Once you know you are definitely coming to Fitzwilliam College, you will want to start making arrangements and find out what to expect when you arrive.
College Financial Information
The College form asks for further information about your source of funds. This is for College use only and will help us to invoice you correctly at the start of the first Term. Please complete the form as soon as possible and before 1 September.
You may apply for accommodation as soon as you have a University conditional offer and membership with Fitzwilliam. Rooms are allocated once the University offer is confirmed, so its best not to delay the application. Accommodation is not allocated to anyone who has not applied. Information and Application form.
Linen may be hired by students living in College accommodation. All single rooms have single sized beds. It is not possible to hire linen for double beds in couples accommodation. Information and Application form. Return before 1st September.
The College Nurse will email all incoming students in mid/late September and ask them to complete an online medical questionnaire.
University Student Registration Process
This is to ensure that the information the University holds on your record is correct. It is not a way of registering for, or applying for, a course of study. You must wait for an email from the Student Registry with details of how to log-in before attempting the process. Once completed you will get access to your University email accounts. Its important that you do this before you arrive in Cambridge. More information.
Fitzwilliam MCR welcome booklet
This is prepared by the current students for you and will be posted in early August.
Facebook group for incoming postgraduate students.
The Graduate Office host a Facebook group which is optional for incoming postgraduates. It provides additional information and helps new students to ‘meet each other’ before arrival. This will open in July when all applicants with College membership will be invited to join.
The University International Student Guide provides practical pre-arrival and orientation information to help students coming from outside the UK plan their move to Cambridge.
University information services - Collect your Cambridge login, set up your @cam email and download free software.
Cars in Cambridge
Students cannot keep cars in Cambridge without permission >>more information.
Storing your belongings
The College cannot take responsibility for your property before you arrive. There is no storage available. If you need to send belongings by post, please arrange for them to arrive at the same time as you do.
Please also see College guidance on our dedicated Coronavirus page.
Arrival Dates - Michaelmas Term 2020
Michaelmas term 2020
Students arriving who need to self-isolate on arrival should aim to arrive 14-19 September. All other students should aim to arrive 26 September to 2 October. Let the Graduate Office know you arrival date.
A note about early arrival dates –if you arrive before 1 October, into private accommodation, College couples flats or single self-contained flats, its likely that the Cambridge City Council will charge Council Tax (local tax) for the period up to the start of your course. Students are normally exempt from this local tax whilst studying, unless sharing with others who are not students. >>more information about Council tax.
In 2020 Full Term starts on 6 October (term dates). College orientation will be on 1-4 October with further evening social events during the week from 5 October. Most departments will arrange their orientation from 5 October onwards. Anyone self-isolating during this period should be able to join in online.
The official start date of courses starting in Michaelmas Term is always 1 October. This date does not change year to year. However, the University 'Full Term' dates do vary and in 2020 the start of Full Term falls on 6 October.
Lent and Easter term arrivals
If you start in the Lent Term (January) or the Easter Term (April), there will be fewer scheduled events. Please contact the Graduate Office to discuss arrival dates.
Out of hours arrival
The College Porters' Lodge (Reception) is open 24 hours a day. Overnight and evenings, the Duty Porter acts as a security officer, so may have to leave the Lodge from time to time and lock the front door. If the Lodge is locked when you arrive, please wait for the Duty Porter's return.
Go to the Porters Lodge at the College main entrance on Storey’s Way.
Collect your Room Key
Collect your University Card
Find your pigeonhole - the welcome pack from the College Graduate Office will be in your pigeonhole
Meet the MCR - The MCR will have a welcome table in the Porters Lodge foyer for the most popular arrival dates. The MCR Freshers Committee will also be in touch with you about events they are planning. There will be both on-line and in-person events.
If you start your course in the Michaelmas term, there will be events you must attend and a few more which are optional. If you start your course in January or April, there will be fewer scheduled events - please visit the Graduate Officer (L staircase) soon after you arrive in order to check matriculation and other details.
Things to do in your first week
The dates below apply to those arriving for the Michaelmas Term 2020. If you are arriving in January or April, there are few specific dates, but please complete everything as soon as possible.
Connect to the College network
College rooms have internet connections for your own computer, and there are computer facilities in the library. For help and instructions, visit our Computing section.
Complete the Student on-line Registration process
This is an annual process which should be completed before 1 October. If you have not completed it before your arrival in Cambridge, it should be completed immediately. The process allows you to collect your University email address and passwords and to check the personal data that is held about you.
Register your visa
Most students will be able to collect their BRP visa card from the College. We also need to scan passports of all students on Tier 4 visas. For 2020 our process will be a little different to usual. Please see here for further details.
Pay your College bill
This bill will be sent to you via email during the first week of Full Term. Payment of the Michaelmas Term 2020 bill is due by Wednesday 14 October. For more information, visit our 'Fees, funding and awards' pages.
Open a bank account
If you are new to the UK, you will want to open a bank account. Many UK banks offer accounts tailored to the needs of students so it is best to speak to several and find out which is best for you. The University Graduate Union have provided some information about banks in Cambridge on their website.
The bank may ask you to supply a student certification letter from Fitzwilliam College which confirms that you are a student with accommodation in Cambridge. Letters can be obtained from the Graduate Office with a few days’ notice. Please use the letter request form.
Buy an academic gown
You will need a gown for the matriculation photo on 10 October - and for any Formal Hall dinners you attend, and for your graduation. The Graduate Union website explains which gown you will need and where to get it.. The two criteria for determining which gown you need are;
a) whether you hold a Cambridge University degree already
b) your age.
You can buy or hire second hand gowns from the Graduate Union, or from the outfitters shops Ede and Ravenscroft, or Ryder and Amies. Wherever you buy, it is recommended that you read the notes on which gown you need, included in the Graduate Union site. It will not be the gown of the degree you are about to study for!
Meet your tutor
The College has a team of Graduate Tutors. In the first week or two of term, you will have a chance to meet your assigned postgraduate Tutor (this may be in person or online). Your Tutor's name will be included in the 'Welcome Pack' in your pigeon hole and also on your University record (CamSIS) after the start of Term. Your Tutor assists with non-academic care and welfare issues while you’re at College. Your Tutor does not teach you – for teaching, your department will allocate a supervisor and/or course director.
Register with a local doctor
All students need to register with a local doctor, in order to access the NHS services. The nearest practice to Fitzwilliam College is at 1 Huntingdon Road. For 2020 they are taking on-line registration. You can do this before you arrive. There are also other Doctors practices elsewhere in Cambridge. This is something to do in your first week and not leave to later and risk having to registering quickly in an emergency situation.
Find out about social events
The MCR Committee organizes a varied programme of events to bring the new graduate community together and to help them get to know Cambridge. Visit the MCR website. For 2020 there will be both online and small in-person events.
New postgraduate students need to attend these events at the start of the Michaelmas term. The College MCR also distributes a term card of social events.
Arrangements will be different for 2020, full instruction will be sent by email and in the Welcome Pack in pigeonhole (collect on arrival)
If you start your course in January or April, there will be fewer scheduled events - please visit the Graduate Office soon after you arrive in order to check matriculation and other details.
Saturday 3 October 2020
A introduction by the Graduate Tutors and other members of the College. All new postgraduate students must attend. For 2020 there will be three meetings so that everyone can stay distanced. Individuals will be informed of their meeting time and meeting location in their Welcome Pack. Times are 3pm, 3.30pm and 4pm. For those self-isolating or arriving late, the meeting will be recorded or live-streamed.
Matriculation ID checks | The Grove
ID checks follow the introduction meeting. All students should take their Passport or other photo ID to The Grove immediately after their Welcome talk. Matriculation is not valid without the ID check.
Matriculation in 2020 is entirely online. If you have not previously been a student at the University of Cambridge, you must complete the process in order to matriculate. A link to the on-line process will be sent via email before the start of Term.
Postgraduate Weekend - 9 to 11 October
Three days to celebrate your membership of Fitzwilliam College - watch out for email updates on all of these events.
Matriculation Dinner - 9, 10, and 11 October - 7.30pm
A formal welcome dinner, (also known as matriculation dinner) is the highlight of the College's welcome to its new students. For 2020 there will be three separate dinners, so that everyone can be seated according to Government guidance. Academic gowns are required for all formal dinners.
Graduate photo | Saturday 10 October | 3.30pm | The Grove Lawn
A formal College photograph of all postgraduate students, marking your arrival and matriculation. You will be able to order a copy for yourself. Academic gowns are required. For 2020 the photographers will be taking individual photos, so that everyone can remain distanced, and putting them altogether to create a full sized photo with everyone in it. The photograph session runs from 3.30pm to about 4.45pm. To avoid too much queuing, you will be sent a time slot.
Postgraduate Festival of Talks | 5pm | 9, 10 and 11 October | Online
A series of short talks on their own research by some of our current PhD students. For 2020 this will be held online.