• Pembroke College, Cambridge

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Pembroke College, Cambridge

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Pembroke College
University: University of Cambridge
Address: Pembroke College,
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 338100.
Website: http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/
Student Union/JCR website: Junior Parlour
Graduate Parlour
Graduate/MCR website: no
Admittance: Undergraduates and Postgraduates



Trumpington Street, Cambridge.

It is across the street from Peterhouse and almost as close as you can get to the centre of Cambridge.

  • 0.45 miles to the Sidgwick site (where a lot of the arts departments are).

Student Statistics

  • Total undergraduates 07-08 = 446 (216 men + 230 women)
  • Total undergraduates 06-07 = 442 (211 men + 231 women)
  • Total admitted in Oct 07 = 148 (73 men + 75 women)
  • Total admitted in Oct 06 = 143 (69 men + 74 women)

Source: The Reporter Special Issue: Student Numbers 07-08

Pembroke application statistics See College applications and admissions statistics

Pembroke applications statistics per subject See Applications statistics

54% of Pembroke acceptances in 2007 and 56% in 2006 were from state school students (source).


Accommodation is all pretty good. there's a good variety depending on what you want. You can have all 3 years in College provided you don't mind where you are, but most people choose to live with their friends in the College-owned houses instead. Most of them aren't far. There's always loads of students about, so there's nothing to worry about.

First Years All first years live in college.

  • Foundress Court: Most freshers are in Foundress Court, which has 90 rooms. Foundress Court is the new block (image 1, image 2, Youtube clip showing Foundress Court room). The rooms are modern and have the biggest desks, and nice sinks. There are good kitchens too with a freezer in each. There are also toilets nearby on the end of corridors. There's a gym and computer room downstairs.

The other rooms are all fairly similar, but in different parts of college.

  • Red Building (images, H3, H3, H3)
  • New Court (image 1, image 2) A New Court room I've been in was up some stairs. You then went through some doors to a hall with 4 rooms, a kitchen and a loo off it. The room was pretty big with big cupboards, one of which concealed a sink. The rooms have nice high ceilings, particularly on the first floor.
  • Orchard Building (image) The rooms here are huge and light, and the ones facing in have a great view across the bowling green. The showers are particularly good as well.

In all of the above buildings, the toilets and showers are all in the basement, which some people find a bit of a pain. Similarly the kitchens are small and a bit rubbish. But you do get a nice old room, often with a big fireplace - so it depends very much on what you want. Some people prefer living in the historic old buildings to the modernity of Foundress Court.

Second and Third Years Some 2nd and 3rd years continue to live in college, but most live in one of the college-owned houses.

All rooms in Pembroke accommodation are single rooms - you do not have to share. If you have a reason to stay in College over vacations which is supported by your Dos and Tutor then you may be allowed to stay, although it is likely you will have to change rooms (especially at Christmas if you are living in College). Third/Fourth year students are automatically allowed to stay in their rooms throughout the holidays.

In College gyp (kitchens) rooms you get a microwave and a hob.


Trough: The canteen is affectionately called 'trough'. The quality is generally very good, and there is a wide selection available - normally 3 different cooked mains, pasta, jacket potatoes, soup, a salad bar and 2 'grab and go' options. Menus can be found online at http://thepembrokekitchen.blogspot.co.uk/

Most people go every night but you can cook for yourself if you like instead. Pembroke can be slightly pricey - you're probably looking at somewhere round £3.50 for a full meal on top of Kitchen Fixed Charge. However, it is definitely possible to self-cater, and many students do so, especially those living in college owned houses with access to ovens. The only difference with weekends is that instead of putting on 3 meals a day they put on two, brunch and dinner. Pembroke brunch is amazing, and definitely worth going to.

Formal Hall: Formal hall is quite relaxed, just shirt and trousers is fine, you'll be wearing your gown over the top anyway so its not always easy to see. The food is excellent, which can be an issue in that everyone always wants to come to Pembroke formal, so you may not get to go to many other colleges formals!

Social Spaces

  • Junior Parlour (Bar and common room)
  • Cafe Pembroke

Library and Computing

  • Computer room with 30 PCs

Wireless hotspots Pretty much everywhere in college. The JP, bar and library all have good connection, but you can use it pretty much anywhere.

Room Internet Connection: At Pembroke if you go over 10GB in a 24 hour period your bandwidth is automatically throttled until your are under the limit for the last 24 hour period. So it is done on a rolling basis. The throttling for going over the limit is quite considerable and for me at least rules out anything apart from browsing which is a real pain. I think the college only take any other action for large amounts of torrenting and that will only be a warning initially. All traffic whatsoever is counted. You can register 5 devices, but all will count towards your daily bandwidth allowance. P2P is completely banned at Pembroke (and probably most other Colleges).

The room internet speeds are very fast - about 90Mb download, 60Mb upload.

Academic Performance

Pembroke's ranking in the Tompkins Table (which ranks colleges by their Tripos exam results): 10th (2008), 7th (2007), 4th (2006), 6th (2005), 6th (2004), 3rd (2003), 1st (2002), 7th (2001), 6th (2000).


Pembroke was declared the 15th sportiest Cambridge College in Michaelmas 2009 by The Tab. See The Tab article: The College Cup revealed


May Balls are Black tie. Most people do go to the ball, many people already seem to own black tie, but many people hire so don't worry.


  • Chapel (image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4)
  • Buttery (serves meals three times a day, known as 'trough')
  • Dining Hall (image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5)
  • Library (image 1, image 2, image 3)
  • Junior Parlour (Bar and common room)
  • Cafe Pembroke
  • Computer room with 30 PCs
  • 2 Self-service laundry rooms each with washing machines/dryers (1.40 a wash, 50p a dry)
  • Multi-gym
  • Music room
  • Dark room
  • Art Room
  • Party Room
  • Sports ground (1.3 miles away from main college site)

The music facilities are pretty good, we have i think maybe 2 practice rooms. They seem to be generally available so it wouldn't be a problem getting hold of them.


We have our own music society which puts on very regular recitals and we have two choirs, the formal chapel one and a more informal one for people who just want to go and sing and have fun.

College Magazine

The Pembroke college magazine (written and produced by Pembroke students) is called Pembroke Street and is published twice a term. Past issues are downloadable here. There is also The Pem, Pembroke's poetry magazine.

Student-eye view

Look up Pembroke in the CUSU Alternative Prospectus and read the Alternative Prospectus.

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