wonderful place to further your studies.  Situated centrally, close to most University Departments and Faculties, our award-winning Study Centre and peaceful gardens overlook the River Cam. We also boast the finest college bar in Cambridge!

Dr Duncan Needham

Information for those arriving for Michaelmas 2018

General Information:

The Offer

An offer of a College place will be emailed out to all successful applicants, together with attachments (acceptance slip and application form to apply for accommodation).

If you have any queries relating to your College offer please contact the Deanery Office as soon as possible:

Anything relating specifically to your admission to the University must be made directly to the Graduate Admissions Office:

Acceptance slip: 

This lets us know that, circumstances permitting, you intend to take up your place, and should be returned as soon as possible.  If, at a later stage, you are unable to take up your place then please let us know.  Also, you will need to withdraw either via your self-service page or by emailing the Graduate Admissions Office directly:

Accommodation form:

If you wish to apply for College housing you must complete and return this form.  All applications will be acknowledged by our Accommodation Manager, Mrs Sue Beckwith.  If you have any special requirements please specify them clearly on the form.  After submission of the form, you can send any additional requests/queries to:

Allocation of accommodation

All those who have returned a completed form will be contacted directly by the Accommodation Office towards the end of July/beginning of August. 

If you have been allocated College accommodation your room key and licence agreement will be available for collection when you register at the Welcome Desk (in the last week of September - dates to be confirmed).   Alternatively, if you are arriving outside this period please go directly to the Porters’ Lodge in the first instance.

Darwin has a limited amount of accommodation suitable for couples and families and we recommend that anyone interested in this type of housing should also be aware of the University Accommodation Service:

Contact with the College prior to arrival:

Hopefully the College offer will provide all the information you require.  However, should it be  necessary to contact a specific department about a more direct issue then please use the email below:


Summer circular

At the beginning of July you will receive an email from the Deanery asking you to re-confirm your intention to take up your place, or to advise us, for whatever reason, if plans have changed.    All Colleges have a limit on the number of available places and notification of a withdrawal may enable us to re-offer.

Therefore, if you are unable to take up your place then please withdraw either via your self-service page or by emailing the Graduate Admissions Office directly:

Attached to this email will be information on:

UIS Getting started with IT :
(From August, and if your admission has been confirmed, you can collect two of your UIS computing accounts.  This will enable you to access your Hermes mail account and specific resources/course materials from your Department.

DRC (Disability Resource Centre):  Circular

ISO (International Student Office): Guide

An introduction to your College account and how it works

Coming into residence

Arriving somewhere new can be a little daunting for some but we will do all we can to make this transition process as uncomplicated and easy as possible.

Accommodation will be available for those who applied from Monday 24 September 2018.  For those whose course/pre-course commences on an earlier date a room will be available.   Please email the accommodation office directly once a start date has been confirmed.

Getting to Cambridge

Cambridge is well served by public transport links from major UK airports. The nearest airport to Cambridge is London Stansted, followed by London Heathrow and then London Gatwick. From London Stansted, there is an hourly direct train service to Cambridge which takes approximately 40 minutes.

There is more than one bus service between Cambridge and Stansted Airport. For details see the National Express website. The airport bus stops at Parkside. The bus is the cheapest option from Heathrow Airport: there is an hourly bus to Cambridge which leaves from stops at both Heathrow Central Bus Station and Terminal 5. Timetables and information will be available at the airport, or check the National Express website. The journey takes just over two hours and arrives at Parkside.

You can also travel to London King's Cross either on the London Underground Piccadilly line, or take the Heathrow Express to Paddington station and change to the London Underground Circle or Hammersmith & City lines. You can then travel by train from London King's Cross station to Cambridge. The best way to get from London Gatwick airport to Cambridge is to take the train. There is a frequent service from Gatwick to St. Pancras station, which is adjacent to King's Cross station, where you can catch a train to Cambridge.

By Train
Cambridge railway station is approximately 20 minutes’ walk (around one mile) from the city centre. There are a taxi rank and bus stops in front of the main entrance and buses run every 10 -20 minutes to all University sites.

By Bus
National bus services stop on Parkside, Parkers Piece.
Once in Cambridge,  we would suggest that you take  a taxi directly to the College, especially if you are carrying a large amount of luggage.   The address to ask for is:  Darwin College Porters’ Lodge, Silver Street, CB3 9EU.

Registration/Welcome Desk

The majority of Cambridge Colleges have a set “Registration/Matriculation Day” when all new members are expected to arrive.  However, at Darwin, we prefer to offer a much more informal  process. Whilst “Full Term” does not start until the 2 October, our Welcome Desk will run in the week preceding that (time to be confirmed), between the hours of 9am and 4.30pm.  For students who arrive earlier or later than the start of term the induction/registration process will take place in the Deanery Office.

Registration itself is a mandatory process and until you have matriculated you will not be considered an official member of the College or University.  

The registration process  will take around 30 minutes and will include:

Registration pack (one per member – to include invitations to various functions)
The reading and signing of both copies of the Matriculation Register (one for the College and the other for the University).
Collection of your student card
Registration with a local GP/Medical  practitioner (information and form)
Paperwork relating to the setting up of your College Account
Tier4 Visa scanning/enrolment verification (where applicable)
College Tutor information
Meet the DCSA representatives (Darwin College Students Association)
Collect your keys and licence agreement (for those in College accommodation)
Allocation of your  Darwin computer account
Details and form on how to open a bank account
The opportunity to meet staff from various College Departments.

Tier 4 visa collection & orientation sessions for overseas students

Overseas students who need to pick-up their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) must make an appointment  via the ISO web-site (link below).  For those who have selected collection from the University these will be available at the University Centre (dates to be confirmed).  Alternatively, collection will be from the central post office at St Andrew's Street, Cambridge CB2 3BJ.

For courses starting earlier (MBA, MFin, etc.), the ISO will attend the individual Departmental induction events to  hand these out.

As a Tier4 student it is important that you read the University’s guide:

Police Registration

Some overseas students are also required to register with the Police at Parkside Police Station and further information is available on this link:

Registration is by appointment only, please email to arrange:

Termly monitoring (Tier 4 students)

All Tier 4 students are expected to  bring both their BRP/visa and passport to the Deanery Office for scanning onto CamSIS as soon as possible after arrival.  

Also, one of your responsibilities as a Tier 4 student is to come to the Deanery Office at the beginning of each term to sign your monitoring sheet.   This confirms to both the ISO and the UKVI that you are currently engaged with your studies, and that all the contact details we currently hold are up-to-date (Cambridge/residential address and telephone number).

DCSA (Darwin College Students Association)

The DCSA are responsible for many of the social events, clubs and societies in Darwin which you will be encouraged to join.   For general information please go to:

If you wish to contact the committee directly:
Welcome events in the College will run for about two weeks around the start of term.  A full and up-dated will be published on the DCSA web-pages nearer the time:


For information on College awards and scholarships click here:  or email:

The University has a central funding directory:


The University and College try to offer the best support possible to disabled students.  To ensure that we are aware, as early as possible, of any special arrangements (accommodation, exam arrangements), you should declare this on your application form.  Further information can be found on the Disability Resource website
or by emailing:

Healthcare in the UK / GP Registration

Those applying for a Tier 4 student visa will be required to pay a surcharge as part of the visa application fee to cover all NHS care.

Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) prior to coming to the UK to ensure free access to all NHS services.

Upon arrival  all students should register, as soon as possible, with a local GP whilst at Cambridge and further information about this will be provided in your registration pack.   For international students on a one-year course registration must take place within the first six months, as  if there is less than six months left on your visa, you will be ineligible for NHS treatment and you will need to pay for private healthcare.

For further information please go to:

FAQ’s / information

What do I do when I arrive?

Upon arrival all new members should go to the Porters’ Lodge (main entrance, Silver Street).  You will then be directed to the Welcome Desk and registration can commence.   

How do I open a bank account?

Most international students will require an introductory letter from the College before a bank account can be opened.   As it may take some time to open an account all students are advised to try and make an appointment with their chosen bank as soon as possible (list here).

Can I visit the College?

If you are in Cambridge before your course starts then please call in and have a look around the College buildings and grounds.  All we ask is that you contact the Deanery in the first instance so that we know to expect you:  When you arrive please go to the Porters’ Lodge at the main entrance (Silver Street) where they will log your arrival.

Useful links (Cambridge)


Graduate Union

ISO (International Student Office):

Student Registry:

University Counselling Service:

Childcare Office:

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