Information for New Members

Darwin is the oldest and largest of Cambridge’s graduate colleges, with over 700 current members from 80 countries.  We were also the first college to admit both men and women as students and fellows.  Informal, inclusive and inter-disciplinary – our 2019/20 intake are 48% scientists and 52% arts and humanities graduates – Darwin is a wonderful place to further your studies.  Situated centrally, close to most University Departments and Faculties, our award-winning Study Centre and peaceful gardens overlook the River Cam. We also boast the finest college bar in Cambridge!

Dr Duncan Needham
Dean & Senior Tutor

Information for Michaelmas 2020


The Offer

An offer of a College place will be emailed out to all successful applicants, together with other information.  If you have any queries relating to your College offer please contact the Deanery Office as soon as possible:   Any query  relating specifically to your admission to the University must be made directly to the Graduate Admissions Office:

Acceptance slip: 

This lets us know that, circumstances permitting, you intend to take up your place, and should be returned as soon as possible.  If, at a later stage, you are unable to take up your place then please email to let us know:   Likewise, you will also need to withdraw via your self-service page or by emailing the Graduate Admissions Office directly:


Applications need to be made via the StarRez portal and a link to this can be found in your offer letter.  Please ensure you do this as soon as an offer is made.  The allocation of rooms will take place at the beginning of August and you will be notified by email. 

Room keys will be available for collection from the STUDENT SUPPORT DESK in the Old Library..   Please remember to return a signed copy of your licence..

Darwin has a limited amount of accommodation suitable for couples and families and we recommend that anyone interested in this type of housing should also be aware of the University Accommodation Service:

Full details of our accommodation can be found at:

Contact with the College prior to arrival:  Introduction videos and departmental FAQ's  

Hopefully you will find all of the information you require on the video links below and there are many helpful hints on the FAQ's pages.   However,  should it be  necessary to contact a specific department about a more direct issue then please feel free to do so.

Departmental videos / meet the staff / FAQ's:


Cambridge University Freshers' Events:

Student  Registration exercise

All students wiho have had their admission confirmed will receive an email from the Student Registry regarding this mandatory process.  This is done purely to ensure that information held about you is correct and should appear in your in-box from the end of August.   For those new to Cambridge, completion of this exercise also enables you to obtain your passwords( Raven) early.

Please complete this  as you will need your passwords to log-on to the wi-fi network in Cambridge (eduroam).

For further information on IT please go to the following link:

Getting to Cambridge

Cambridge is well served by public transport links from all major UK airports.  The nearest airport to Cambridge is London Stansted, followed by London Heathrow and then London Gatwick. From London Stansted the rail transfer  to Cambridge takes approximately 30 minutes. Further travel information can be found at:

Travel from all other UK airports to Cambridge is also fairly straightforward but may take longer.   You can also travel to London King's Cross either on the London Underground Piccadilly line, or take the Heathrow Express to Paddington station and change to the London Underground Circle or Hammersmith & City lines. You can then travel by train from London King's Cross station to Cambridge. The best way to get from London Gatwick airport to Cambridge is to take the train. There is a frequent service from Gatwick to St. Pancras station, which is adjacent to King's Cross station, where you can catch a train to Cambridge.

By Train

Cambridge railway station is approximately 20 minutes’ walk (around one mile) from the city centre. There are a taxi rank and bus stops in front of the main entrance and buses run every 10 -20 minutes to all University sites.

Please note that all public transport requires the wearing of a mask. 

Student Services/Welcome Desk (The Old Library)

Every year we set up a registration point where all new members can complete the various formalities involved in joining the College.   These involve an ID check (passport or other photo id), collections of your student card, signing of the Matriculation Register and generally provide a central point whereby new arrivals can pick up information.   

The DCSA (Darwin College Students Association) are happy to be contacted.  They are very knowledgeable and can provide advice about where to obtain any necessary items; cooking utensils, clothing, bikes etc. Each member will also be provided with a DCSA Welcome Guide. 

Obviously, with quarantine measures in place there is a need to extend access to the registration process and it is for this reason that the Student Support Desk will run from early September until mid-October.     

For those who need to quarantine (currently 14 days), there will be guidance either in your room or in your welcome envelope.   Also, the DCSA will provide a helper from the current student body who will be able to assist you with meal collection and will be your point of contact for the first few days.  For those who need to quarantine a basis box of provisions will be provided upon arrival at the College. 

Graduate Tutor

You will be assigned a Graduate Tutor - a College Fellow who is here to give you confidential advice and support on any non-academic problems you may experience and, aided by the Deanery, to direct you to specialist support if necessary.  Regular academic queries should be directed to your Supervisor/Department/Director of Studies, but your Tutor may advise in case of difficulties.  If you need urgent advice, you may wish to contact the Deanery directly; the Dean provides support and advice to Tutors and is available to take over complex issues as required.

Get to know your Tutor.  Then keep all relevant contact details to hand, and update your Tutor with your progress and any difficulties you might encounter.  You should aim to see your Tutor at least twice each academic year, either in a group or individually as necessary.

Your Tutor is a source of general advice and support.  He or she is always happy to listen to your experiences of studying and research, to offer advice where appropriate, and to help you to find academic staff and students in College with similar interests.  Your Tutor will have access to reports submitted online by your supervisor concerning your academic progress, and to any self-assessment exercise you complete via CamSIS and will liaise where necessary with academic supervisors and Departments/Faculties, particularly if you are experiencing difficulties.  If you are worried by what a report says, or want a different perspective on your work, talk to your Tutor.  More commonly, if you fall ill or your work has been disrupted or you need to take time out for personal reasons, your Tutor will help you ensure that your application is presented properly to the relevant university bodies.  Your Tutor may also be able to provide careers advice.

Tier 4 students: Arrival &  BRP collection

The International Student Office website holds all relevant information for those entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa and you should take the time to familiarise yourself with your responsibilities:

As a Cambridge student you will be able to collect your Tier 4 BRP at the University/College but in order to do this you must enter a particular code, called an ACL code, in the relevant section of  your Tier 4 visa form.    This code will be provided by the ISO following the issue of your CAS.   UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) advises students to use the University as the collection point for their BRP.   

However, PGCE,  MBA and MFin students are advised to use the ACL code for the Cambridge Post Office as these courses commence much earlier.

The College is required to upload scans of your passport, entry vignette and your BRP to CamSIS for the ISO/UKVI.    For those who enter the UK via the e-Gate system then a copy of either your boarding pass or flight ticket will also need to be  provided to validate your date of entry to the UK.

Due to the current situation with Covid-19 and social distancing measures the University will be asking all students to scan their own documents and to submit them electronically to a central system (further details to follow).    If you have asked for your BRP to be delivered to the University/College then these will be scanned by the ISO prior to being given to the Colleges for distribution.    However, you will still need to scan your passport, vignette and/or boarding pass.

For students currently in the UK and applying for a Tier 4 / leave to remain visa a scan of your new BRP will be required.    However, as it may be a while before your BRP arrives we will also need to see "proof of application/payment".     Again, you may scan this information in yourself or email it to the deanery directly.

The University is currently devloping the software for this and further information on how to scan/upload documents will be provided as soon as possible.

Police Registration

Upon arrival in the UK some overseas students are required to register with the Police (Parkside Police Station, 39 Parkside, Cambridge).   For this you will need to make an appointment in advance by emailing: (within seven days of receiving your BRP).   They will then respond with an allocated appointment time.   It can take several weeks to receive a response at this busy time but as long as the request has been made there is no need to worry about registering within a certain timeframe.

To register you will need your passport, BRP and two passport sized photographs.  There is a charge of £34 and you will need to complete a Registration form obtainable from the ISO web-site.

For those who have previously studied in the UK you will need to update the Police with your new contact details.

DCSA (Darwin College Students Association)

The DCSA are responsible for many of the social events, clubs and societies in Darwin which you will be encouraged to join.   They also provide additional welfare support so please make sure you are familiar with their contact details:

If you wish to contact the committee directly:

Welcome events start at the end of September and will run for about two to three weeks around the start of term.   Taking into account the current  social distancing measures some of these will be bookable on-line events only.


For information on College awards and scholarships click here:

The University also  has a central funding directory:


The University and College try to offer the best support possible to students.  To ensure that we are aware, as early as possible, of any special arrangements (accommodation, exam arrangements), you should  complete and return the form sent with your offer letter to the DRC by email.    Further information can be found on the Disability Resource website   or by emailing:

NHS - Healthcare in the UK / GP Registration

All students, as soon after arrival as possible,  should register with a local GP Practice close to where they will be living.  

A list of all GP practices can be found here and will also be provided in your welcome pack:   cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs/uk/about-us/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/local-practices    Once you have decided on a practice please go onto their website and register. 

The UK's Department of Health has produced a leaflet on Health Care and Information for students from the EEA.    Non-UK EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family are currently advised to obtain a EHIC card before coming to the UK.    A status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme, designed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their families living in the UK after the Brexit transition period, will enable EEA nationals to continue studying in the UK and use National Health Services.   You can apply for a status under the scheme after you arrive to start your studies.  

For further information please go to:


University-wide statement on Plagiarism

University's Code of Practice for Research Students:

University's Code of Practice for Masters Students:

Roles & responsibilities: Supervisor, DOS, Graduate & Senior Tutors' :

Useful links (Cambridge)

Cambridge - Sustainability, Environment & Energy:

CamGuides (free on-line resource for all Master's students with a taught element):


Disability Resource Centre:


Graduate Admissions Office: https//

Graduate Union

ISO (International Student Office):

Student Registry:

Transferable Skills resources: http//skills/

University Counselling Service:

Childcare Office:

Cambridge Union Freshers Guide

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