Corpus Christi College

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.

Corpus is a small and beautiful college, right in the centre of Cambridge. It has one of the smallest numbers of undergraduate students of any college, making the community here friendly, relaxed and welcoming; I was able to get to know just about everyone in my year within a few weeks of arriving! Despite our size, we have excellent facilities, including sports pitches, a gym, tennis courts, a bar and common room, theatre, 24/7 library, dining hall and accommodation for all undergrad students. It has some beautiful buildings, including Old Court, the oldest court in Oxford or Cambridge, yet we’re also a modern, progressive and diverse community: the best of both worlds!

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Corpus Christie College

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    10 minute walk, 5 minute cycle
  • Gym
    Yes (free)
  • Music Practice Rooms
    1 - also piano in chapel and music students get pianos in their rooms.
  • Prayer spaces
    Chapel, open to students of all faiths and none
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: Lunch and dinner Vegan: Available at Formal Hall, but not regularly otherwise
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Student fridges in rooms if required. Kitchen facilities for those with dietary requirements not fulfilled in Hall.
  • Theatre space
    Yes, two: McCrum Theatre and Corpus Playroom (managed by ADC)
  • Undergraduates / Year
    90

What is your favourite thing about Corpus?

Molly, Corpus Christi, English, 1st year
Molly
English, 1st year

As a fresher, I can testify to the wonderfulness of Corpus's size - it creates an extremely friendly, tight-knit environment in which no-one gets overlooked. This means not only will you make a diverse set of friends from all years and subjects, but you'll be well looked after by both the staff and the proactive student Welfare team, who will get to know you really quickly. It also means we can have loads of intimate, college-wide get togethers, such as dinners at the Master's lodge, or JCR film nights, as well as the usual college 'slacks' (aka, parties).

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Christopher, Corpus Christi, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Christopher
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

When I arrived in Corpus, the first thing I noticed was how beautiful the courts and buildings were: small but perfectly formed. Despite these old buildings, the community in Corpus today is made up of a modern, progressive and diverse group of students who have made my time in Corpus amazing! We’re also a lively and engaged college, with dozens of sports teams and societies run by the students here, and an enthusiastic JCR (like a students’ council for the college) who run events throughout the year.

Because college is so small, students, staff and fellows are all close, and there are free dinners and other events throughout the year for everyone in Corpus to get to know each other better, particularly those studying and teaching your subject.

What is the accommodation like?

Christopher, Corpus Christi, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Christopher
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

Accommodation is Corpus is really good, and living so close to the main college facilities like Hall, the library, the bar and common room is really handy. Buildings vary from very modern and recently renovated to traditional and historic.

First years are grouped together, either on the main college site or on the streets just either side of it, meaning they live not more than two minute walks from college. Second and third years get to choose where they want to live through an online ballot system, with an order decided by names drawn from a hat (the order in second year is reversed for third year).

Third years pick their rooms first, normally choosing to live on the main college site in New Court or Old Court (some of the oldest university accommodation in the world!) while second years normally choose to live in buildings slightly further from the main site, but still only eight minutes walk away.

How good is the food?

Molly, Corpus Christi, English, 1st year
Molly
English, 1st year

Catered food in Corpus is generally regarded as really good - with Saturday 'brunch' being a particular college favourite. The regular menu manages to be pretty diverse, with four main courses on offer at lunch, and three at dinner - plus various soups, sides and salads. This includes at least one veggie option, and pescatarians normally have a seafood/fish option at lunch too. Other dietary requirements are catered for at Formal Hall (optional twice-weekly, three-course dinners which happen in addition to normal meals), but are not guaranteed normally.

That said, College do try to be accommodating; for example, they have provided students with certain dietary needs with fridge-freezers in their rooms - it's worth asking! Self-catering provision is variable. All students have close access to fridges, microwaves and kettles, though only some accommodation blocks have ovens and hobs. If you really need a full kitchen, college can normally find you a room near one.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Molly, Corpus Christi, English, 1st year
Molly
English, 1st year

There is lots on entertainment-wise. 'Slacks' (themed, college discos which take place in the bar) are A) free, and B) lots of fun. These happen thrice-termly, but you'll find plenty of music, film, games and discussion evenings taking place as well. The JCR Welfare team in particular are known for their regular food-based events.

Corpus has lots of diverse and well-funded societies, from 'Robosoc' to the weekly Pub Quiz. We have a resident drama society, the Fletcher Players, which funds lots of student productions. For a small college, Corpus punches above its weight in regards to sports. Lacrosse, netball, rugby, rowing, tennis, football, and frisbee are just a few on offer. Although usually quite successful, these teams really are open to all abilities - as is the annual 'Corpus Challenge', where we go head-to-head with Corpus Christi Oxford in various sports (and, FYI, we usually win).

What welfare support is there?

Christopher, Corpus Christi, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Christopher
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

Term time can be stressful, and so there are three elected student welfare officers who run weekly activities to try and give you time to relax. This includes stuff like crafting, yoga and our infamous ‘ParTeas’, which are always well stocked with chocolate, sweets, tea, fruit and lots of other free snacks (including an occasional chocolate fountain!). We also have elected LGBT+, Ethnic Minorities and Gender Equalities Officers who are available to chat about any concerns you may have.

Every student at Corpus also has a Tutor, a member of staff who looks after your personal welfare. We also have our own professional counsellor who is available for any student to talk to and the Dean of Chapel is always willing to meet for a chat, as well as organising trips out of Cambridge to ‘break out of the bubble’.

The college also has funds available for any student who is feeling financially strained, whether or not they qualify for support from elsewhere. This includes rent support, book grants, support with other living costs and more. Corpus is amazing for ensuring students don’t have to worry about money.

What about your College would you change?

Christopher, Corpus Christi, Natural Sciences, 3rd year
Christopher
Natural Sciences, 3rd year

Despite our food being amazing overall, we do offer a lot of potatoes at lunch! So I guess it would be nice to have a little more variety with our sides. Corpus is also small, and while I wouldn’t change that at all (it was one of the reasons I applied), it can mean that gossip can spread around quickly – just a consequence of getting to live with lots of your friends!

What has been going on at Corpus Christi College?

- Recent Events -

Talk by Theatre Producer

Corpus societies ‘The Fletcher Players’ and ‘Pelican Poets and Writers’ ran a talk and Q&A with theatre producer and ex-Fletcher Players President Julius Green. Readings and discussions of works of poetry, prose and drama were then performed.

LiberEAT Evening

At the end of term the three student liberations officers for Ethnic Minorities, Gender Equalities,

Freshers’ Play

Corpus Christi 1st year students put on their own comedy sketch show ‘Grade Expectations’ at the Cor

College Gallery

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Please note that as student volunteers we are unable to answer questions on admissions requirements - e.g. school/college qualifications needed to apply. You are best asking these questions to admissions@cam.ac.uk