Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is a College?

Colleges are responsible for students' education and welfare and organise the small group undergraduate teaching (‘supervisions’) that makes Cambridge so distinctive. Colleges also provide accommodation and are a social focus for students. The Colleges are part of the University, which also includes Faculties and Departments. The University's Faculties and Departments organise lectures, practicals and exams, and it is the University that awards degrees. 

About Queens’ College 

How big is Queens' College?
Queens' is one of the largest Cambridge Colleges with approximately 1000 students, 500 of whom are undergraduates. We admit around 150 undergraduates each year.

What is the accommodation like?
At the moment, first years tend to live in the Cripps Building, and second and third years all over the place! Our oldest rooms date from the foundation of the College in 1448 and the newest were finished in 2007. All rooms have central heating and internet access. Many of them have en-suite shower rooms.

How far away is the sports ground?
The sports ground is about 1 mile away. It has pitches for football, rugby, cricket and hockey, and three hard courts for tennis and netball. The boathouse is about the same distance away in the opposite direction.

Is there a club or society for me?
Most popular sports and clubs are organised on an inter-College basis so that there is at least one competitive football, tennis, cricket, rugby or hockey team. Sport is also played at a more informal, less competitive level. Many sports, such as squash, are played just for fun at all levels of proficiency. The University has societies for almost every interest and activity from aerobics to tiddlywinks. In addition, Queens' has a number of its own subject societies (e.g. History, Law, and Medicine) which hold speaker meetings and arrange dinners and other social events. There is also the possibility for you to form your own society.

Are music and drama strong in Queens’?
Music goes on at many levels in Queens’. We have an active Music Society that puts on several concerts and recitals each term. The Drama Society puts on several plays a year and has access to the Fitzpatrick Hall, one of the best small theatres in Cambridge.

What are the welfare provisions like at Queens’?
At Queens’ we know that adjusting to university life and the intense academic environment of Cambridge can be tough, so we employ a team of trained and experienced Welfare Advisers and Nurses. Each student is also assigned a Tutor to provide support in overcoming any difficulties which might affect their wellbeing and/or ability to study effectively, including health, welfare, financial or personal issues. Please see our dedicated page for more information.

Making an application

Do you take extra-curricular activities into consideration?
Our admissions decisions are based on academic criteria (ability and potential) and we expect to see evidence in your application of your wider engagement with areas of academic interest, such as reading and other explorations relevant to the course for which you have applied. Extra-curricular activities which are of no relevance to the course will not increase your chances of receiving an offer. If, however, particular extra-curricular activities have enabled you to develop transferable skills, such as organisation or time management, then do include them in your personal statement. Such activites might include significant caring responsibilites or paid employment, which can help us fully contextualise your application, as well as sport, physical activity, music, drama and volunteering.

What if I am a student at another university?
The Cambridge Colleges will not normally consider applications to Cambridge from students enrolled on degree courses at other UK universities unless there are exceptional circumstances or there is a change of subject (in which case a letter of support from the student's current institution is required).

Any application to study at Cambridge would need strong support from your course director or other academic tutor at your current university. A reference/letter of recommendation from that person to the College would be required before we could consider an application, and such applications would still be subject to the same academic assessment as any other application to the University.

Will I able to take a gap year and still get a place at Queens'?
Yes. We are happy to encourage applicants in all subjects to either apply for deferred entry or to apply post-A Level (or equivalent qualification). We think that time away from study between school and university can offer students the chance to develop, mature and gain experience of the world. Applicants who have or have not taken a gap year will be assessed in the same way.

I won't be 18 by the time I would start my course. Can I still apply?
There is no age requirement for admission to Cambridge, although the vast majority of undergraduates are 18 years or older when they start their course. All students must demonstrate that they have the maturity and personal skills to cope with university-level study and will be able to gain full benefit from the course when admitted.

Applicants who will be under 18 on admission should seek advice from our Admissions Tutor as early as possible to discuss their application. If you are considering Medicine, you should also read the advice regarding age requirements for this course in the Medicine course entry on the University's website.

Applicants who would be under the age of 16 on admission may also be subject to additional requirements and restrictions in order to comply with legislation.