Queens' 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.

Queens’ College is one of the oldest and largest colleges in Cambridge, being founded in 1448. Based in central Cambridge, the college spans both sides of the River Cam. It has one of the largest undergraduate intakes out of all the colleges, and has a reputation for having a really friendly and down to earth atmosphere.

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Queens' College

Key facts

  • Distance to Sports Pitch
    A mile away and has pitches for football, rugby, cricket and hockey and three hard courts for tennis and netball
  • Gym
    Yes, at a fee of £25 a year
  • Music Practice Rooms
  • Prayer spaces
    The chapel
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Vegetarian: Always available Vegan: Vegan food is always available, and for an enhanced meal you can inform food service supervisor or Chef the day before
  • Special Diets Main Meal
    Other: Lactose free, Gluten free, Fructose free are available by informing the chef the day before. Halal food is available by booking 2 days in advance, and Kosher food is available by booking 5 days in advance.
  • Theatre space
    Yes, the Fitzpatrick Hall

What is your favourite thing about Queens'?

Alicia, Queens, Modern and Medieval Languages, 1st year
Modern and Medieval Languages, 1st year

Aside from its handy location, which makes a surprising amount of difference when you’re here, Queens’ has a really healthy balance between work and play. If you’re at Cambridge, you don’t have to be a genius, and you don’t have to be working 24/7 - what everyone here shares is an infectious enthusiasm for their course. And while we’re all very fun-loving and known as ‘the party college’, there isn’t any pressure to drink or go out every night. At Queens’, you’re free to enjoy uni just how you want, and you’ll make lifelong friends and memories along the way.

Describe your College’s atmosphere

Alicia, Queens, Modern and Medieval Languages, 1st year
Modern and Medieval Languages, 1st year

The thing that struck me when I first came to Queens’ is just how laid-back and welcoming everyone is here. When you arrive in Freshers’ Week, you’ll be given college “parents”, two second-year students who will help you and about four other freshers, your “siblings”, find your way around. You’ll do lots of things together as a college family in the first few days, like punting, afternoon tea and a tour of Cambridge full of useful tips, and having some friendly faces there right from the start makes it so much more enjoyable.

You have the freedom and support to pursue any of your interests, no matter how quirky, and I’ve met some fascinating people. It may be one of the oldest colleges, but Queens’ is far from stuffy or traditional.

What is the accommodation like?

Ralph, Queens, Natural Sciences, 1st year
Natural Sciences, 1st year

A major plus to Queens’ is that you are guaranteed good accommodation on college site for all three years if you want it! The vast majority of freshers chose to all live in Cripps court with a choice between en suite or your own bathroom but across the hall (cheaper). This large building means you can ‘gyp-hop’ walking through connecting kitchens and visit anyone in your year without leaving the building! Whilst Cripps rooms are not the biggest compared to some in other colleges this is more than made up for the huge social benefits and proximity to buttery the first year accommodation brings.

Rooms for second and third year are based on a random ballot. Most second years chose to go for a ‘shared set’ in second year which are all in one building. This means that the strong social aspect to Queens’ accommodation continues into second year! The third year rooms are not all in one building, rather a few building across the river are designated for third years. Note that these are some of the best in college, in your third year you could find yourself with a shared living room!

How good is the food?

Hayden, Queens, Human, Social and Political Sciences, 2nd year
Social and Political Sciences, 2nd year

Queens’ offers facilities for students to be self-catered or catered as they choose. In all three years small kitchens are located on each landing with basic cooking facilities; including a hob, microwave, toaster and fridges, although admittedly there are no ovens or freezers which can make cooking larger meals difficult. Nonetheless the college dining hall (often referred to as buttery), provides breakfast, lunch and dinner and is generally high quality. The price of an evening meal currently averages at around £3.50, and the famous Queens’ brunch on the weekend is a particular highlight, with 8 items for just £2.50, everyone loves brunch! Formal hall is a special addition to college dining, this is a served, three-course meal which students attend to celebrate events such as birthdays, and currently costs £9. It’s also pretty exciting as you get to wear your gown and feel as though you’re in Harry Potter. In all aspects of catering the college is attentive to dietary requirements, and provides options for vegetarians and kosher/halal etc.

What about entertainment and extra-curricular activities?

Abbie, Queens, Law, 2nd year
Law, 2nd year

‘Bops’ are one of Queens’ entertainment highlights: most easily explained as a whole college party, each bop has a theme, ranging from ‘back to school’ to ‘star-wars’, and are a great night for socialising with everyone in college. Other forms of entertainment include formals, bar-quiz nights and televised sports events in the bar. Most popular sports and clubs are organised on an inter-college basis so there is at least one competitive team at Queens’ for rugby, football, rowing, netball, hockey, lacrosse, tennis etc. Sport is also played at a more informal, less competitive level, where everyone enjoys participating. Queens’ also have their own squash courts available for use at any time. In addition, Queens' has a number of its own subject societies (e.g. History, Law, Medicine and Engineering) which hold speaker meetings and arrange dinners and other social events.

What welfare support is there?

Hayden, Queens, Human, Social and Political Sciences, 2nd year
Social and Political Sciences, 2nd year

Queens’ has an excellent welfare system. This system is divided into two, the JCR welfare team and the College welfare staff. The JCR is an elected student body with positions to represent many different types of students, and provide tailored support to meet their needs. Positions include Women’s Welfare, Men’s Welfare, LGBT+ Welfare, International Welfare and BME Welfare. Each officer has weekly drop-in hours when students can go confidentially to talk through their worries, and can then be passed onto relevant people in college if need be. There are six members of college staff that students can talk to for both academic and pastoral support, including a separate Arts and Science Academic Tutor, a Nurse and a Chaplain. All this support means that Queens’ students need not suffer in silence with any troubles, however big or small, they may face whilst studying.

What about your College would you change?

Queens’ major selling point continues to be its community, student support and facilities with few areas to improve upon. With Queens’ formal hall known to be good there are sometimes friday formals that aren’t available to students as they have been stolen by another event

What has been going on at Queens' College?

- Recent Events -

Harry Potter Formal On 22nd February

Queens’ Buttery was transformed into Hogwarts’ Great Hall for a Harry Potter formal dinner, with candles hanging from the ceiling, owls and chocolate frogs galore

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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