Postgraduate students are a valued part of Downing College's academic and social life.
Postgraduate students at Downing become members of the Middle Combination Room (MCR) whose committee represents postgraduate students’ views and organises social events. These events include Formal Halls, frequent swaps with other Colleges and Postgraduate Seminars giving students the opportunity to present their research to members of the College.
With around 500 members, the MCR is a multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse and international community, closely integrated into the academic and social life of the College.
The Middle Combination Room
The common room used by postgraduates is called the Middle Combination Room (MCR), the Treherne Room, which is located on S Staircase. It has newspapers, wide-screen TV, a bar, and facilities for making tea and coffee. It provides a useful base, particularly for those not resident in College.
The MCR is administered by MCR committee members, who are elected by their fellow postgraduates. These officers also organise dinners in Hall, private dinner parties in the West Lodge for members of the MCR and their guests, and other social events.
Members of the MCR are also members of the Amalgamation Club, the joint organisation of the JCR and MCR. They are encouraged to use the facilities it provides and to take part in College activities of all types.
The President and Vice-President of the MCR represent the graduate students at the Governing Body, the General Purposes Committee and various other committees.
College sports and societies
Postgraduate students participate in many College societies and sports clubs. The College sports ground, a ten minute cycle ride from Downing, has pitches for rugby, football, hockey and cricket; grass tennis courts; and, in the modern pavilion, changing rooms and showers.
At the Boathouse on the Cam, postgraduate students share with the undergraduates all the opportunities for both leisure and competitive rowing in IVs, VIIIs and sculling boats. The College also has its own tennis/netball/basketball courts and gym on site. In addition the College is fortunate to have use of the Paddock as part of the main domus for informal games and sport practice.
Downing Music and Drama
Downing has enjoyed the talents of many notable musicians including ex-members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. The Downing College Music Society (DCMS) Committee includes postgraduates and undergraduates and organises many orchestral, chamber, choral and other concerts. There are also regular small recitals in the Master’s Lodge. Musical facilities in the College include music practice facilities and the Chapel organ. The Organ Scholars or the Admissions Tutors will be glad to answer any questions you may have about music at Downing. The College participates in both the Instrumental and Choral Awards Schemes.
The Downing Drama Society is the student-run amateur dramatic society for Downing College. Anyone can be a member of the Downing Drama Society. It is totally free of charge and they are always on the lookout for enthusiastic individuals interested in acting, directing, producing, technical directing, set design, stage management, lighting, sound, costumes, make-up or publicity and marketing. Our fabulous Howard Theatre is on site and has excellent sound and lighting systems.
Most college societies and sports clubs contact new students on arrival and, for University activities, the Societies’ Fair at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term gives access to a myriad of stalls for every conceivable activity.