The Cambridge College system for EMBAs

Pembroke College.

Executive MBA participants at Cambridge Judge Business School also become members of one of the University of Cambridge’s 31 Colleges. Colleges are intimate social and intellectual communities of students, academics and alumni.

Learn about Cambridge’s Collegiate system on the Postgraduate Admissions website.

Every student and academic at the University is a member of a Cambridge College. By participating in College life, you extend your network beyond your EMBA with those from different disciplines and departments.

Being a member of a Cambridge College

College membership is for life, so you will have the opportunity to continue your association with your College after graduating from the EMBA programme.

You can be as active in College life as you like. Even though EMBA participants are not in Cambridge full-time, your College is a place where you can network, socialise, revise and play sports.

College rooms can usually be booked for meetings and events, and Executive MBA participants can organise their own Formal Hall dining experiences within Colleges.

The EMBA programme has an association with a number of these Colleges. Those available for membership vary each year.

The College experience for EMBA participants

How can EMBA participants get the most from their College memberships? Our alumni share their experiences.

Building your Cambridge network

Gain access to Cambridge Judge Business School, Cambridge Colleges and the greater University network with an EMBA.

A Cambridge matriculation day

EMBA participant Jiaqi Nie describes his first day as a member of Emmanuel College, one of the University’s 31 Colleges.

I wanted to join a great business school that would not only be a business school. Part of the wider University of Cambridge, we have access to one of the greatest knowledge centres in the world and are able to talk to some of the future Nobel prizes in Physics, Biotechnology or Economy. An amazing environment for future entrepreneurs and leaders.

Julien Durand, Corporate Compliance Officer Latin America, AstraZeneca

How to choose your College

Graduate-only or mixed College?

While the majority of Colleges house both undergraduates and graduate students, there are a number of graduate-only Colleges. As a graduate participant on the EMBA you may prefer to be solely with graduate students, who tend to be more mature in age and lend a calmer, quieter atmosphere.


It is best to choose your College based on whether you believe it is the right fit rather than how well known it is. You should consider its ethos and whether it has a good reputation in your areas of interest.

Your College will have its own networking opportunities and joining one that suits your personality and interests will improve the chances of networking with like-minded people.

Colleges currently accepting EMBA participants

Below you will find key information about Colleges currently accepting EMBA participants. You will also find links to the Colleges and their Middle Combination Room (MRC) website, which is a group that represents the postgraduate population at the College.

Founded: 1326
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Clare College is known as one of the more progressive and liberal Colleges at the University. It has a mixture of old traditions, relaxed atmosphere and vibrant student life. The College is famous for its music society and has a College choir that performs globally. It is also well-known for its range of clubs and activities which include sports, acting and politics.

People associated with the College include:

  • Sir David Attenborough, naturalist and broadcaster
  • Ivor Bolton, conductor and harpsichordist
  • Randy Lerner, entrepreneur and sports team owner

Useful links

Visit the Clare College website

Visit Clare College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1966
Members: Graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA

Clare Hall is a small, intimate and internationally diverse College that is known for egalitarianism; it has no high table and has an informal approach to College life. It has one of the highest fellow to student ratios at the University and regularly host seminars, literary talks, lunchtime discussions and has a formal lecture series.

People associated with the College include:

  • John D Barrow, cosmologist, theoretical physicist and mathematician
  • Phyllis Starkey, politician
  • Tobias Hecht, anthropologist

Useful links

Visit the Clare Hall website

Visit Clare Hall’s social events and clubs webpages

Founded: 1800
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

With neo-classical architecture and the largest court in Cambridge, Downing is home to 750 students. The grounds are spacious and peaceful. It is renowned for its sports teams with facilities such as a gym and tennis courts on-site and has one of the most successful boat clubs in Cambridge.

People associated with Downing College include:

  • David Lloyd Jones, member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Chairman of the Law Commission
  • Sir John Brian Pendry, theoretical physicist
  • John Cleese, actor and comedian

Useful links

Visit the Downing College website

Visit Downing College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) webpage

Founded: 1584
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Emmanuel is known for its academic achievement and has been consistently ranked in the top five Colleges on the Tompkins Table since 1998. It is also a lively College with a large number of student societies and sports clubs. The MCR organises regular social events and the College has accessible green spaces with a famous duck pond.

People associated with Emmanuel College include:

  • Archie Norman, businessman and politician
  • Greg Craig, lawyer and former White House Counsel
  • Sebastian Faulks, novelist, journalist and broadcaster

Useful links

Visit the Emmanuel College website

Visit Emmanuel College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1768
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Homerton is one of the largest Cambridge Colleges. It prides itself on its tranquil historic setting with a 21st century outlook. Describing itself as “one of the friendliest Colleges”, Homerton gives participants the opportunity to participate fully in College life. The College offers dining, meeting, and recreational facilities to participants.

Note: Homerton does not offer congregation ceremonies in May. The first opportunity for EMBA participants with Homerton membership to graduate, will likely fall in July.

People associated with Homerton College include:

  • Ben Caron, television director
  • Dame Leah Manning, educationalist, social reformer, MP
  • Efua Sutherland, playwright, children’s author, cultural activisit

Useful links

Visit the Homerton College website

Visit Homerton College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1885
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 only)
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Hughes Hall is known for being an egalitarian and intellectual College and has a large number of students who are taking courses in professional and applied fields. It has a number of extracurricular activities including a music society, team sports and a series of research seminars.

People associated with Hughes Hall include:

  • Johnny Hon, businessman and entrepreneur
  • Liam Mooney, businessman and entrepreneur
  • Roxana Saberi, journalist and author

Useful links

Visit Hughes Hall’s website

Visit Hughes Hall’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1441
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Possibly the most iconic of Colleges, it is home to the world-famous King’s College Chapel at the heart of the city, which defines the image of Cambridge in most people’s minds. It is a medium-sized College with an active students’ union and a refreshingly communal atmosphere.

People associated with King’s College include:

  • Mervyn Allister King, Baron King of Lothbury, KG, GBE, former Governor of the Bank of England
  • Dr Hermann M Hauser KBE, Entrepreneur
  • Zadie Smith, Novelist

Useful links

Visit the King’s College website

Visit the King’s College Graduate Society website

Founded: 1965
Members: undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA

Lucy Cavendish College was founded by women to challenge the exclusivity of Cambridge, and remains one of the most diverse communities in the University. The College welcomes applications from everyone. Graduates share research within the College community through dedicated events: past discussions have included ‘Women Entrepreneurship’ and ‘Women in Technology’. Students are offered a programme of professional and career development provided by alumnae and industry partners. Many Lucy alumnae become entrepreneurs, set up social enterprises, or are self-employed.

People associated with Lucy Cavendish College include:

  • Dr Noeleen Heyzer, served as Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Dr Liz Upton, Executive Director, Raspberry Pi
  • Sarah Sands, Editor, The Today programme

Useful links

Visit the Lucy Cavendish College website

Visit Lucy Cavendish College’s Students’ Union website

Founded: 1347
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Pembroke is one of the University’s larger Colleges, known for its high academic performance and music, drama and sports societies. It has its own performing space where it hosts stand-up comedy nights and Pembroke Players put on productions around Cambridge and beyond. Pembroke also boasts extensive gardens and a chapel designed by Christopher Wren.

People associated with Pembroke College include:

  • Chris Smith, Baron of Finsbury, politician
  • John Sulston, biologist
  • Naomie Harris, actress

Useful links

Visit the Pembroke College website

Visit the Pembroke College’s Middle Combination Room website

Founded: 1448
Members: Undergraduate and graduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Queens’ is known for music and drama and is one of the University’s oldest and largest Colleges. It is an academic and lively College with good facilities, including Fitzpatrick Hall which hosts plays, conferences and club nights. It has extensive gardens and is located on both sides of the River Cam, separated by the famous Mathematical Bridge.

People associated with Queens’ College include:

  • Emily Maitlis, journalist and newsreader
  • Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain
  • Stephen Fry, actor, author and comedian

Note: Queens’ College accepts applications from Executive MBA participants every other year.

Useful links

Visit the Queens’ College website

Visit Queens’ College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1596
Members: Graduate and undergraduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA only

Based in the heart of historic Cambridge, Sidney Sussex has a dynamic and diverse academic community, through which it pursues its commitment to excellence in both teaching and research. The College’s graduate community organises a range of formal and informal events throughout the academic year, and provides members with opportunities to expand their network within the wider University.

People associated with the College include:

  • Charles Thomson Rees Wilson, Nobel Prize-winning physicist
  • Sir Gordon Newton, editor of the Financial Times
  • Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth

Useful links

Visit the Sidney Sussex College website

Visit Sidney Sussex College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1473
Members: Graduate and undergraduate
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA

One of the University’s smaller Colleges, St. Catharine’s is situated in central Cambridge, a five minute walk from Cambridge Judge Business School. Its graduate community welcomes between 80-90 new graduates each year, representing different countries and academic disciplines. This gives the College a stimulating international flavour, and a reputation as a relaxed community of both graduates and undergraduates.

People associated with the College include:

  • Sir Ian McKellen, actor
  • David Harding, businessman
  • Tunkul Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, first Prime Minister of Malaysia

Useful links

Visit the St Catharine’s College website

Visit St Catharine’s College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1896
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 only)
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA

St Edmund’s is known for its diversity and egalitarianism. It has a close-knit environment being one of the University’s smaller Colleges and is less formal than some of the more traditional Colleges. It encourages a cordial and relaxed atmosphere and two-thirds of the students are from around 70 countries. It also has a strong sporting and recreational reputation.

People associated with St Edmund’s College include:

  • Mary McAleese, politician
  • Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
  • Sir Martin Evans, biologist

Useful links

Visit the St Edmund’s College website

Visit St Edmund’s College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Founded: 1965
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 only)
Accepts: Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA

Wolfson is known as a contemporary, egalitarian and cosmopolitan College. It has a diverse range of College societies due to their international student population (over 80 nationalities represented) and a lively and social scene. Wolfson was the first College to admit men and women as students and fellows on an equal basis and all facilities are shared between staff and students.

People associated with Wolfson College include:

  • Zhang Xin, businesswoman and entrepreneur
  • Susan Kiefel, Justice of the High Court of Australia
  • Song Sang-Hyun, lawyer, former President of the International Criminal Court

Useful links

Visit the Wolfson College website

Visit Wolfson College’s Middle Combination Room (MCR) website