FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you get started or simply learn more about Fitzwilliam College and the University.

The College has its own FAQs for bills, computing and dining here, and you will find some more questions and answers below that we are often asked by people arriving at Fitz for the first time.

Academic

How can I raise any problems or complaints about my PhD supervisor or my course through College?

If you feel that you are unable to raise any complaints with your department directly, then your Graduate Tutor is the first point of contact in College for you to talk to – you can discuss any problems about your course, supervisions, or other academic matters to your Tutor, who can then offer you advice and intervene on your behalf if needed. You can speak to your Tutor on any matter, however trivial or traumatic: academic, social, financial, medical, or to do with your home life.

Using the College Library

 
The College Library (also known as the Olisa Library) is accessible to every Fitz student 24 hours a day, including holidays. You will need your college card to unlock the door. The library office staff are in from 09:00 until 17:00 on all working weekdays throughout the year and can assist you with any queries you have about using the library.

Library inductions take place within the first week of term. You will need to attend an induction in order to be able to borrow books from the library – borrowing books requires your college card, which will be activated for this following the induction. These induction sessions will detail the facilities available for studying, how to search for books in the library, how to borrow books (and how long you are allowed to borrow them), as well as what to do when the library doesn’t have a book that you need.
 

What is the role of the Senior Tutor?

 
The Senior Tutor of each college oversees academic matters for all students in the college. As a graduate, however, your first points of contact for issues relating to your studies will be your supervisor in your department or your Graduate Tutor in College.
 

What is the role of your Graduate Tutor?

 
Fitzwilliam has 6 Graduate Tutors, with Dr. Bhaskar Vira in overall charge of the whole graduate tutorial system. Each graduate student will be assigned to a tutor, who will contact you shortly after you arrive at Fitz. Your tutor is a member of College, independent and unrelated to your studies, who will take an active interest in your personal, academic, and financial wellbeing during your time in Fitz. They can offer confidential help and advice for any problems you may encounter, or at the very least, advise you on whom best to contact for further help. They will also be able to represent your issues to College or the University in your best interest if the need arises, and they can provide you with references. For any worries or problems that you are unable to resolve yourself, they should be your first point of contact.

A Director of Studies (DoS) is only assigned to Masters students in a limited number of subjects (for example, Master of Advanced Studies courses). Your DoS will be a college fellow who specialises in the same (or similar) subject as your course. Whilst teaching is conducted in your respective departments, your DoS will be your college-based contact for academic-related concerns.
 

Why choose Fitz?

Where to start? Whether it is the people, our facilities, or our friendliness, Fitz is a college that caters to all your needs, academically, socially and personally. Not only do we have a new library, gym, and auditorium, we also have a warm and welcoming atmosphere that helps you develop your interests in whichever direction you would like. There are travel grants, book funds, and music or arts funding available to all grad students, making Fitz one of the most generous Cambridge colleges. Add in guaranteed housing for your time in Cambridge, and you’ll realise that the College really does want you to have the best possible experience. As one of the most diverse Cambridge colleges, we welcome all our members and make sure they have an unforgettable time here.

Accommodation

Do college houses have cooking equipment?

 
In terms of cooking equipment and utensils (pots, pans, cutlery, etc.), college houses will only contain what is owned by other residents, as well as anything left by previous residents. Therefore, if you live in a college-owned house and plan to do your own cooking, you will need to come prepared with your own equipment, or buy your own upon arriving.

During the first few weeks of Michaelmas term, and at the end of the year, there tends to be a lot of free cutlery and cooking equipment that has been left by previous students available to be picked up in front of the Buttery (dining hall).
 

Do most people live in college?

 
Although some people choose to live in college, many more live in college-owned houses or else rent privately. Have a think about what aspects are most important to you (ease of renting, proximity to your department, eating facilities, etc.) and choose on that basis. Don’t worry about missing out on any college events, they are always well-advertised and everyone is welcome. If you prefer living with others to establish a stronger sense of community, the college houses can certainly help in this regard.
 

How do I pay college bills and track charges?

 
At the beginning of each term, you will receive an email containing an invoice for your College bill. This primarily includes room payment for the upcoming term, cafe and buttery charges for the previous term, the kitchen fixed charge, and other items. You can track your College bill online and make a payment via this link:
https://collegebills.fitz.cam.ac.uk/

You can also make a payment via a direct bank transfer; the account to make a payment into and any additional references are detailed at the bottom of each invoice you receive from College.

By default, College will ask that you pay your bill in full within a week of sending you an invoice. However, if your salary or stipend is paid to you on a monthly basis, then it is possible to make your bill payments monthly also. In order to set this up you will need to speak with the College Student Finance Administrator. You can contact them via email via this address:
college.bills@fitz.cam.ac.uk
 

How is my accomodation cleaned?

 
All accomodation that you rent through college, including external college houses, is cleaned by college staff regularly. Cleaners come in each working weekday throughout the year.

All communal areas (corridors, kitchens, shared bathrooms, etc.) are cleaned on a daily basis. These must be kept tidy and without clutter so that the cleaners can do their jobs.

Rooms are cleaned once a week, with each room being allocated to a specific day of the week. Information about when your room will be cleaned is posted in each corridor or kitchen. This involves bins being emptied out, the floor being hoovered, and en-suites or showers being cleaned. The cleaners prefer it if rooms are reasonably tidy when they come in to clean, and won’t move your belongings or tidy your room for you.
 

Receiving mail and packages

 
Every member of college is allocated a pigeonhole in or just outside the Porters’ Lodge. Any mail that is sent to you at the College address will be received by the porters and placed in your pigeonhole for collection. Parcels that are too large to fit in your pigeonhole will be kept behind the counter at the Porters’ Lodge and you will be informed via email that there is a parcel waiting to be collected. You will not be informed about anything put into your pigeonhole, so you should check this regularly yourself.

In order to receive mail and parcels at College, have them sent to the following address:
Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DG.

If you live in external College housing, it also possible to have mail delivered there directly. However, it is advised that you do not have parcels delivered to external College houses unless you know for sure that you will be in at the time of delivery.
 

Shops and ATMs close to Fitz

 
There are a few grocery stores that are a relatively short walk/cycle from Fitz. The closest to college are:

Sainsburys Eddington Avenue:
7 minute cycle or 25 minute walk from college.
Location, directions from college, and opening times found via:
https://stores.sainsburys.co.uk/2709/cambridge-eddington-avenue
There is a cash machine (ATM) outside this store.

Sainsburys Sidney Street:
5 minute cycle or 20 minute walk from college.
Location, directions from college, and opening times found via:
https://stores.sainsburys.co.uk/directions/0728/sidney-street
There is a cash machine (ATM) near this store.

Aldi
3 minute cycle or 15 minute walk from college.
Location, directions from college, and opening times found via:
https://www.aldi.co.uk/store/s-uk-E0221

Co-op
3 minute cycle or 15 minute walk from college.
Location, directions from college, and opening times found via:
https://finder.coop.co.uk/food/store/CB4-3HL/histon-road
There is a cash machine (ATM) outside this store.

Nearest ATM (cash machine)
The closest cash machine (ATM) to the college is on Histon Road, outside a small independent grocery store called Midan, at 18-20 Histon Rd, Cambridge CB4 3LE.
 

What is the graduate housing ballot and when does it take place?

College accommodation is allocated in the form of a housing ballot, which all continuing graduate students of Fitz are eligible to enter as long as they agree to stay within their accommodation for at least 39 weeks. All Fitzwilliam College Scholars, existing MCR committee members, and final year PhD students will have a higher priority in the ballot. The housing ballot takes place around May, and is jointly run by the College Graduate Office and the MCR welfare officers.

What laundry facilities are available and how do I use them?

 
There are token-operated laundry facilities in the main college site (about 6 machines next to F block on the north side) and individual machines located in outside houses at 138 and 139 Huntingdon Road and 91a Oxford Road.

You can get tokens either from the bar or at the Porters’ Lodge. If you get them from the bar, you can pay with your college card and the amount will be charged to your college bill. If you get them from the porters lodge, you will need to pay with cash. The price is £1.50 for the washing tokens and £0.40 for the drying tokens. 1 washing token is enough for a large load of clothes, but 2 drying tokens are usually needed to get your clothes dry.
 

Where can I find more details and photos of graduate accommodation in College?

Photos and further details are available on both https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/accommodation/graduate and on our Fitz MCR website under ‘Accommodation’, at this link: http://mcr.fitz.cam.ac.uk/accommodation/

Whom should I contact about any problems with IT or Internet access?

 
If you have problems with the IT facilities, college network, or access to the Internet within college, your first point of contact is the college IT team. The IT office is located in the corridor next to the Porters’ lodge and staff are present during working hours. Contact details can be found here: https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/computing/contact

For minor computing problems or to report network issues, the easiest way is to submit a Helpdesk ticket under the IT category: https://my.fitz.cam.ac.uk/index.php/helpdesk/ticket/create

Please note that the MCR Committee has neither the expertise nor access to solve these problems if they arise, so we will not be able to do anything other than point you to IT if you email us directly. Reporting problems with IT or Internet via the online Helpdesk every time they occur is the best way to help the IT staff identify significant problems with the network, and the most likely method to result in improvements being made, so we highly encourage this.
 

Whom should I contact about problems with College accommodation?

If there are serious problems with your College accomodation (power failures, leaks/flooding, etc.), particularly out-of-hours, contact the porters IMMEDIATELY as the first point of call.

For any less urgent matters (blown light bulbs, broken appliances/showers, broken furniture), you need to inform the College maintenance staff as soon as possible. This can be done by submitting a maintenance ticket online via:
help.fitz.cam.ac.uk

You will receive email confirmation once your request has been received, as well as once the issue has been resolved. Generally, most problems are fixed within a few working days and you can track the progress via your ticket. If the issue is not resolved in that time, we advise you to talk to the Maintenance or Accomodation managers in their offices near L staircase in College.

Please note that the MCR Committee has neither the expertise nor access to solve these problems if they arise, so we will not be able to do anything other than point you to Maintenance if you email us directly. However, if you have followed the above process and the problems still have not been dealt with for an extended period of time, please do contact a member of the committee and we will assist you or bring up the issues with college.

Formal Halls/Buttery

Can we eat in the dining halls (Butteries) of other Cambridge colleges?

 
You are welcome to eat at any other college’s Buttery, so long as you have your university card with you to prove you are a member of the university. You will not be able to pay with your university card at a college other than Fitz and some do not have card payment facilities, so you may need to pay with cash. You will probably need to go through their Porters’ Lodge in order to gain access to another college’s Buttery, unless you know a member of the college who can take you in. Note that the opening times of other college Butteries will differ from those at Fitz.
 

Catering in College

 
Lunch and dinner is served in the Hall (also called the Buttery) daily throughout most of the year. Food can be paid for by cash or by using your university card. Prices of meals are between £2.50 and £6.00, depending on what you get. There are a few different choices of food, including vegetarian, each day.

During the full term, opening times are 12:00-13:30 for lunch and 18:00-19:00 for dinner, and brunch is served on the weekends between 11:30 and 13:30. Outside of term, lunch times are 12:00-13:00 and dinner times are 18:00-18:30. Brunch is not served on the weekend. Any changes to the usual schedule are sent out via email to all College members.

Menus for each day of full term and special theme days can be found here, along with further information about food at Fitzwilliam: https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/dining/hall
 

Coffee Shop and Bar

 
The College Coffee Shop (located in the main college building) serves a range of food and drinks throughout every day from 08:00 to 18:00 (08:00 to 15:00 on weekdays out of term). Some basic breakfast items are available each morning, and sandwiches, coffee/tea, and baked goods are available all day. You can pay with cash or using your university card.
More details and times are found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/dining/coffee-shop

In the evenings, after 18:00, the Coffee Shop becomes the College Bar, where a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available. Prices are usually lower in College than public venues in the city. Many students tend to socialise here in the evenings.
More information and times are found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/dining/bar
 

What is a formal hall and how does it work?

 
Formal Hall is a more elaborate dinner in Hall, requiring smart dress. Formals happen twice a week within term time, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Booking opens two weeks before the formal date, and closes two days before the formal. You can bring up to 5 guests and booking is via the online college bills webpage:
https://collegebills.fitz.cam.ac.uk/collegebill/

Prices (slightly more for guests) and menus can be viewed on the booking page. You can request meals with specific dietary or allergy requirements when booking.

Dress code at Fitz is generally a suit with tie or evening dress, including gowns. However, Fitzwilliam is relatively relaxed about dress as long as it is generally smart, and guests do not need to wear gowns. Meals consists of 3 courses and are served at your table. Wine is not included but attendees may bring their own bottle of wine at no extra charge.

The MCR holds its own special formals 3 times a term, all on Fridays. At these special formals the MCR Committee serves pre-drinks (gin and tonic) and post-drinks (port) free of charge in our common room.

There are also several special formals a year, called superhalls. These formals are: Halloween formal and Christmas formals in Michaelmas Term, Burns Night and Committee Handover formals in Lent, and the End of the Term formal in Easter. These formals are more expensive and have wine included. They are usually followed by a bop (a Cambridge term for a college party).
 

What time is the Buttery open?

 
Buttery full-term opening hours:

Lunch: Mon to Fri 12:00 – 13:30
Brunch: Sat & Sun 11:30 – 13:30
Dinner: Mon to Sun 18:00 – 19:00

The Buttery has reduced hours out of term time.

More information can be found here:
http://fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/dining
 

What’s the best way to attend formals at other colleges?

 
Fitz MCR organises formal swaps with various other colleges throughout the year, where Fitz students have the opportunity to visit a different college’s formal dinner. We also host guests from other colleges in the same way. We aim for 3 swaps each term, but the number can vary depending on scheduling and circumstances. Swaps often sell out fast and places are limited, so be sure to sign up quickly!

You are also able to attend formals at other colleges as a guest of a student at that college, or by exchanging or purchasing formal tickets on the “Cambridge Formals Marketplace” Facebook group.
 

Funding

How can I apply for funding?

 
A good place to start searching for funding would be the University funding search page:
https://www.student-funding.cam.ac.uk/

Fitzwilliam offers several scholarships for incoming graduate students:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/academic/scholarships-prizes/graduate-scholarships
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/finance/graduate/funding

Additionally, the College also has several funds which provide support for research and related activities, including travel and conference attendance:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/finance/graduate/funding/travel-and-research-funding

The University also provides support for students who find themselves in need of extra financial assistance or facing unexpected financial hardships:
http://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/fees-and-funding/financial-hardship-support-access-funds

Be aware that there are also bursaries and grants available for non-academic activities, such as sports or music and arts. It is not possible to list them all here, but you can find more information about them at the link below. You could also contact your Graduate Tutor or the Fitzwilliam Graduate Office, who can give you more information about which forms of funding you may be eligible for.
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/fees-and-funding
 

How is the MCR funded?

 
The JMA (Junior Members Association) grants the MCR an annual budget on the basis of a projection for the fiscal year (April-March). This must include some detail as to how the money is intended to be spent. One-off or special expenditures, such as our MCR extension, are often funded by alumni or generous benefactors.
 

Who decides how MCR money is spent?

 
Initially, the JMA (Junior Members Association) must approve the annual budget projection of the MCR, including a broad breakdown of the budgets for various types of MCR activities and functions. Within this framework, the MCR committee allocates the funds to specific purposes. The payments are recorded, approved and executed by the MCR treasurer.
 

General information

Does the College make any religious provision?

 
Fitz has a beautiful new Chapel open to people regardless of their religious beliefs. It holds regular services, quiet times, has a choir, and is run by the Chaplain who is always happy to have a friendly, confidential chat on any topic. The Chaplain will also be happy to provide contact details for other religious groups and places of worship in Cambridge.

Futher information about the Chapel can be found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/chapel

The College Chaplain can be contacted at chaplain@fitz.cam.ac.uk and more information about the role can be found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/chapel/chaplain
 

I am a 4th-year undergraduate, does this make me a member of the MCR?

 
Yes! As a 4th-year undergraduate, you are automatically a member of both the JCR and the MCR, meaning you get the best of both worlds. Being a member of the MCR means that you can use the MCR Common Room at any time, and are most welcome at all our events. We are very keen to develop links between the undergrad and postgrad student bodies, and we run joint events with the Fitz undergrads at various points throughout the year.
 

What are colleges?

 
Cambridge University is a collegiate university made up of 31 colleges, which are autonomous institutions where students eat, socialise, and sometimes live. All students and many researchers or staff at Cambridge University are members of a college. Student life is centred on colleges, whereas teaching is mainly carried out at a university level by various faculties.

Undergraduates receive teaching in College, and as a graduate student, you will be assigned a Graduate Tutor to provide you with pastoral support. All colleges select their own students independently and have their own internal procedures, but all work together with the University to ensure world-class education and research facilities. As a grad student, you can choose to live in College or a College house (an option guaranteed at Fitz, unlike many colleges), eat in the Buttery, attend Formal Hall, use the Library or gym, pop into the café, or attend our Fitzwilliam MCR social events!
 

What is a gown and where do I buy one?

 
Gown is an academic dress at the University of Cambridge. You will wear it on several occasions such as matriculation, certain formal events and when you graduate. If you wish to come to formal College dinners, including MCR formals, you will have to wear a gown.

There are a few stores where you can buy or rent them. Ryder & Amies (https://www.ryderamies.co.uk/) is probably the most well-known store and slightly lower priced, Ede and Ravenscroft is a more expensive alternative (https://www.edeandravenscroft.com/). Both are located in the centre of Cambridge on King’s Parade.

Guides for which gown you will need to buy are here:
https://www.gradunion.cam.ac.uk/facilities/gown-shop/gown-guide
http://mcr.fitz.cam.ac.uk/about-the-mcr/mcr-gowns/

Some graduating students may put up their second hand gowns for sale on the main Fitzwilliam MCR Facebook page or other Cambridge University related Facebook pages, so keep an eye out there.
 

What is my crsID?

 
You will be given a code when you arrive in Cambridge, based on your initials and a random number, which acts as a unique identifier for you within the univerity. This is usually 4-7 characters and will form part of your email address (xxxxx@cam.ac.uk). The crsID is also used to log in to University computing systems, internet services, and as identification within the university and College.

If you do not already know your crsID, you can collect it here:
https://help.uis.cam.ac.uk/new-starters/it-for-students/student-it-services/your-crsid
 

What will my address be?

 
Every student has a pigeon hole opposite to the Porters’ Lodge, into which their mail will be placed. If a letter or parcel is large, or needs to be signed for like online purchases, it will be held by the porters and an email will be sent telling you to pick it up. Your address will be:

Your name, Fitzwilliam College, Storey’s Way, Cambridge, CB3 0DG

This is also the address that we recommend that you use for bank accounts and other official purposes if you plan to be in Cambridge for several years, even if you live out of College. You will likely need to move accomodation at some point and this will avoid having to change addresses regularly.
 

Who are the porters?

 
In Cambridge, every college has porters, members of staff who perform a wide variety of tasks for that college. At Fitz, we are fortunate to have very friendly and helpful porters!

The porters are in charge of College security and all visitors must report to the Porters’ Lodge (sometimes referred to as the Plodge), which serves as a reception. Porters also hold keys to the various parts of College, are responsible for fire safety, and can provide first aid if necessary. They also receive and sort all College mail. However, they don’t carry your bags around!

In general, they are an excellent first point of contact for most problems or enquiries. The easiest way to contact them is to go to the Main Porter’s Lodge on the south side of College. A map of College is available here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/about/map-college
 

Getting around Cambridge

Bike security

 
The large number of bikes in Cambridge means that bike theft and vandalism is sadly very common. To ensure your bike is safe, we have a few easy recommendations:

– Always lock your bike to a parking frame or other secure solid object. Solid metal D-locks are more reliable than flexible chain locks, and make sure any quick release or easily removable parts are secured firmly to the bike, ideally with a metal chain attached to the D-lock. Kryptonite, OnGuard and Hiplok are a few manufacturers of high quality D-locks and are available at most bike shops and online.

– Try to park in secure areas as much as possible, such as departmental or college bike parks, and avoid streets. Park in areas with security cameras and good lighting, particularly overnight.

– Register your bike with Fitz and take a note of the frame number (usually engraved into the frame under the pedals). If your bike is stolen, report it to the police and state the number, this improves your chances of it being recovered, though it is always difficult. Additionally, if your bike is registered with College and you live in College accomodation, you are insured for a modest value against theft from College bike parks. See your room contract and insurance documents for more details.

– Consider taking out private insurance if your bike is particularly nice or valuable.
 

Cars in Cambridge

 
Students are not usually allowed to keep a car in Cambridge and parking is very limited. Additionally, the city is often congested with traffic and the centre is restricted to taxis and buses, so driving is rarely the best way to simply get around town or to various departments.

Exceptions can be made on the basis of personal circumstances, such as mobility issues or disability, if your course requires you to travel away from Cambridge, or for the purposes of a club or society where public transport is not appropriate. In these cases, you will need to apply for a permit from the University and from College also. Additionally, departmental procedures vary across the University, so contact your department admin if you will need to keep a car at any department.

Information about the College policy on cars and permit applications can be found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/facilities/bringing-your-car-cambridge

Information about the University policy on cars and permit applications can be found here:
https://www.proctors.cam.ac.uk/motor-control
 

Cycling and where to buy bikes

 
Central Cambridge has narrow roads and restricted access for motor vehicles, so cycling is undoubtedly the fastest and most economical way to get around on a day to day basis. If you wish to keep a bike in College, you must register it with the porters via this online form:
https://my.fitz.cam.ac.uk/index.php/Myfitz/bicycles/create

After registering, you can pick up an ID number from the porters to stick on your bike and identify it. If you park bikes in College areas without numbers, they may be removed by the porters.

It is recommended to bring bikes with you if you can, as the high demand in Cambridge leads to higher prices even for second hand bikes than other parts of the country, especially at peak times like the start of the academic year. However, if you cannot bring one with you or wish to buy it in Cambridge, we have listed a few shops and websites that sell both used and new bikes below. This list is not exhaustive and a simple search online will show up a huge number of results, but these are the shops that students have used reliably in the past, some shops in Cambridge have a poor reputation for service and overcharge students.

New
Halfords – https://www.halfords.com/stores/cambridge
Evans Cycles – https://www.evanscycles.com/store/cambridge
Decathlon – http://www.graftoncentre.co.uk/stores/decathlon/
Rutland Cycling Grand Arcade – https://www.rutlandcycling.com/pages/rutland-cycling-grand-arcade.aspx

Used
Lensfield Cycles – http://www.lensfieldroadcycles.co.uk/
Cam Cycles – http://www.camcycles.co.uk/
Gumtree – https://www.gumtree.com/bicycles/cambridge

Be wary of buying second hand bikes directly from individuals or online adverts, as they may be stolen property. Always check the frame number against online databases of stolen bikes such as this one:
https://www.bikeregister.com/bike-checker

It is always a good idea to have a second hand bike serviced before you use it to make sure it is safe to ride. Every bike shop will do this for a modest fee, but we recommend either Decathlon or Halfords, as they have reasonable fixed price packages and are fast and professional.
 

Cycling safety

 
Cycling accidents are some of the most common and avoidable injuries among Cambridge students. It is not legally required, but always recommended to wear a helmet while cycling. Make sure you buy a reliable brand with full head protection and foam padding, and replace it if it has any significant impacts, most sports and cycle shops sell reasonably priced helmets.

It is, of course, illegal and dangerous to ride a bicycle after dark without lights, to cycle on pedestrian pavements, and to ignore traffic lights. Doing any of these may lead to you being stopped by police. Additionally, think carefully about whether you are in a fit state to cycle if you have consumed any alcohol; it’s better to walk your bike home than end up with your face on the road!

For more information about ensuring your safety while cycling and the rules you must follow on UK roads, see this website:
https://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclesafety
 

Public transport around the city

 
There are a number of bus routes serving popular parts of Cambridge, such as Addenbrokes hospital, the train station and the city centre. The nearest bus stops to Fitzwilliam are outside the Huntingdon Road entrance, just beyond the car park, and on Madingley Road, just past Churchill College. Some buses are designated as U (Universal), which are subsidised by the University and are cheaper to use for students.

Bus routes and timetables can be found here:
https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/travel-roads-and-parking/buses/

Details of the U buses are found here:
https://www.environment.admin.cam.ac.uk/travel/catch-bus
 

Sports and Societies

Can graduate students be involved in College or University sports teams?

 
Postgrads are more than welcome to be a member of any College or University sport team. You can find out about and sign up to any of the College teams during a specific Fitz Societies Fair during Freshers week, and any University teams during the University wide CUSU Fresher’s Fair. In both of these cases, most teams greatly support coming along to a few initial sessions before deciding if you want to join that team or not, and there are many casual teams if you only want to practice or play for fun rather than competitively. College sport in particular is very chilled and open to anyone of any ability or experience, and we have sports ranging from Rowing to Ultimate Frisbee!
 

Using the College gym and squash courts

 
The college has a very new and nice gym located by the Fellows’ car park outside the Porters’ Lodge. Also located within the same building are changing rooms (with showers and toilets), as well as two squash courts. These facilities are free to use for all members of College – you just need your university card to access the building. However, in order to be allowed to use the gym you must first attend the gym induction.

Gym inductions occur mainly at the start of a term, but a few sessions tend to be organised at later term times too. Gym induction times will be sent out to everyone via email at the start of term, or when additional sessions are arranged. You will need to sign up for a specific gym induction session, which can be done at the Porters’ Lodge. Sessions take around 20-30 minutes. You will not be granted card access to the gym until you have attended an induction, but your card will be able to get you into the changing rooms and squash courts without an induction.

The building is accessible from 7am everyday and is closed by the porters at midnight, however, note that last card entry to the building is at 10:59pm.

The gym also has specified womens’ only hours – every day there is one hour in which male members of College are not permitted to use the gym. The time of the womens’ only hour varies day by day, and the schedule will be posted on the wall in the gym and will also be sent out via email. Failure to adhere to these rules can lead to you being reported to the Dean.

In order to use a squash court you should first make a booking by going to:
https://my.fitz.cam.ac.uk/index.php/Booking/SquashCourts/user
 

What is CUSU and the GU?

 
CUSU (Cambridge University Student Union) represents the Cambridge undergrad and postgrad students as a block, whether to the University itself, colleges, or to student communities nationwide. CUSU is run by six students on a sabbatical year. The GU (Graduate Union) performs the same functions specifically for graduate students, and has a greater focus on issues unique to graduate and mature students. These should not be confused with The Cambridge Union, which is a student society and debating organisation.

CUSU and the GU have lots of functions but might, for example:
– help students campaign against unfair rent increases in College
– provide free sexual health supplies
– provide binding and admin services
– run the Student Advice Service
– offer free yoga classes
– manage campaigns such as the Women’s Campaign or the BME Students campaign
– and much more!

Fitz MCR is affiliated to both CUSU and the GU. MCR Committee members regularly attend meetings for both bodies to represent our views, though the meetings are open to everyone and occur fortnightly. Further information about both CUSU and the GU can be found at their respective websites:
https://www.cusu.co.uk/
https://www.gradunion.cam.ac.uk/
 

What opportunities are there for graduates to get involved with music at Fitz?

 
There are many opportunities to get involved with music at Fitz! The Fitzwilliam College Music Society (FCMS) is a senior society and so incorporates undergraduates, graduates and fellows. The society is resposible for promoting music in Fitz and organises a dedicated MCR Concert each year for performers, although you can also request your own recital if you would like to do so.

A Graduate Music Salon is also held several times a year which provides a more informal performing opportunity. The Chapel Choir is open to graduate, as well as undergraduate, singers. Fitzwilliam also has its own close-harmony a capella groups, Fitz Barbershop and the Fitz Sirens. You can sign up for these, and any other musical group at Fitz, at the College Societies’ Fair in Fresher’s Week.

If you would like more details on music at Fitz, you can contact the Music department at music@fitz.cam.ac.uk”. Further information on College music is also available here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/music

Graduates are also able to join any of the university-wide choirs, orchestras and musical groups; more information about these can be found at the CUSU Societies’ Fair in Fresher’s Week.
 

What sports and societies are available in the college?

 
Fitz has a wide variety of sports teams at many levels, including football, rugby, rowing, squash and swimming just to name a few. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to join, either competitively or more casually for fitness and fun. A full list and contact information can be found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/sports-clubs

There are also many non-sport societies and clubs, such as music, arts, and academic groups for you to get involved with. Information on the clubs and how to contact them can be found here:
https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/societies

Fitz holds a Societies Fair, usually on the first Sunday of Freshers’ Week, where all clubs/societies and groups will be represented and keen to tell you what they do. This is the best time to express interest and join, but you can also contact the club’s representative via email later if you miss it. See your Welcome Pack and Handbook for the date and times of the fair.
 

What sports and societies are available in the University?

 
Cambridge University has a huge number of sports and clubs to get involved with outside of college life and academia. This can range from sports teams competing on a university or national level, to more casual exercise or dance clubs, political organisations, and more whimsical pastimes like tiddlywinks! The list is simply too long to show here, but you can browse most of them at the following links:

CUSU Societies Directory – https://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/societies/directory/
Cambridge University Sport – https://www.sport.cam.ac.uk/student-sport/university-sports-clubs
University Club Registry – http://www.societies.cam.ac.uk/

The best time to find out about and join clubs is at the CUSU Freshers’ Fair, which is held in the centre of Cambridge on the first Tuesday and Wednesday of Freshers’ Week. The fair stretches across Parker’s Piece and inside Parkside sports centre and you will need your student card to enter. Details of times and entry arrangements can be found here:
https://www.cusu.co.uk/freshersfair/
 

Coach travel to and from Cambridge

 
There are coach services to most major UK cities and airports and even to Europe directly from Cambridge. The pick up and drop off points vary depending on the service, but many leave from Parker’s Piece in the centre of the city. Details of coaches and booking can be found at the National Express website:
https://www.nationalexpress.com/en
 

Trains to and from Cambridge

 
Cambridge has two train stations, Cambridge Central near the city centre, and Cambridge North towards the Arbury area. These are both around a 20 minute cycle from Fitz, but there are also buses to both stations and taxis can be hired for around £8 to £15.

Websites for each station, including information about the location, travel to and from, and facilites at the stations are available here:
Central – http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/CBG/details.aspx
North – http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/CMB/details.aspx

There are excellent train links to London, with journeys taking around an hour, and links from London onward to continental Europe. It is also possible to get trains to most of the major airports (Luton, Gatwick, Heathrow), but this requires at least one change in London. Trains are also available to the north of England, via Birmingham and to Scotland. Route and time information and booking facilities can be found on the National Rail website: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/default.aspx
 

Welfare and Health

How and where do I register with a doctor or dentist?

 
The University of Cambridge does not have its own medical practice, and all students should register with a local GP (general practitioner) when they arrive. The GP will be the first point of contact for most health issues that are not emergencies. The nearest GP to Fitz is at 1 Huntingdon Road. Students may choose to register with any practice, but are advised to find one that is near to where they live.

There are a number of dentist services in Cambridge. If you need to see a dentist, you can use the NHS Choices website to locate the most appropriate one for you.

More information on healthcare, including mental health provision, can be found at the following pages:
College website – https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/welfare/health
NHS Choices – https://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/
 

How can I obtain welfare requests from the MCR?

The MCR takes sexual health and other issues seriously, and support is available to all students. There are a breadth of welfare items that can be requested including condoms, lube and pregnancy tests. To submit a request for welfare supplies, please fill in the form at this link: http://mcr.fitz.cam.ac.uk/support/welfare-and-equality/welfare-requests/ and the items can be provided anonymously for you. Please note that the delivery of items will take up to 1 week and delivery times will be longer out of term. The welfare officer will send advance notices for gaps longer than two weeks.

How can I raise any problems or complaints about my PhD supervisor or my course through College?

If you feel that you are unable to raise any complaints with your department directly, then your Graduate Tutor is the first point of contact in College for you to talk to – you can discuss any problems about your course, supervisions, or other academic matters to your Tutor, who can then offer you advice and intervene on your behalf if needed. You can speak to your Tutor on any matter, however trivial or traumatic: academic, social, financial, medical, or to do with your home life.

What is the graduate housing ballot and when does it take place?

College accommodation is allocated in the form of a housing ballot, which all continuing graduate students of Fitz are eligible to enter as long as they agree to stay within their accommodation for at least 39 weeks. All Fitzwilliam College Scholars, existing MCR committee members, and final year PhD students will have a higher priority in the ballot. The housing ballot takes place around May, and is jointly run by the College Graduate Office and the MCR welfare officers.

What mental health support is available in the College and University?

Sadly, many people have difficult periods of time at Cambridge for a variety of reasons. It is completely normal and quite common for people to seek mental health advice during their time at university if they feel things are going out of control. You are always welcome to come talk to our welfare officers, who will be able to listen to your concerns, offer their support to you, and if necessary, recommmend professional mental health or welfare services to you. Any conversations with them will be in strictest confidence. They can be contacted via: mcr.welfare@fitz.cam.ac.uk.

If you would like to seek other means of mental health support, the college nurse, college counsellor, and college chaplain are there for you. The University counselling service, which is provided by professionally-trained counsellors, is also available. For more details, please refer to the list of useful mental health contacts published on the college homepage: https://www.fitz.cam.ac.uk/college-life/welfare/health.

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