The EMBA student experience

What to expect as a student here

Your experience at Cambridge Judge Business School can reach far beyond your EMBA programme. We are more than just another Business School. You will join one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions in the world and have access to the benefits that come from being a part of it. 

Your membership of one of the 31 Colleges of the University of Cambridge will place you within a stimulating, proactive community of students, academics and alumni from diverse disciplines and departments.  

Cambridge Judge has its own Special Interest Groups you can join, and each College has its own societies and clubs, there are also University-wide societies and networks all of which can enrich your experience as well as your friendship circle and network. 

You will have the opportunity to enjoy for yourself the rich traditions of Cambridge established over hundreds of years including the not-to-be missed Formal Halls and key social events such as the May Ball. 

This wealth of opportunities ensures that your time at the Business School will be transformative, fun and at the same time will help to drive your next steps and your future career success.

Executive MBA student chatting with peers.

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 (EMBA 2009), Corporate Compliance Officer Latin America, AstraZeneca

The College experience

Cambridge Judge Business School is one of the only business schools in the UK able to offer you the traditional College experience. On acceptance to your programme, you are guaranteed membership to one of the 31 Colleges of Cambridge University. Membership is for life enabling you to maintain your association with Cambridge long after graduating. 

Undergraduates typically live, eat and socialise at their College. For postgraduates, including Executive MBA participants, the College experience is different, grounded in the value of tradition, student welfare and plentiful extracurricular activities.  

Through your College, you will connect with ambitious and talented individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds and a wide range of academic disciplines, broadening your horizons and perspectives. As an EMBA student you will not be in Cambridge full-time, but your College is a place to network, socialise, revise and play sports. College rooms can be booked for meetings and events, and you will have the opportunity to organise your own Formal Hall dining experiences within your College.  

Many of our Cambridge EMBA and Global EMBA alumni claim that the College experience plays a significant role in their time at the Business School. The College experience can be as big or small a part of your Cambridge experience as suits you. 

The EMBA programmes have an association with several Colleges and those available for membership vary each year.

Students on the lawns in front of Kings College, Cambridge.

College facilities and events

Each College has its own facilities which can include libraries, sports facilities, bars and even theatres. Enjoy frequently held events that might include live bands, attending parties or ‘bops’ and enjoy the ever-popular formal hall dining experience where you’re invited to don a gown and enjoy a meal in one of the Colleges’ historic chambers. Most Colleges also have a May Ball every year or two.

Students walking into a Cambridge College.

Clubs and societies

Colleges have their own clubs and societies, from rowing to Wine and Cheese clubs, adding to those on offer at the wider University. Colleges also offer an MCR (or Middle Common Room); a postgraduate student body for College members to get involved with, with associated shared spaces postgrads can use.

Corpus Christi College archway.

Pastoral support and administration

As independent institutions Colleges arrange some formal processes such as inductions, matriculation (when you start the programme) and graduation. Colleges also offer pastoral and academic support, as well as financial assistance and advice.

Colleges currently accepting EMBA participants

The Colleges below currently accept EMBA participants.  

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

Please note that Downing College does not have any bookable accommodation.

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

Choosing the right College

Each College has its own rich history and identity, and maintains its own social, sports and activities calendar. As a participant on the EMBA programme you will be a fully-fledged College member and can make the most of these opportunities. 

Your chosen College will play an important role on two key days of your Cambridge experience: matriculation and graduation. The day you matriculate is the day you ‘come up’ to Cambridge – signing the College’s matriculation registration form and becoming an official member of the College, beginning your journey as a Cambridge student. As an EMBA student how much you interact with your College between matriculation and graduation is entirely up to you, it represents a very useful additional resource, to tap into during your time at Cambridge. 

Colleges admit students from across the University meaning a wide range of disciplines are represented at each College. This provide the opportunity to extend your network through College societies, at dinners and socials. 

If playing an active role in College life is a realistic, feasible and appealing to you (and it isn’t always for EMBA students, all of whom already build a rich and diverse network through Cambridge Judge Business School), our alumni recommend seizing the opportunity.

Graduate-only or mixed College? 

Most Colleges are mixed with both undergraduates and graduate students, there are also several graduate-only Colleges at Cambridge. Consider which type of College will suit you best, as a graduate you may prefer to be solely with other graduate students. 


Consider the ethos of the Colleges you intend to apply to join and whether they have 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. 

Your community

Our EMBA cohorts make for a diverse class of talented, energetic and creative team players. In 2021 we welcomed 128 students from 40 different countries and from across a wide array of industries. Class size facilitates a lively and fertile learning environment, while at the same time being small enough to enable fellow participants to get to know each other and faculty members very well. Hear from some of our students below.

View student profiles

The faculty at CJBS is made up of around 70 full-time members, covering a wide range of research areas. Many are leaders in their field and combine professional experience with academic rigour to provide exceptional academic programmes designed to stimulate, inspire and foster real-world impact.

View faculty

We collaborate with a wide range of partners from companies to business coaches and speakers. Partnerships are also crucial to our research, and we work with leading recruiters to help our students secure future career opportunities.

Formed and run by students of CJBS, Special Interest Groups – or SIGs – can be a very beneficial part of your experience. They offer a chance to network and share ideas around a particular area; current examples range from the Cambridge Business School Club (social), to Consulting, Finance and Communications (public speaking). Many SIGs arrange their own conferences and talks and offer opportunities to take on key leadership roles.

View SIGs

As well as the College clubs and Business School SIGs there are also more than 400 societies across the wider University. From sports clubs and arts groups to consulting networks and entrepreneurial societies there are plenty of opportunities to pursue interests, have fun and network. You can learn more at the yearly Freshers’ Fair, held at the start of the academic year.

View UoC societies

On graduation you’ll become a lifelong member of the CJBS global alumni community, a broad network of likeminded and influential individuals working across an array of industry sectors. There are over 400 alumni groups in 40 countries providing you with a supportive network that can help open new doors and explore opportunities.

Learn more about alumni

Beyond academics

At Cambridge Judge, you’ll find plenty of social events to get involved with. We’re the home of CBSC – a social club designed to connect our members with each other and the wider community. There are key social events in the calendar to enjoy as well such as the Cambridge Judge May Ball.

Cambridge life

Learn more about what it’s like to live and study in beautiful Cambridge.

Virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of the Business School and check out the facilities on offer.

Entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge

Discover the entrepreneurial spirit that lies at the heart of Cambridge Judge Business School.


As part of the University of Cambridge, we are an international community that has been at the forefront of new discoveries that have changed thinking over centuries. We believe inclusion encourages the innovation that makes change happen. Our faculty, students and staff are from all over the world, providing a global perspective to your interactions and learning. We strive for a better world through sustainable, equitable, diverse, and inclusive business practices that allow every individual to flourish.

Learn more