Female student smiling at the camera, standing against a backdrop of red Boston ivy.


Churchill College was in the vanguard of dramatically expanding female participation in Cambridge University: it was the first of the formerly all-male Cambridge colleges to vote to admit women, with the initial cohort of female students arriving in 1972.

Since 1972 women have formed a core and essential part of our community, being heavily represented in the College students’ unions, in sport, music, drama, art and many other areas of extra-curricular activity, all while achieving outstanding academic results. There is a strong female presence on the College’s Fellowship, and many of its academics most focused upon working closely with students (Directors of Studies, for instance) are women.

The current Master, Professor Dame Athene Donald, is the first woman to hold this role in the College, and is determined that during her tenure the proportion of women students in the College should grow towards parity with men. Watch our videos and read about some of our talented female members to get a sense of what it is like to be a woman at Churchill.

“Women here fit seamlessly, as they should, into our wider culture. Churchill is friendly, open and welcoming, embracing inclusivity. With our particular focus upon STEM subjects within the terms of our foundation, it is important that minorities of every sort – including women, who are seriously underrepresented in some STEM subjects across the UK – feel that they belong. To achieve this we intend to build on our historically pioneering stand in admitting women to create an even stronger community for women, and especially to enable them to thrive in those disciplines where stereotypically they might not. Both in our admissions work and once women arrive in the College, we strive to ensure their voice is heard, their concerns addressed and that their achievements are recognised. Vital to this is working directly with the student body to support their own actions.”Professor Dame Athene Donald

Study with us


A series of conversations with distinguished academics, hosted by the Master of Churchill College, Professor Dame Athene Donald

Find out more