I’m thinking about Cambridge

What is a college?

Newnham is one of 29 undergraduate colleges that make up the University of Cambridge. If you already know exactly what a college is, then that’s fab, but it can be more than a little confusing to work out what this actually means.  A college is a bit like a hall of residence, or accommodation block, as it’s where you will live during your time at Cambridge. Whilst your department (or faculty, as they are often called) gives the lectures and sets the exams that everyone doing your course attends, your college sorts out the rest of your academic work; college organises your supervisors, who are the people who actually set your work. As colleges are communities of students living together, they also have their own societies, sports teams and social events, so they are much more than just somewhere you live!

I don’t think I fit the Cambridge or Newnham stereotype.

There is no such thing as the typical Cambridge or Newnham student – honestly. If Cambridge was full of the same type of people, it would be really boring! Whatever your school background, religion, ethnicity, country you live in, personality or sexuality, we would love you to come to Newnham!

Is Cambridge right for me?

I’m afraid this is a question we can’t answer, as it is entirely your decision as to whether Cambridge is the place you want to be. However, if you are predicted to get the grades required, you should seriously consider Cambridge – don’t write if off until you are fully informed (it is very easy to think ‘oh, it’ll be too expensive’ or ‘there will be no one else like me there’ or ‘I won’t like the course’ but do you actually know this?).

If you are a UK state school student and still a bit unsure about Cambridge in general, or whether you would like the course, then have a look at these completely free schemes:

CUSU Shadowing Scheme

Sutton Trust Summer Schools


Tell me about Newnham!

“Newnham is such an amazing environment to both work and live in. Coming here was the best decision I could have ever made!” Amy

Newnham is a medium sized college that’s open to all self-defining female undergraduates – we therefore have the best of both worlds, as we’re still part of a mixed university yet Newnham benefits by having an extra friendly and inspiring atmosphere.

We’re situated right opposite the Sidgwick site, where most arts lectures happen, and just 5 minute cycle away from the main science sites and shops. Unlike most colleges, everyone lives on site for all years of their course and we have spacious grounds with a proper garden and sports field, as well as other facilities on site. In addition to our lovely rooms, proper kitchens (a rarity for Cambridge!), fab college library, pretty buildings and generous grants, Newnham has the most friendly and homely feel to it of any college.

With former students (alumni) such as Emma Thompson, Clare Balding, Anna Watkins, Rosalind Franklin (of Crick and Watson fame), Miriam Margolyes (a.k.a. Professor Sprout from Harry Potter), Sylvia Plath and Mary Beard, Newnham is also an inspiring place to study due to its impressive history and many amazing opportunities that are on offer because of this.

As we can’t cram all the wonderful things about Newnham into a few paragraphs, please have a look through our lovely Alternative Prospectus.