Information for New Members

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 2018/19 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
Dean & Senior Tutor

Information for Michaelmas 2019


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 keys will be available for collection when you register at the Welcome Desk (26th - 30th September).   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

This is sent out in July to all incoming students.  If, for whatever reason,  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:

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, registration also enables you to obtain your passwords early, which will give you access to possible 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).

New to Cambridge?

"Freshers Events":


Arriving somewhere new can be a little daunting for some but we will do all we can to make this  process as uncomplicated and easy as possible.  Accommodation, for the majority of new students,  will be available from Thursday 26 September 2019.  For those whose course/pre-course commences on an earlier date other arrangements will have been made directly with the Accommodation Office.

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.

Welcome Desk

Nearly all Cambridge Colleges have a set “Registration/Matriculation Day” when 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 8 October, our Welcome Desk will run in the week preceding that:

Location:  The Old Library


Thursday 26 September & Friday 27th September:   9am until 5pm

Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th September:  10am until 2pm

Monday 30th September:  10am until 7pm

For students who arrive earlier or later than this the induction/registration process will take place initially 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 15 minutes and will include:

ID check
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
Tier4 Visa scanning/enrolment verification (where applicable)
College Tutor allocation/information
Invitation: Welcome Drinks & Formal Dinner

IT (Getting started with IT / IT Matters):

Opening a student bank account (The majority of overseas students will require a letter from the College in order to confirm their address and enrolment details.  You can either pick up a form at the Welcome Desk, from the Deanery Office or here:  (M19 - Bank form).   Please ensure all details are completed and note, at busy times, these can take up to twenty-four hours to prepare.

Meet the DCSA representatives (Darwin College Students Association)

Collect your accommodation keys (for those in College accommodation)

Accounts Office:  Setting up of your College Account

Graduate Tutor

You will be assigned a Graduate Tutor - a College Fellow who is here to provide pastoral advice.  There will be further details in your Welcome Pack.

Tier 4 BRP collection

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 "University collection" these will be availabe at the Student Services Centre, New Museums Site weekdays between Friday 27 September and Wednesday 9 October from 9.30am until 12.30pm:

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 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 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 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)

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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