Information for New Members

Darwin is the oldest and largest of Cambridge’s graduate colleges, with over 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 2019/20 intake are 48% scientists and 52% 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
Dean & Senior Tutor

Information for Michaelmas 2020


The Offer

An offer of a College place will be emailed out to all successful applicants, together with other information.  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 email to let us know:   Likewise, you will also need to withdraw via your self-service page or by emailing the Graduate Admissions Office directly:


Applications need to be made via the StarRez portal and a link to this can be found in your offer letter.   The allocation of rooms will take place at the beginning of August and you will be notified by email. 

Room keys will be available for collection from the Porters' Lodge and please remember to bring a signed copy of your licence.

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:

Full details of our accommodation can be found at:

Contact with the College prior to arrival:

Hopefully you will find all of the information you require on the video links below and there are many helpful hints on the FAQ's page.   However,  should it be  necessary to contact a specific department about a more direct issue then please feel free to do so.



Summer circular

This is sent out in July to all incoming students.

Student  Registration exercise

All students wiho have had their admission confirmed will receive an email from the Student Registry regarding this mandatory process.  This is done purely to ensure that information held about you is correct.   For those new to Cambridge, completion of this exercise also enables you to obtain your passwords early, which will give you access to course/College information held on secure sites.

Please complete this  as you will need your passwords to log-on to the wi-fi network at Darwin (eduroam).

Getting to Cambridge

Cambridge is well served by public transport links from all major UK airports.

The nearest airport to Cambridge is London Stansted, followed by London Heathrow and then London Gatwick. From London Stansted the rail transfer  to Cambridge takes approximately 30 minutes. Further travel information can be found at:

Travel from all other UK airports to Cambridge is also fairly straightforward.

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.

Welcome Desk



Graduate Tutor

You will be assigned a Graduate Tutor - a College Fellow who is here to give you confidential advice and support on any non-academic problems you may experience and, aided by the Deanery, to direct you to specialist support if necessary.  Regular academic queries should be directed to your Supervisor/Department/Director of Studies, but your Tutor may advise in case of difficulties.  If you need urgent advice, you may wish to contact the Deanery directly; the Dean provides support and advice to Tutors and is available to take over complex issues as required.
Get to know your Tutor – you are encouraged to introduce yourself to him or her at one of the Welcoming Drinks held in Freshers Week and/or at one of the Welcoming Dinners held in October.  Then keep all relevant contact details to hand, and update your Tutor with your progress and any difficulties you might encounter.  You should aim to see your Tutor at least twice each academic year, either in a group or individually as necessary.
Your Tutor is a source of general advice and support.  He or she is always happy to listen to your experiences of studying and research, to offer advice where appropriate, and to help you to find academic staff and students in College with similar interests.  Your Tutor will have access to reports submitted online by your supervisor concerning your academic progress, and to any self-assessment exercise you complete via CamSIS and will liaise where necessary with academic supervisors and Departments/Faculties, particularly if you are experiencing difficulties.  If you are worried by what a report says, or want a different perspective on your work, talk to your Tutor.
More commonly, if you fall ill or your work has been disrupted or you need to take time out for personal reasons, your Tutor will help you ensure that your application is presented properly to the relevant university bodies.  Your Tutor may also be able to provide careers advice.

Tier 4 BRP collection


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 upon arrival in the UK.    Police registration will be available at the Student Services Centre alongside BRP collection on specific days.    However, appointments must be booked in advance:

Students who do not register with the Police when picking up their Tier 4 BRP will need to make an appointment at the Police Station for a later date (Email:   It can take several weeks to receive a response at this busy time but as long as the request has been made there is no need to worry about registering within a certain timeframe.

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, for those not on the "pilot scheme", 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:

The University also  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:

NHS - Healthcare in the UK / GP Registration

Those applying for a Tier 4 student visa will have paid a surcharge as part of the visa application fee to cover all NHS care. Non-UK European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals??

Upon arrival  all students should register, as soon as possible, with a local GP whilst at Cambridge and a list of all GP practices can be found here (M19 - GP list).  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:


University-wide statement on Plagiarism

University's Code of Practice for Research Students:

University's Code of Practice for Masters Students:

Roles & responsibilities: Supervisor, DOS, Graduate & Senior Tutors' :

Useful links (Cambridge)

Postgraduate Open Day - Virtual Tour ????

Cambridge - Sustainability, Environment & Energy:

CamGuides (free on-line resource for all Master's students with a taught element):


Disability Resource Centre:


Graduate Admissions Office: https//

Graduate Union

ISO (International Student Office):

Student Registry:

Transferable Skills resources: http//skills/

University Counselling Service:

Childcare Office:

Cambridge Union Freshers Guide

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