College membership for MBAs at Cambridge

The College experience

[MUSIC PLAYING] The College experience at Cambridge has been really unique because it gives you a second family to your MBA family.

The fact that at a Cambridge MBA, you get to live in the Colleges was a huge part of my decision to come here. You live your MBA. You live the College life. And I wanted to experience that sort of being part of a community.

The Cambridge culture is very much international, but then the Cambridge experience captures the quintessential part of what being in England is about.

It offers this whole other dimension that you don’t get anywhere else, so I think for me, it’s important not just to learn the MBA type skills. It’s also important to have that full on education experience of being in a world class university.

You can take it everywhere. You can go punting. You see the Colleges from the back of the river, and it’s just amazing. You feel part of the history.

College support

You come off the plane with a lot of baggage and you walk in the front door of this College. And you know, there’s the Porter’s lodge, and I’m not even sure what that even means in Australia. But you get there, and it’s this sort of traditional old College next to the river. And you walk around the gardens and you see the lovely punting on the river and the bridges and the island, and it’s pretty magical. And I think that your nerves quickly go away and it becomes a pretty enjoyable place to be.

What surprised me was the level of interaction and the support that I get from the College right from the first date I entered Cambridge. I mean, they helped me setting up my accommodation. They helped me linking up with the alumni, which has been fantastic. They’re really, really keen on your experience and giving you the support, whatever you need.

Clubs and societies

There’s also formal halls that have dinners they have here, so again, it’s a interesting experience as well for a lot of people in the class. And even just down to the social events. A lot of Friday, Saturday nights, Downing puts on a lot of events. Dances, whether it’s yoga classes or salsa dancing or just kind of nights at the bar, there’s a lot of really fun things to get involved in.

I went and joined the rowing team the first day I got here. That’s a very Cambridge thing to do. So I went out pretty much three or four times a week, 6:00 AM in the morning, freezing cold, rain, snow, any type of weather. So that was a really good experience and pretty challenging one, and very rewarding in the end.

For those less sporty, we had the Wine and Cheese Society, which was great fun. We had the Historical Society, which was great. And then my first society was one called the Hat Club, where they had sort of PhDs come in and talk about their degrees and their dissertations and that kind of thing. It just sparked a lot of really good debates. So there’s something for everyone here.

College social life

So most of us chose this MBA, Judge Business School, also because it’s part of the wider university experience. You can interact with a lot of people from different departments.

These people have come from across all disciplines, so they could be a nuclear physicist, they could be artists, they could be studying biogenetics. And I think that adds a variety and depth to the MBA experience, which none of my other friends and other institutions have, and I think you graduate with more than just business students. You graduate with a plethora of knowledge across all disciplines. And that’s what’s truly made my College experience really unique.

You live with the friends, you study with the friends, you work with the friends, you play with the friends. So the MBA and the College are completely entwined and together, that makes this incredible Cambridge experience.

I think everything just encapsulated in one word would just simply be “magical.” [MUSIC PLAYING]

Cambridge Judge Business School is a department of the University of Cambridge. 

The University of Cambridge is a confederation of Schools, Faculties, Departments and Colleges. There are 31 Colleges. Each is governed by their own statutes and regulations, but integral to the makeup of the University of Cambridge. 

Joining a Cambridge College

As a Cambridge MBA student at Cambridge Judge Business School, you will become a member of the University of Cambridge. This makes you a member of one of the 31 Colleges. 

Each College is an independent institution with its own property and income. The Colleges appoint their own staff and are responsible for selecting students, in accordance with University regulations. 

One of the main benefits of the College system is that within each College, staff and students of all disciplines are brought together thereby broadening your network. 

Learn more about University Colleges

Find out more about College facts and figures

Learn more about the structure of Cambridge Judge Business School

The role of the Colleges in your MBA experience

Your membership of a University College is an integral part of the Cambridge MBA experience. It brings numerous benefits and opportunities to your learning and networking, enriching your year’s study in Cambridge enormously. 

A College is a place where you can socialise, network and get involved with extracurricular activities. Although Colleges can provide accommodation, this is not always guaranteed. There is more single-occupation accommodation available, couples and family accommodation availability is limited to certain Colleges. 

In addition to resources provided by Cambridge Judge Business School, each College has its own library and sports facilities. Some have their own bar and theatres. Colleges also have their own clubs and societies, offering a variety of non-academic activities for students to take part in. 

Obtaining College membership

Your Admissions Coordinator will apply for your college membership for you after you have accepted an offer. You don’t need to apply yourself. 

If you have any special needs, are intending to bring your family with you or have a strong preference for a particular College, let us know when you accept your offer. We will put you forward to what we consider to be the most appropriate College. 

Please note that Colleges are autonomous institutions. It can take some time to reach a decision on whether or not to offer you membership. Many Colleges fill up available places very early in the year. 

We are only able to submit your papers to one College at a time. In some circumstances it can be several weeks before you hear which College has offered you membership. 

Please note: The University does ensure that every student made an offer to join the Cambridge MBA will receive membership of a College. 

Please do not contact the Colleges unless you have an enquiry about facilities that is not covered on their website. College applications must go through your Admissions Coordinator at Cambridge Judge Business School. 


Student accommodation is granted by your College, but is not guaranteed. You can expect different facilities in different Colleges. Some may offer more modern facilities including en-suite bathrooms, others may not. 

It is important to note that not all College accommodation is situated within the main College grounds. Many graduates live in College houses in and around the easily accessible city centre. 

In some cases, Colleges may be unable to offer accommodation. Demand often outstrips supply, especially for married or family housing. You may also prefer to rent your own flat or house. The University Accommodation Service is at your disposal, along with many rental agencies in the city. 

All MBA students are College members, regardless of their accommodation, and as such are entitled to all associated privileges. 

Visit the University Accommodation Service website