Everything you are about to read has been written by current and recently graduated students at the University of Cambridge, to give you honest information about what it’s like to be a student at Cambridge.

What's life at Cambridge really like?

We know it isn’t easy choosing which university to go to and applying to Cambridge can feel like a big decision to make! As we’ve experienced this ourselves, we’d like to try answer any questions you might have and help you make informed decisions. From web pages on Colleges (where we live) to courses, social life to academic support, the CUSU Alternative Prospectus is the student insight to Cambridge: we’re not trying to ‘sell’ it to you – rather tell you our experience so you can decide for yourself.

Unfortunately, Cambridge is surrounded by many myths and stereotypes that prevent people from thinking that it’s worth applying. Hopefully, the student profiles and experiences on this website prove that Cambridge is actually made up of people from all sorts of backgrounds – this university is for everyone, no matter where you've come from, what your parents do for a living, or the type of school you went to. We promise it’s not all work, work, work, either – that myth is very wrong too!

Check out the Courses section for profiles on each undergraduate course, advice on choosing your course and info on academic life. The Colleges section tells you about where students live, with info on what a College actually is and profiles of each one. The town and university as a place to live is described in the Cambridge section. The Student Life and Applying sections are coming soon! You can ask questions to current students through each Course and College page and via our Ask a Student page, where you can find the answers to other questions that have been asked too.

Why Cambridge - Students enjoying themselves
What are the students like?
Studying at Cambridge
How much time is spent studying?
What's Cambridge like to live in?
What's Cambridge like to live in?

Helena Blair
Helena Blair
CUSU Access & Funding Officer 2015-16

Hi! Welcome to the CUSU Alternative Prospectus. I’m Helena, CUSU Access & Funding Officer 2015-16 and a recent graduate from Homerton College, Cambridge. No one from my school had ever applied to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge before – no one ever even talked about them – so for ages I presumed they weren’t an option and that they must not want ‘people like us’. I was lucky enough to discover differently rather last-minute and applied! Having turned up on the first day terrified they’d chuck me out once they realised I wasn’t a ‘Cambridge level of clever’ (whatever that is), to leaving three years on having had the time of my life, discovered limitless opportunities for learning (and fun) and made amazing friends, I find it awful that people will miss out on this place through thinking Cambridge doesn’t want people like them or that the application process is too daunting – so many students at Cambridge don’t want this to happen either, so that’s why we’ve created this Alternative Prospectus. Whatever questions you’re looking for answers to, I hope that we’re able to help and you have great fun exploring this website!


#CambTweet is CUSU’s Twitter-based project that helps you find out about student life at Cambridge. There’s one student volunteer per (nearly every) subject, and they’re tweeting daily about everything from what they’re studying to hanging out with friends. Search #CambTweet or @cambtweetcusu on Twitter to find them.