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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

FAQs for offer holders

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    Below are answers to frequently asked questions about Murray Edwards College from offer holders. We will update this page when more information is available so please check back regularly.

    Further advice for offer holders and prospective students can be found on the University website.


    When will preparatory materials be sent to offer holders?
    All offer holders will have received an email in July with additional information regarding preparatory materials. Many departments and faculties have worked together with the Colleges to prepare lists of resources for offer holders, and the recent email included a link to a list if one is currently available for your course. You must always use this link to access the list; the list may be updated over the summer but the link will stay the same. The system that hosts the lists (Leganto) works best when accessed using Firefox or Chrome browsers.

    Links to lists for other courses will be sent to you as they become available. Offer holders for Natural Sciences and Engineering should start to use the freely available Isaac resources now, and further instructions about STEMstart material will be sent to you after your place is confirmed.

    What academic support will be in place for Freshers?
    Each student is allocated a Director of Studies (DoS) in their subject. Your Director of Studies oversees admissions in your subject and had a role in selecting you for the College. They remain the primary point of contact with your faculty or department, and their role is to guide you through your academic career at Cambridge. As such, they will:

    • advise you on the specifics of your course requirements 
    • find you appropriate supervisors and help set up your supervisions 
    • advise you on exam entry and regulations
    • offer guidance on subject specific study skills, including how to prepare for supervisions, coursework or essay writing, work load and exam preparation 
    • offer advice and guidance if you have any subject-specific academic concerns
    • discuss your academic performance and progress

    The College also runs the Gateway Programme, which helps students to make the most of the academic and career opportunities available to them through workshops and funding.

    Is all teaching going to be online?
    Cambridge teaching takes place through a mixture of small-group teaching, supervisions (one to three students studying with one academic), practical classes (e.g lab work) and lectures (large numbers of students with one academic). Lectures are an important part of learning, but they are only one part of it. The need to maintain social distancing means the University will replace large group face-to-face lectures with online lectures for the 2020-21 academic year. Small group teaching is what makes Cambridge particularly special, and we expect the small-group teaching and supervisions to continue in person, taking into account social distancing guidelines at the time.

    What is CamGuides?
    CamGuides is a set of resources for students beginning undergraduate or taught Master's degrees at Cambridge.

    CamGuides is designed to help students prepare for their studies in Cambridge, regardless of their subject or College. 

    Find out more about CamGuides.



    PLEASE NOTE: more information about accommodation will be available from mid-August.

    Can I stay in College over the Christmas and Easter vacation period?
    You can stay in College over vacations but most likely not in your term time bedroom and you will be charged a daily vacation charge.

    Where do First Years live?
    Traditionally, First Years live in Pearl House. Find out more about College accommodation.

    What is First Year accommodation like?
    All bedrooms in Pearl House are en-suite, and are modern with plenty of lockable storage space. All bedrooms contain a single bed, bedside table, desk, desk chair, easy chair, bookshelves and a fitted wardrobe. All students have access to kitchens.   

    Under current guidance we are planning two households on each floor of Pearl House: one household of eight students using the existing kitchen and one of seven students using a purpose-built kitchen. The bedrooms in Pearl House are offered in two sizes: either 16.5m² or 18.5m², both of which include a 3m² en-suite bathroom with shower. To find out more about accommodation in Pearl House, take a look at our virtual tour.

    In these unprecedented times, you may have to be given a room with shared bathroom facilities. If this is the case, no more than three people will share one toilet or shower.

    Are there any restrictions on what I can bring with me to College?
    You must not bring a mattress or furniture with you. You may bring your own mattress protector, pillow and bed linen but please inform the Accommodation Office in advance. You should also bring whatever basic utensils you need for cooking as well as your personal crockery and cutlery, and reusable plastic containers for food storage and take away meals from the Dome. You must inform us in advance if you wish to have a small fridge in your room (max. capacity 50 litres). Some fridges are available for purchase from the College; please contact the Accommodation Office for further information.

    How will social distancing work in College accommodation?
    Students will be in household groups of eight. Households are a set of rooms that share common facilities such as a kitchen or a bathroom. Much like at home if a member of your household becomes ill, you may be required to isolate as a household for 14 days. Around College, systems are in place to allow for distancing while you move about and when queuing at the Porters' Lodge or for food. Social distancing is also a personal responsibility requiring you to be conscious of people around you.

    How can I clean my room?
    Providing access to a vacuum cleaner will be a new provision for this academic year (bags will be provided). We also expect you to maintain your own bathroom; suitable cleaning products will be provided.

    What are the kitchens like?
    Kitchens are equipped with an oven, hobs, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle and a toaster. 


    What happens if I don’t meet the conditions of my offer? 
    Please visit the University website for more information.

    College life

    Will students be able to self-isolate in College if they have symptoms of COVID-19?
    Yes. More information can be found on our COVID-19 FAQs page.


    Will catering be provided in the Dome?
    The Dome will offer a take-away service with the same level of hot food provision and products but with a reduced salad bar offering.


    What mental health support is available at College?
    All undergraduate students are supported by a College Tutor and a Director of Studies. The provision of separate tutors for pastoral and academic matters is a key part of the educational provision in all Cambridge Colleges. The Senior Tutor has overall responsibility for Tutors and Directors of Studies, and for academic matters within the College. All students are allocated a College Tutor who provides pastoral support and guidance to students throughout their time in the College. Your Tutor is the first port of call for any help or advice you need with personal problems, such as settling in to College, accommodation problems, financial worries, health or disability-related issues, and concerns over anxiety, depression or other mental health problems. Tutors are not trained counsellors, but they know how the College and University work, and will be able to point you to appropriate sources of help and support if they are unable to provide it themselves. 

    What procedures are in place to support students who experience sexual harassment/assault during their time at University?
    The College is committed to fostering a culture of dignity, respect and fairness for all. We have a zero-tolerance policy on bullying and harassment. Details of our harassment policy are here. The College has a Discrimination and Harassment Contact whose role is to hear any concerns about discrimination, harassment or sexual misconduct, and point you towards appropriate sources of support or intervention, including advising on reporting processes. 

    What does the College do to provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for BAME students?
    The College is focused on creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. You can find out more about how we're doing that here.