King's 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.

You could call King’s the postcard college: our chapel universally symbolises Cambridge, the architecture is mesmerising and we have huge luscious lawns both sides of the river Cam. King’s College was founded in 1441 by Henry VI and pretty much defines the center of Cambridge, it is close to the market, high streets, nightclubs and shopping center. King’s is medium sized in terms of undergraduate population with around 150 in each year. Historically it has been Cambridge’s most forward thinking college thanks to its strong student participation in its Student Union. View on map

#college image# Credit: Cambridge University

Key facts

  • Gym
    Two gyms! One for free weights only & the other cardio equipment
  • Music Practice Rooms
    2
  • Prayer spaces
    The chapel, and bookable seminar/ supervision rooms.
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetariany: At least one vegetarian option per meal Vegan: At least one vegetarian option per meal
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Allergies are listed next to all meals - the cafeteria does not yet offer halal or kosher foods
  • Theatre space
    Chetwynd Room is often used for theatre practice
  • Undergraduates / Year
    around 120

What is your favourite thing about King's?

Nina, King's, Geography, 1st year
Nina
Geography, 1st year

It’s hard to say, location, community post-formal ents are all at the top of the list, but if I had to choose one thing it would probably be the great balance between social life and studying. King’s doesn’t have a JCR and there are no exclusive places for the undergraduates to hang out and although this has its disadvantages I think they are outweighed by the fact that you get to meet people from different years and subjects with great ease. Conversely, if you need to bunk down and study or just want some time to yourself there are great spaces such as the Chapel, library and art room where you can enter undisturbed and enjoy some time alone.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Nina, King's, Geography, 1st year
Nina
Geography, 1st year
Atmosphere

When I first walked into King’s I couldn’t believe I was actually going to be spending the next 3 years in such a beautiful place. Needless to say it was all very overwhelming, but I quickly realised that as impressive as the 500 year old chapel is, it is the student community at King’s that makes it such an incredible college. There is an active and engaged student community at King’s that knows how to throw together a night full of dancing and celebration as quickly as they can a campaign or student-led forum. Essentially there is something for everyone here, regardless of what you are interested in. Remarkably, despite all of this the atmosphere in college is really laid back and communal. We don’t have a JCR, but our common spaces such as the bar and the cafe ensure you get to meet people from other subjects and years.

What is the accommodation like?

Fraser, King's, Engineering, 1st year
Fraser
Engineering, 1st year

In first year, freshers have the choice of two accommodations: The Keynes Building which is very modern with ensuite bathrooms and some basic cooking facilities. It is located within the main site, close to the Hall (canteen), college bar and library. Spalding Hostel is located outside of the main site, it is under 200m from the front gate and conveniently close to the market and college gym (vault). It has full cooking facilities (oven, grill, hobs), an abundance of shared showers and bathrooms and its own common room. In subsequent years, you ballot for rooms in a random order which is then reversed the following year. Some are located in college, overlooking courtyards, King’s Parade, or the river; some are located by King’s Fellow’s Garden between the University Library and King’s College; and some are located right by the Market Square. All rooms are divided into 6 different rent bands (prices) and can be rented on either a short (29 weeks) or long contract (35 weeks).

How good is the food?

Nina, King's, Geography, 1st year
Nina
Geography, 1st year

The food at King’s is quite good. Breakfast ranges from everything from a full English to yogurt and fruit so even with allergies or dietary requirements there is definitely something available for all. For lunch there are four options of meals with a vegetarian and/or vegan meal always included and for dinner there is an option of three meals with at least one vegetarian or vegan dish. Allergy information is always listed and we are sent a preview of the meal in advance each week. On the weekends there is brunch available from 11am-1pm (a favourite of many students) and it is generally a great time to catch up with friends over some delicious waffles, pancakes, hashbrowns or whatever else you fancy. Formals once a week are a big deal at King’s, particularly because the food is absolutely delicious (talking michelin star quality)! Additionally, students are free to join the catering committee to discuss potential changes to the menu if they so desire.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Fraser, King's, Engineering, 1st year
Fraser
Engineering, 1st year
Entertainment & Extra-curricular

There is an unending list of things to get involved with at King’s, the following is only a short list of what is available:

What welfare support is there?

Fraser, King's, Engineering, 1st year
Fraser
Engineering, 1st year

The first point of call for welfare support are the Student Union welfare officers, these veterans of Cambridge life can lend support and comfort whenever it is needed and are always available to chat and offer advice. They also arrange events and activities where students can go and let off a little bit of steam (a personal favourite was the gingerbread house building that took place before the holidays). The Chaplain is also a pillar of welfare, having frequent tea and cake sessions which you can drop by to with any worries or appetite. Your personal tutor is a great point of contact and is available for general support, be it financial, emotional or concerning health, they are there to support you and point you in the right direction.

What about your College would you change?

Fraser, King's, Engineering, 1st year
Fraser
Engineering, 1st year

I would have a replica King’s college built that could serve as the tourist attraction to divert them all away from our front gate. I would also have the punt tour guides replaced with scarecrows.

What has been going on at King's College?

- Recent Events -

JS Bach St John Passion (21 & 22 march 2016)

Stephen Cleobury conducts the Choir of King's College, Academy of Ancient Music and soloists including Roderick Williams and Iestyn Davies.

Choral Concert Haydn Paukenmesse (5 July 2016)

Choral Concert Haydn Paukenmesse: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment: Stephen Cleobury conductor.

Singing on the River

Singing on the River (26 June 2016): A quintessential Cambridge summer evening with close harmony singing, while the choir are sat or stood in punts (boats)! Many audience members bring picnics.

College Gallery

Do you have a question?
Ask a student!

Don't forget to check our FAQ section first!

* Indicates required field

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