Postgraduate Accommodation

Download the propspective postgraduate accommodation form for 2022-2023 here.

A limited number of rooms in College or in a College house are available to single, full-time postgraduate students in their first year, depending on the date when the College receives notification of a confirmed place from the Postgraduate Admissions Office and subject to availability. Priority will be given only to postgraduates who have special housing needs for reasons of disability or health.

All rooms are furnished, centrally heated and vary in size and outlook.  Rooms are study-bedrooms and many offer en-suite facilities. There are no shared rooms.

All rooms have access to kitchen facilities.  Students will require their own pillows, duvets and bed linen.  It is possible for students to hire bed linen by contacting the Housekeeping Office.

The majority of College accommodation for postgraduates is located on the main College site, with rooms in the Singer Building, Battcock Lodge, Regent Street, and in houses on Lensfield Road.  There are also six rooms in the Boathouse.

For detailed accommodation information see our accommodation pages and accommodation information on the MCR website.

Accommodation for first year postgraduate students is allocated by the Accommodation Office, subject to availability and is not guaranteed. An accommodation ballot is held for College accommodation for students in their second and subsequent years.

Couple and family accommodation

The College has very limited accommodation for couples, and for this reason we cannot guarantee a flat will be available during your course of study. If you would like to request accommodation as a couple, please make this clear on your Accommodation Form which must be returned to the Accommodation Officer as soon as possible.

The College has no accommodation suitable for students with children. We strongly advise you not to bring your family to Cambridge until you have arranged and confirmed accommodation for them. 

Students seeking couple or family accommodation are strongly advised to contact the University Accommodation Service.

Step-by-step guide to the accommodation process

  • Application forms for accommodation are emailed with the Downing College offer letter.
  • Choose the price band of accommodation most suitable for you.
  • Return your completed Accommodation Application form to the Accommodation Officer as soon as possible. 
  • Rooms are allocated only once the College has received notification of a confirmed place from the Graduate Admissions Office, if the Accommodation Officer is in receipt of your accommodation application form and subject to availability and therefore not guaranteed.
  • Read the Allocation Policy below.
  • Check how accommodation offers are made.
  • Accept your accommodation offer.
  • A Residential Agreement will be emailed to you.
  • Return a signed copy of your Residential Agreement to the Accommodation Office.

Accommodation allocation policy

Every effort is made to place students in their preferred rent band. We will consider all the information given on the application form including the student’s stated preferences and the rent applicable to their choice.

Accommodation is allocated subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed, and to candidates who:

  • have a confirmed place (all conditions of the offer have been met)
  • are unaccompanied
  • have firmly accepted (with the College) an offer of study
  • are new, full-time students in their first year of study at Downing
  • will be starting their studies by October
  • will be here for a full academic year
  • have returned a completed accommodation application form

All allocations of postgraduate accommodation will be made by the Accommodation Office. Priority will be given only to postgraduates who have special housing needs for reasons of disability or health.

The Accommodation Office will allocate spaces fairly and without bias, basing the decision solely upon the information provided by the applicant on the application form. Postgraduates who are unhappy with their allocation will be given the opportunity to join a transfer waiting list after their residency has started.

How accommodation offers are made

All offers are sent by email. We advise students holding unconditional offers to check their email at least twice each week.

You will usually have seven days to accept your offer. We cannot promise that you will receive an offer of a room in the rent band that you applied for, but we will always do our best to make an offer that is suitable for you.

The accommodation offer

The emailed offer may be PDF or Word format and can be up to 70Kb in size. Please make sure that there is enough space in your in-box to receive this message.

Your email offer will comprise a letter giving details of the room offered and the rent band. Once you have accepted this a Residential Agreement will be emailed to you for signature.

See details of privately rented accommodation in Cambridge.

Please contact the Accommodation Officer by email or on 01223 762063 if you have any further queries.