Colleges of Cambridge University

Our academic programmes in Cambridge take place in colleges of Cambridge University. Participants in our summer programmes gain insight into life as a student at Cambridge through the immersive experience of living and studying in a university college. Find a selection of the colleges below:


Sidney Sussex College

Sidney Sussex is located in the very heart of Cambridge. Founded in 1596 Sidney Sussex is a very well-kept secret – whether it is Elizabethan brickwork, charming Cloister Court, the haunting Chapel, exquisite Rococo Hall, medieval cellars or beautiful ancient gardens – they all lie behind a rather self-effacing wall of Roman cement. Sidney’s history is an even better-kept secret including the precise point at which Oliver Cromwell’s head is buried.


As one of the smaller Colleges, Sidney Sussex has a strong community spirit and is known for its warm and friendly welcome to visitors.


St Catharine’s College

St Catharine’s College was founded in 1473 by Robert Woodlark. He had spent nearly twenty years buying up tenements in what is now Queens’ Lane until he had a site large enough to accommodate the little hall which he called ‘Saynt Kateryns Hall of Cambridge’. Two years later, on 16 August 1475, the hall was incorporated, by charter of King Edward IV, as a college for a Master and three or more Fellows: “a perpetual college … forever to remain”.

The college is nicknamed “Catz”. The college is located in the historic city-centre of Cambridge, and lies just south of King’s College and across the street from Corpus Christi College. The college is notable for its open court (rather than closed quadrangle) that faces towards Trumpington Street.


Queens’ College

Queens’ College is one of the oldest and largest colleges of the university, founded in 1448 by Margaret of Anjou (the Queen of Henry VI, who founded King’s College), and has some of the most recognisable buildings in Cambridge. The college spans both sides of the river Cam, with the world famous Mathematical Bridge connecting the two sides.

The college is noted for producing a plethora of notable personalities, including heads of government and politicians from various countries, religious leaders, astronauts and Oscar nominees. Among its distinguished alumni include Erasmus, Stephen Fry, Abba Eban and T.H.White.


Gonville & Caius College

Gonville and Caius college was originally founded as Gonville Hall in 1348, before being refounded as Gonville and Caius in 1557. From then on the college continued to grow with new buildings added across the centuries so that it is now the fourth largest college in Cambridge. Women were admitted to the college from 1979. The main college buildings are located in the heart of the city though its buildings can be found on both sides of the river.


Jesus College

The college dates back to 1496 and started as one of the smallest and poorest colleges of the university. That changed in the late 19th century and it is now one of the largest colleges in Cambridge.

The college is located just a few minutes walk from the city centre and is very close to other parts of the Immerse campus, in particular Sidney Sussex and Christ’s Colleges.


Magdalene College

Magdalene college was founded in 1428 as a Benedictine hostel, before being refounded in 1542 as the College of St Mary Magdalene.

The college’s most famous alumnus is the 17th-century chronicler Samuel Pepys. His papers and books were donated to the college upon his death and are housed in the Pepys Library in the Pepys Building.

Magdalene is noted for its ‘traditional’ style: it boasts a well-regarded candlelit formal hall.


Christ’s College

Lady Margaret Beaufort is honoured as the foundress of this college owing to her decision to enlarge the existing college so that it might receive a royal charter from King Henry VII which it did in 1505, changing its name to Christ’s College. However, the college has been in existence since 1437 when William Byngham founded it as God’s House