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Colleges

Pembroke College

When you become an Executive MBA participant at the University of Cambridge, you will also become a member of one of the University's 31 Colleges. The EMBA programme has an association with a number of these colleges and the colleges available for membership vary year-to-year. 

You can be as active in college life as you would 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. 

How do I apply for a college?

Once accepted on the EMBA programme, the admissions manager will send you a list of the colleges accepting EMBA students for that year. After revising the list and researching the colleges, you submit your top three choices to the admissions manager.  The admissions manager will then apply to these colleges on your behalf. Each college has its own entrance requirements and membership is at their discretion. College membership is guaranteed to all students of the University of Cambridge. 

Once you join a college, you will become a lifetime member. Your degree will have the title of your degree (MBA) together with the name of your college. 

Choosing a college

Each college has its unique history and idiosyncrasies so it is important to research which college you believe will be your best fit. How do you choose? Here are some factors to consider:

Accommodation

It is expected that EMBA participants stay in commercial, non-collegiate accommodation during their studies in Cambridge. Some Colleges have guest rooms available to part-time students but availability of these are usually extremely limited and are often only available out of term.

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. 

Location and age

Some colleges are closer than others to the School, but Cambridge is a compact city and no college that accepts EMBA participants is more than two miles away. The location of the college is often a good indicator as to how old it is; older college are usually closer to the town centre. However, do not make your decision based on how old a college is. Each college provides high quality facilities and has its own culture, so it is best to choose a college based on fit rather than age and location. 

Please note that colleges do not always have accommodation available for the EMBA weekends, so the programme recommends that you book your own accommodation in advance so that you can stay in a hotel or B&B if your college is not available. 

Reputation

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 you 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 the colleges that are 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. 

Clare College

Founded: 1326
Members: Undergraduate and graduate

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 College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Clare Hall

Founded: 1966
Members: Graduate

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 College website

Visit College's social events and clubs webpages

Downing College

Founded: 1800
Members: Undergraduate and graduate

With neo-classical architecture and the largest court in Cambridge, Downing is known for being one of the politically active colleges and has a reputation for medicine and law. 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 College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Emmanuel College

Founded: 1584
Members: Undergraduate and graduate

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 College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Hughes Hall

Founded: 1885
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 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 the College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Pembroke College

Founded: 1347
Members: Undergraduate and graduate

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 Emmanuel College include:

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

Visit the College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room website

St Edmund's College

Founded: 1896
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 only)

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 College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

Wolfson College

Founded: 1965
Members: Undergraduate and graduate (students over 21 only)

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 College website

Visit the College's Middle Combination Room (MCR) website

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

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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, USA, EMBA 2009