Life as a Master of Finance student in Cambridge

Life at Cambridge.

Studying your Master of Finance degree at Cambridge Judge Business School, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful, exciting and dynamic city.

The 31 Cambridge Colleges are an important part of the rich history and traditions of Cambridge, and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Cambridge in brief

  • Near London
    Under an hour by train with direct links to King’s Cross and Liverpool Street stations.
  • Close to international airports
    Thirty minutes from London Stansted and 90 minutes from London Heathrow.
  • A heritage in finance
    The University of Cambridge has a strong heritage in finance and its parent disciplines.
  • Financial networks
    With investment banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and consultancies. Cambridge provides many networking opportunities.
  • Thriving Cambridge social life
    Many restaurants, music venues, cinemas, galleries, and museums.
  • Many sporting activities
    On offer are activities such as rowing and other team sports, swimming, private gyms and golf courses, as well as punting along the river Cam.

College life

As a Cambridge Master of Finance (MFin) student, you will automatically become a member of one of the Colleges. Many (but not all) Master of Finance students live in College, and you will usually spend some time eating and socialising there.

Most Colleges have their own library, chapel, dining hall and bar, and there is always a great range of sporting and cultural clubs and societies for you to enjoy.

Clubs and societies, social events, and sports teams are at the very heart of the college experience. In addition, many Colleges have their own excellent sports grounds and facilities, which as a member, you are entitled to use.

Each College has its own internal governance and procedures. They select their own students, subject to University regulations, and most admit both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

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 choosing a College

View College key facts and figures

It is the responsibility of the MFin Admissions team to apply and secure a College place for you once you have accepted an offer to join the programme. You need not take action on this yourself.

Help us put you forward for the most appropriate College by letting us know (when you accept your offer) if you:

  • have any special needs (such as a disability)
  • are intending to bring your family with you
  • have an affiliation with or strong preference for a particular College.

We advise early application as Colleges are autonomous institutions and can take some time to reach a decision on whether or not to offer you membership, and 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, so it can, in some circumstances, 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 MFin will receive membership of a College. However, applicants who receive their offer after March will find the choice of Colleges are more limited.

Many of the older Colleges are oversubscribed and have limited spaces. They will normally fill up their places before the end of March.

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 the MFin Admissions Office at Cambridge Judge Business School.

I think the College experience adds a lot to the Cambridge experience. I think it means that you’re given an opportunity to mix with people from other faculties, other backgrounds, as opposed to the Business School, which is a little bit more obviously focused in one particular area. So that diversity is a definite advantage. It also gives the opportunity to get involved in sports and clubs and societies that you may not otherwise be able to.

So I’ve taken up rowing, which is new for me. And I think a lot of people use the College as an opportunity to get involved in that sort of thing and perhaps things they haven’t done in the past. And it’s also just another network within Cambridge and the ability to sort of integrate with Cambridge itself a little bit better and get a feel for as far as what goes on outside the Business School.

College is basically a place where you eat, you live, and you socialise. And through my College activities, I’ve come to know people from all walks of life as well as different faculties at Cambridge. In my residential flat itself, I’ve met people who are doing their PhD in music, the undergrads in law, and even science researchers.

So in College, we have a lot of activities together. And one of those I really enjoy include the formal nights. So basically, it’s a night we immerse ourselves into the old traditions of Cambridge where we cite degrees in Latin before for our fine-dining dinner.

I think the beauty of the College experience is that you get to mix with people from all walks of life, not necessarily from a financial background. So in choosing a Business School, I thought that it was really important to interact with people also at the other parts of the university. And the College is spread across all sorts of disciplines. So the diversity which the College experience brings is fantastic.

There are lots of sports clubs, societies you can get involved in on the side to meet a bunch of people. And for me, I think one of the best things has been the ability to meet people outside my area of study. So I’ve met PhD students studying archaeology, PhD students studying experimental psychology.

So you meet a wide array of really, really interesting people. I’m not sure if there are other Schools out there that give you that same opportunity. And there are no shortage of settings where you can get to know all these people. So those are definitely the highlights for me of Cambridge.

Accommodation options

  • The majority of single MFin students are housed in College accommodation.
  • Different facilities in different Colleges (e.g. some may offer more modern facilities including en-suite bathrooms whilst others may not).
  • College accommodation is not always within the College site, and many students are housed in College owned houses in residential streets around Cambridge.
  • Demand for college accommodation can often outstrip supply, particularly for students who will be bringing their partners or families.
  • Students who apply late in the admissions cycle may also find that College accommodation is no longer available.

If the Colleges are unable to provide accommodation, or if you would prefer to rent your own flat or house, the University Accommodation Service can assist with the search for suitable private accommodation.

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

Clubs and societies

Clubs and socieites play an important part of life outside the classroom. There are over 400 registered clubs and socities at the University of Cambridge. Those of particular interest to MFin students include:


The University of Cambridge has over 70 different sports clubs and societies that MFin students can join. Most clubs cater for a wide range of abilities and over 30 welcome complete beginners.

Each year MFin students take part in MBAT – the annual MBA tournament which brings together students from 15 top business schools around the world. Student’s take part in a variety of sporting events, cultural activities, networking events and celebrations.

Isabelle Hupez, Sports Co-chair of the Cambridge Business School Club (MFin 2021), reflects on the annual MBA Tournament (MBAT) that brings together students from more than 15 top business schools around the worl, in which CJBS students took part.

Take a virtual tour

College life

View of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge.

King’s Parade

View of King’s Parade, Cambridge.

The Backs

View of the Backs, Cambridge.

I chose CJBS because of the rankings, academic excellence, and broad network it offers. Little did I know that by studying in Cambridge I would be immersed in a unique place full of traditions, history and knowledge. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience worth living.

Sharon Schlam – MFin 2021