Postgraduate applications

Churchill College was founded as an academic community of Fellows, Postgraduates and Undergraduates. With 370 Postgraduates from all over the world, specialising in a wide variety of subjects across the sciences and humanities, Churchill’s Postgraduate students are valued members of the College’s diverse and exciting academic community.

Strengthening our community is our on-site Postgraduate accommodation. All Postgraduates are offered on-site accommodation during their first year, and many often stay for longer.

Application process

Applicants for graduate courses should apply to the University in the first instance, and application should be made through the University’s Graduate Admissions Office (formerly known as the Board of Graduate Studies) using the Applicant Portal for most graduate courses; exceptions are the PGCE, MBA, MFin and Clinical Medicine. Current undergraduate members of Churchill College wishing to apply for graduate courses should initially consult their Director of Studies or tutor.

Once you have been accepted by the University your application will be sent initially to the first college on your preference list. In order to be considered by Churchill College you should list us as your first preference college. You will not receive any communication from the colleges other than from the college which offers you a place. The process of obtaining a college place can be quite lengthy but the University’s Graduate Admissions Office will endeavour to find a college place for everyone who has been offered a place by the University.

If the College is able to offer you a place we will write to you with details of our offer. We will also send basic information about college accommodation. More detailed information will be provided at a later stage after you have met all your conditions. Any offer of a place will be made on condition that you satisfy the University’s academic and financial conditions for admission. We will ask you to keep in contact with us until those conditions have been met.

More information about the University admissions process


Fees and costs

Tuition fees

All academic fees are collected through the College. The total fee you pay depends on your course. Self-funded students need to pay their academic fees for the year, before arriving in College. If you are funded by a public body, or other organisation and need to vary these arrangements, please contact the Student Accounts Department.

Approved fees for all other students are charged termly in advance. They should be paid to the College at the start of the term or at the latest within 14 days of the first day of full term. If the payment of fees in advance causes you hardship, you should talk to your tutor immediately. You can check the fees you should be paying on the University website.

Home fee status students following certain courses continue to be eligible for the public support they received in their undergraduate study years and can apply to have the college element of their fees and in some cases, a means-tested contribution to the university element, or a fee loan, paid directly from public funds.

Please note: even if your parental income is such that you do not qualify for the means-tested elements of public funding, it may still be necessary for you to provide proof of residence for home fees status, otherwise you will be personally liable for a college fee in addition to the overseas university fee.

University information about graduate course costs and fee status

Postgraduate payment timetable

College charges

Your monthly College Account will be sent to you by 10th of the following month.  This will include rent for the following month plus catering, electricity or other charges that you incurred during the month. All College Accounts should be paid by direct debit. Payment of your College Account will be taken by direct debit on 1st of month after it has been issued.

The rent for college rooms includes reasonable heating from about 7am–11 pm from October to April depending on the temperature outside. Rents for individual room range from about £97–£200 per week, depending on size and facilities. The rents are set by the MCR with the Bursar.

Meals in the dining hall, which is open every day of the week, cost approximately £6 for two courses.

College rent deposit and membership bond

All postgraduate students who live in College accommodation are required to pay 2 months rent in advance. You will then be billed monthly in advance for rent until the end of your final rent contract.

All students, including those who do not live in College accommodation, are required to pay a Membership Bond of £250.  This will held by College whilst you are a student and will be refunded to you against your final College Account.

Grants & funding payments received by College

Some grants for living expenses from other public bodies for UK, EU and Overseas students are made directly to the College rather than to the student. If this is the case, the grants or other funding will be credited to your College Account. You should contact the Student Accounts Office if you would like all/some of this money to be transferred to your own bank account.

If you are a Home fee status student on certain specified postgraduate courses (*MASt., clinical veterinary and clinical medical sciences) and and are receiving a loan from the Student Loans Company, this will be paid directly into your bank account. You will be sent a Financial Notification Form. This should be sent to the Student Accounts Office as soon as possible after you arrive in Cambridge.

Council tax

Full-time students have no liability for Council Tax provided that they are only living with other students. You may be asked to provide proof of student status for Council Tax purposes. The Postgraduate can help with this – do not ignore letters about Council Tax.

Dependents of students are liable for Council Tax unless they themselves are students or have a visa stamped ‘no recourse to public funds’. Dependents may be eligible for a reduction on the grounds of low, or no, income in the household if they complete a form for Housing and Council Tax Benefit. Legal liability for payment of the Tax lies with the tenant and not with the dependent concerned or with the College.

Bank accounts

It’s really important that you have a UK bank account set up as soon as possible. On request, the Postgraduate Office will provide a letter confirming your student status for a bank

‘Over-running’ PhD students

Some PhD students are now funded for 12 terms, but many for just nine terms. If you fail to submit in time, there are a number of sources of help. You should plan your finances to allow for some extension. Talk to your research supervisor as well as your college tutor, particularly if the delay is no fault of your own. Many departments also have funds available to assist.

A postgraduate student is liable to pay full university and college fees for the minimum required number of terms of research required for their degree, even if they receive leave to work away from Cambridge.

Financial support

Churchill College postgraduate student applicants are eligible for a range of postgraduate funding opportunities through the University of Cambridge.

In addition, Churchill College puts aside money each year, as funds allow, to support incoming postgraduate students.

University student funding website

Churchill College financial support 

I have always thought that I made the right choice when applying for this college, and my experience supports that decision.

  • Elizabeth, PhD student



A Churchill tutor is with you every step of the way.

Churchill College is a welcoming and supportive community. As a Postgraduate student here, you will have a strong support network of fellow students and college staff. While the University is responsible for your teaching and research supervision, Churchill will provide pastoral support within a stimulating academic community.

As a graduate student at Churchill, you will be given a tutor. Tutors are concerned with your welfare and progress throughout your time at Churchill College. You can contact your tutor at any time for advice or help on anything from academic, administrative, financial or emotional problems you may be experiencing.

Our tutors for Postgraduates are familiar with the particular needs of students with partners and families.

Families and partners

If you are planning to bring your family with you, Churchill College is a wonderful place to study. Our open spaces provide plenty of room for parkland and garden walks, and we have excellent accommodation for partners and families. With 25 studio flats, ideal for couples, and 20 maisonettes which are designed for students with up to two children, we are proud of our facilities, which includes a communal playground.

Children and partners are welcome in the dining hall at self-service meals and the College provides facilities for family events. The MCR has a Families Officer on its committee, who helps organise events like Easter Egg hunts, Christmas activities and more, to help you and your children meet friends and build support networks among other parents at College.

Bringing partners and families to Churchill

Churchill College truly is the best place for a student with a family. The support, environment, and opportunities provided were beyond amazing.

  • Takumi Sano, Postgraduate

Postgraduate accommodation

Most graduates live in large houses around the edge of the College site, with their own gardens and communal facilities. Find out more

Services and support

Find the support you're looking for Find out more

Our campus and facilities

The campus experience in Cambridge Find out more