Darwin is the oldest and largest of Cambridge’s graduate colleges, with around 800 current members from 75 different countries. We were also the first college to admit both men and women as students and fellows. Informal, inclusive and inter-disciplinary – our intake is generally around 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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Any query relating specifically to your admission to the University must be made directly to the Postgraduate Admissions Office.
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: email@example.com. Likewise, you will also need to withdraw via your self-service page or by contacting the Postgraduate Admissions Office directly.
Postgraduate Admissions Office: Communications to offer holders
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.
All room keys will be available for collection from the STUDENT SUPPORT DESK in the Old Library. Please remember to sign and return a 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 Darwin College accommodation can be found here.
The College departments have produced videos here with answers to FAQ's and hopefully all of the information you might need and many helpful hints. However, should it be necessary to contact a specific department about a more direct issue then please feel free to do so:
Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU) organises Freshers' week events for new students.
All students who 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 and for those with a confirmed offer this should appear in your in-box from the middle of August. This information is sent out by the Student Registry on a weekly basis so those being confirmed after this date will still be included.
For those new to Cambridge, completion of this exercise also enables you to obtain your passwords (Raven) early. Please complete this as you will need your passwords to log-on to the wi-fi network in Cambridge (eduroam).
For further information on IT please following this link.
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 on this link.
Travel from all other UK airports to Cambridge is also fairly straightforward but may take longer.
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.
Please note that, at the current time, all public transport requires the wearing of a mask.
Every year we set up a registration point where all new members can complete the various formalities involved in joining the College. These involve an ID check (passport or other photo id), collection of your student card and other information.
The DCSA (Darwin College Students Association) are happy to be contacted. They are very knowledgeable and can provide advice about where to obtain any necessary items; cooking utensils, clothing, bikes etc. Each member will also be provided with a DCSA Welcome Guide.
At the time of writing this update Covid-19 quarantine measures are still in place and up to date information can be found at Stay Safe Cambridge However, it is hoped that for the Michaelmas Term the Student Support Desk will run from early/mid September until mid-October. For all students who start in either Lent or Easter Terms registration will be carried out in the Deanery Office.
For those who need to quarantine, there will be guidance either in your room or in your welcome envelope. Also, the DCSA will provide a helper from the current student body who will be able to assist you with meal collection and will be your point of contact for the first few days. For those who need to quarantine a basic box of provisions will be provided upon arrival at the College.
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. 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.
The International Student Office website holds all relevant information for those entering the UK on a student visa and you should take the time to familiarise yourself with your responsibilities as set out here.
As a Cambridge student you will be able to collect your BRP at the University/College but in order to do this you must enter a particular code, called an ACL code, in the relevant section of your application form. This code will be provided by the ISO following the issue of your CAS. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises students to use the University as the collection point for their BRP.
However, for those arriving in either Lent or Easter Terms, PGCE, MBA and MFin students, you are advised to use the ACL code for the Cambridge Post Office.
Normally, the College is required to upload scans of your passport, entry vignette and your BRP to CamSIS for the ISO/UKVI. For those who enter the UK via the e-Gate system then a copy of either your boarding pass or flight ticket will also need to be provided to validate your date of entry to the UK.
However, due to the current situation with Covid-19 and social distancing measures the University will be asking all students to scan their own documents and to submit them electronically to a central system. Further details will be provided either in your information pack or by email shortly after arrival in Cambridge. If you have asked for your BRP to be delivered to the University/College then these will be scanned by the ISO prior to being given to the Colleges for distribution. However, you will still need to scan your passport, vignette and/or boarding pass.
For students currently in the UK and applying for a leave to remain visa a scan of your new BRP will be required. However, as it may be a while before your BRP arrives we will also need to see "proof of application/payment". Again, you may scan this information in yourself or email it to the deanery directly.
Upon arrival in the UK some overseas students are required to register with the Police (Parkside Police Station, 39 Parkside, Cambridge). For this you will need to make an appointment in advance by emailing: OVRD@cambs.pnn.police.uk (within seven days of receiving your BRP). They will then respond with an allocated appointment time. 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.
To register you will need your passport, BRP and two passport sized photographs. There is a charge of £34 and you will need to complete a Registration form obtainable from the ISO web-site.
For those who have previously studied in the UK you will need to update the Police with your new contact details.
The DCSA are responsible for many welcoming activities for new students, regular social events, and many clubs and societies in Darwin which you will be encouraged to join. They also provide additional welfare support for which more information is available here.
The DCSA's committee details are available here.
Welcome events start at the end of September and will run for about two to three weeks around the start of term. Taking into account the current social distancing measures some of these will be bookable on-line events only.
All students, as soon after arrival as possible are advised to register with a local GP Practice close to where they will be living.
A list of all GP practices can be found here. A list of Cambridge GP's will also be provided in your registration pack. Once you have decided on a practice please go onto their website and register.
The University and College try to offer the best support possible to students. To ensure that we are aware, as early as possible, of any special arrangements (accommodation, exam arrangements), you should complete the on-line form on the Disability Resource Centre DRC website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
CamGuides (free on-line resource for all Master's students with a taught element):