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Churchill is one of the 31 independent, self-governing Colleges that make up the University of Cambridge. The University's Faculties and Departments provide lectures, laboratories and libraries, set and mark exams and award degrees. But every student is a member of a College and it is probably fair to say that it is their College that most characterises a student's time at Cambridge.
Colleges control undergraduate admissions. They provide academic guidance and key teaching through their Directors of Studies and supervisions. They also provide library and computing facilities. Where appropriate, they give pastoral and financial support. Just as importantly, they offer student accommodation, amenities, and clubs and societies. So for many students College is the centre of their social life. Although Cambridge Colleges are similar in many ways and although your statistical chance of admission to the University does not depend on the College you choose, most applicants think quite hard about College choice.
Among Cambridge Colleges, Churchill is uncommonly distinctive. It was founded in 1960 as the national memorial to Sir Winston Churchill — celebrated wartime leader and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Today it reflects both his interest in science and technology, and his personal stature as a visionary politician and a great man of letters. The College is unusually conscious of its past — especially its foundation and early history. But that past was all about building for the future and seeking to break the mould, so Churchill is notably progressive, and forward- and outward-looking. How this difference manifests itself is unfolded by these webpages.
We are probably best known in the wider world for the high proportion of science and technology students we admit (c. 65%). By the terms of our foundation we do indeed have a special focus on the sciences and Churchill has a great tradition in Computer Science, Engineering, Maths and Natural Sciences. Its members have between them won over 20 Nobel Prizes. But because it is a large College our arts students are still very plentiful in number. We typically have substantial cohorts in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Archaeology and Anthropology, Economics, English, Geography, History, Law, Modern Languages and PPS, and also usually admit students in almost all of the University's smaller arts subjects (we do not take students in Land Economy or Theology). Moreover, academic performance in arts as well as sciences is outstanding; in recent years our results on the arts side have been among the strongest in the University. Information on the subjects the College offers is here.
Those better acquainted with the College also know about our remarkable Archives Centre. This principally houses the papers of two of Britain's most important prime ministers: Winston Churchill himself and Margaret Thatcher. It also holds the collections of other significant post-war politicians, such as foreign secretary Ernest Bevin and Labour leader Neil Kinnock, as well as the papers of many critically important scientists and military commanders. Among the former are John Cockcroft, Rosalind Franklin and Frank Whittle, and among the latter Admiral Jackie Fisher and General Bill Slim. Because of the importance of the Archives Centre, the College regularly hosts high-profile conferences on modern history, politics and international relations, at which some of the world's leading figures in these fields speak.