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Postgraduate - Frequently Asked Questions

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The College

What is a Cambridge College?

For graduate students, the main role of a College is to look after your welfare. Each College is a microcosm of the University, giving you the opportunity to get to know students and staff in a range of subjects. It is a community, providing pastoral support, a social environment, and, where applicable, accommodation and catering facilities. A more detailed explanation can be found on the University's website. All teaching will take place at your Department or Faculty.

When was the College founded?

Homerton is technically the newest of the Cambridge Colleges, since we received out Royal Charter in 2010. However, our first premises were acquired in London in 1768, making 2018 the 250th anniversary of our foundation. Homerton moved to Cambridge in 1894, and held the status of an ‘Approved Society’ from 1973, with most undergraduates reading for the Education Tripos. In 2001, the College converged with the University, diversifying to cover the wide range of different academic subjects offered by the University and adding a postgraduate research community.

A more detailed history of the College can be found here on our website.

Where is the College?

Homerton College is situated on Hills Road just out of the City Centre between the main railway station and Addenbrooke’s Hospital, offering easy access by any means of transport. Frequent buses run from the front of the College to the city centre. The journey to the city centre takes around 10 minutes by bicycle.

How many graduate students are there?

Each year, we welcome approximately 100 new Higher Degree students to Homerton. Our total graduate community numbers around 250 full-time students. This is in addition to the part-time Master of Education students, and the Master of Advanced Subject Teaching and Master's in Applied Criminology, Penology and Management Course students we welcome from the Institute of Continuing Education.

Joining Homerton College

What courses can I study?

Homerton can offer College membership for all Higher Degree courses that are offered by the University of Cambridge.

Can I study part-time?

If the course is approved by the University of Cambridge, Homerton can offer College membership; this includes all part-time courses. Here is some further information about part-time study.

Do I have to put Homerton as my first choice to be considered?

We consider all applications, whether you put Homerton as first choice, second choice, or make an open application that is allocated to us. However, if you are applying for the Charter Graduate Scholarship you must nominate Homerton as your first choice to meet the eligibility criteria.

Will Homerton still consider my application if it is posted to the University’s Graduate Admissions Office after 31st December?

Yes. If your application reaches Homerton while we still have places available, we will be happy to consider it. However, if applying for University studentships and other funding, there are deadlines to which you must adhere to be eligible. Details about this are found here. For information regarding application timescales, look here.

May I visit the College prior to making an application?

Of course! The Graduate Administrator is very happy to show prospective graduate students around the College by appointment. We can be contacted by telephone: 01223 747 158, or by email. Homerton also participates in the University's annual Postgraduate Open Day (please note that it would not be helpful for you to join an undergraduate open day).

Does Homerton favour any particular subject?

Homerton welcomes and encourages applications for all courses and disciplines offered by the University of Cambridge; we do not discriminate for or against particular subjects.

I have received a conditional offer from Homerton, what do I do next?

After we accept you for College membership we will email you detailing what to do next. You will need to look at your CamSIS self-service pages to see what "Conditions of Offer" have been set, and upload all relevant documents (for example, transcripts from a previous course of study, a copy of your passport, submitting and uploading the Financial Undertaking Form). The University Graduate Admissions Office (GAO) have produced a very helpful booklet that will explain more about the Conditions of Offer. In addition, if you are an overseas student you may need a visa to study at the University. Details about the Tier 4 student visa can be found here.

You should keep us up to date with how you are getting on with meeting your conditions of offer. If you expect to meet conditions very late (for example, if your undergraduate transcript will only be available late in the Summer) please let us know - the more we know, the more we can help! When you meet all conditions, your offer will be confirmed and you are notified of this via your Camsis self-service.

If you are not sure about one of your conditions of offer, or do not know why one has been imposed, please contact the Graduate Admissions office. It would be very helpful to consult the Graduate Admissions Offer booklet, as many of your questions will probably be answered there. More information about what to do next can also be found here, on the University Graduate Admissions website.

I need a visa to study in the UK. How do I apply?

Most students coming to the UK from outside the European Union will require a Tier 4 student visa allowing them to study in the UK. You should consult the University of Cambridge International Students page for information about how to make the visa application. You will need to receive a conditional offer of study before applying for the visa. You will need a CAS statement, this is generated automatically when you meet all your conditions of offer. Some courses will also require an ATAS certificate. If you require this certificate, it will be indicated on the CAS statement that is emailed to you. Please contact the International Students Team with any queries related to visa applications.

It is advisable to make every effort to meet all your conditions of offer in good time. This is particularly relevant to overseas students, as visa applications usually take some weeks to process. Please keep us up to date with your application, as let her know the outcome as soon as you hear.

Facilities

What are the Catering facilities like?

Morley House and Harrison House have full self-catering facilities, with a kitchen for each five student rooms. Students resident in all other accommodation blocks have shared ‘gyp-rooms’ for the purpose of snack preparation only. Meals can be taken in College by all matriculated students. See ‘Where will I eat?’ FAQ, or look here for further information.

Is there a pool or gym on-site?

A newly expanded College gym will open in September 2017. Homerton does not have its own pool on site, however the College is located in close proximity to a leisure centre on Hills Road which can offer these facilities.

Where will I eat?

Unless you are resident in the self-catered Morley House or Harrison House, meals are in taken in College facilities with other students. This is either in the Griffin Bar & Buttery (cafeteria) which offers breakfast, snacks, tea, coffee, sandwiches, etc., or the Victorian Gothic Great Hall dining room, which offers both lunch and dinner, with a good choice of food. The College is able to cater for some special diets, if required. Further information can be found here.

What is the MCR?

The Homerton MCR (Middle Combination Room) is a social organisation to which all graduate students in the College belong. The MCR is run by an elected committee that represents the graduate community to the College and the University. The MCR also has welfare and events teams so is able to take care of all aspects of graduate life. The MCR is also a physical space, with a Common Room where graduates can gather and relax. Here is their website.

What is Formal Hall?

Formal Hall is a typical Cambridge tradition. A more formal three-course dinner is served by candlelight in the Great Hall. There is high table for Fellows, who will sit in their gowns. These dinners are not compulsory, but are events that students really enjoy. These Formal Halls are open to all College members, who can invite guests. We have a special Graduate Formal Hall a few times each term, which are open to graduate students only.

Is there a Library?

Homerton has a large and well-stocked library on-site, open 24 hours a day. Like all Cambridge College libraries, the collection is focused on undergraduate students; you will find your Faculty or Department library is better stocked for more advanced postgraduate studies. The Library's Children's Literature collection is unique in Cambridge, and is mostly used by those studying at the Faculty of Education.

However, the Library is a calm and very pleasant working environment for all students, with computers linked to the University networks and lots of reading space. They also have DVD and music CD collections and a sheet music section.

Accommodation

Are there areas reserved for graduate students?

Homerton has recently created purpose-built graduate accommodation in quiet surroundings at the back of the College plot. This means that you can enjoy the Gothic surroundings of the older buildings such as the Great Hall, whilst living in modern and well-equipped rooms.

Most resident graduate students will live in Morley House and Harrison House, which offer self-catered, en-suite rooms. Accommodation is arranged in groups of five rooms, around a fully-fitted kitchen; there is also a common room (‘MCR’) in Morley House.

How do I apply for accommodation?

In April, we write to all incoming graduate students with information regarding registration at the University. In this mailing, we will include a more detailed accommodation guide, along with instructions about how to complete the accommodation survey. All incoming students should complete this, specifying whether or not they wish to apply for accommodation.

We aim to allocate accommodation to all students who meet all conditions of their University offer by 31 July. In August, we begin the process of allocation, taking into account your accommodation block preference. We then write to all students we have been able to allocate to in late August, telling them which block we have allocated. Please note that we do not allocate accommodation to any students who have not yet met all their conditions of offer.

Is there a deadline to apply for accommodation?

We aim to allocate to all applicants who meet all the conditions of their offer by 31 July. If you meet conditions after this date, we cannot guarantee there will be accommodation available but we try to help where we can. Full details of applying for late accomodation will be included in your offer email. As the amount of students who apply for accommodation can fluctuate year on year, it is a good idea to keep in touch with us about the status of your application, so that the accommodation allocation can be made in good time. You could also register with the University Accommodation Service, for information on renting privately. More information about private rental can be found here.

How is accommodation allocated?

In August, we begin to allocate the accommodation on a first-come, first-served basis. If you meet conditions after 31 July, we try to accommodate you if we have the space. With this in mind, it is a good idea to make every effort to meet all your conditions in good time.

How long is the residency agreement?

The Higher Degree residency agreement for graduate students runs continuously for 39 weeks, from 30 September until 30 June. You will not have to move out during the Christmas and Easter vacation periods.

I only need accommodation for part of the academic year, can I apply for this?

No. The residency agreement runs continuously between the dates stated above. Regretfully, we are unable to offer accommodation to students who request residency for only part of that period.

I am a part time student, can I apply for College accommodation?

Unfortunately, we do not allocate accommodation to part-time students.

What happens if I need to stay in College after the residency agreement expires in June?

You are welcome to remain in College after the residency agreement expires in June for study and research purposes. As the period covered by your residency agreement will have ended, you are required to make payment for the extra nights spent in College, paying at the nightly rate. This is all organised in the spring. Please note that, although we make every effort to ensure that you can stay in the same room as you occupied during the academic year, it may be necessary to move students in East House to a different floor or block over the Summer.

Can I choose which accommodation block I live in?

The accommodation survey (sent in April) will require you to select a first and second choice of accommodation block. We use this information when allocating the accommodation but due to availability we are unable to guarantee accommodation in a certain block. However, we certainly do bear in mind your preferences.

Do I have to live in College?

No. Graduate members of Homerton can rent privately in the city but if you are a full-time student you must live within the University Precincts; that is, the 10 mile radius of Great St Mary's Church. More information can be found here.

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