Magdalene College, Cambridge

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  • Magdalene is on the river - beautiful.
  • It's slightly out of the centre but everything is easily walkable/cyclable.
  • It's a 0.86 mile walk to the Sidgwick Site where all the arts departments are.
  • It's 0.26 miles from Sainsburys.
  • It's 0.66 miles from the Downing site and the New Museums Site (Arch and Anth, Medics).
  • It's one mile from the Chemistry department on Lensfield Road.

Undergraduate Student Statistics

  • Total Undergraduates in 2009-10 = 379 (177 men + 202 women)
  • Total Undergraduates in 2007-8 = 371 (185 men + 186 women)
  • Total Undergraduates in 2006-7 = 366 (180 men + 186 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 07: 116 (49 men + 67 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 06: 110 (50 men + 60 women)

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

Magdalene Application Statistics

  • 2007: 469 applications (including 25 open applications); 116 offers (including 14 winter pool offers); 16 offers by other colleges;105 admissions (including 1 summer pool admission).
  • 2006: 486 applications (including 59 open applications); 116 offers (including 17 winter pool offers); 17 offers by other colleges; 104 admissions (including 2 summer pool admissions).
  • 2005: 398 applications (including 71 open applications); 110 offers (including 23 winter pool offers); 13 offers by other colleges; 98 admissions.
  • 2004: 420 applications (including 73 open applications); 129 offers (including 30 winter pool offers); 9 offers by other colleges; 116 admissions.

Source: College applications and admissions statistics

Magdalene Application Statistics per subject See Appplication Statistics

The proportion of state school to private school backgrounds is approximately 50:50 at Magdalene (48% of acceptances in 2007 and 50% in 2006 were from state school students (source)).


In your first year you just get allocated a random room (some are really cool, a separate living room and bedroom, whereas some are really small). Accommodation in Magdalene is really varied - one building is 2 years old and has beautiful en-suite rooms, and some is really old.

Rent is according to the size and quality of your room, but no fresher's room is going to be less than £70/pw (although some rooms you can pick in your second year go up to £98p/w). There's not a huge range in rents, as you can see, but if you feel that you won't be able to afford a higher band, you are usually able to request this.

Officially you're not allowed to use any blutak etc because it will damage the paint - if there's damage at the end of the year then you'll lose some of your deposit. If, like in my room last year, there are *already* blutak marks all over the walls, just make sure you note it on the room inventory before you sign and give it back at the beginning of the year and then, if you happen to add some more blutak to it... by "mistake"... they won't know it wasn't the damage already there. If you catch my meaning.

How you pick rooms

  • Freshers: Rooms assigned at random.
  • 2nd and 3rd Years - Ballot drawn up in Lent term of the previous year. The 2nd years (then Freshers) are randomly ordered, and this is placed under the reversed random order of the 3rd years (then 2nd years). So if we call the leaving year X (p people), 3rd years Y(n people) and 2nd years Z (m people), each year is ordered randomly in its first lent term, and the ultimate ballot is, in order of priority: yn, yn-1, ... , y2, y1, z1, z2, ... , zm-1, zm. (with the previous years overall ballot being xp, xp-1, ... , x2, x1, y1, y2, ... , yn-1, yn) As far as I know, 4th year returning MMLers are treated as being in the 3rd year, and it's worked out so that 3rd years get priority over any 4th year part IIIers. Once this ballot is drawn up, it determines the order in which you are called to pick rooms near the end of Lent term, so what you have to choose between depends on the choices of those higher up. Any references to "Scholars' Rooms" are out of date since this system was dropped in 2011.

Formal hall

One of the cheapest colleges for formal hall - it's £4.95 in 2011-12 - and was chosen as the most atmospheric by a student newspaper.

Social Spaces

  • College Bar
  • JCR Room with sofas, Sky TV, magazines and newspapers

Library and Computing

  • Computer room
  • Computer office with somebody to help if you run into problems with your computer.
  • Internet - students have an allowance of 5GB at the start of every term, which accumulates by 1GB a day.

Academic Performance

Magdalene's ranking in the Tompkins Table (which ranks 29 colleges by their Tripos exam results): 2nd (2015); 5th (2008), 13th (2007), 20th (2006), 20th (2005), 22nd (2004), 18th (2003), 15th (2002), 22nd (2001), 22nd (2000).


Magdalene was declared the 17th sportiest Cambridge College in Michealmas 2009 by The Tab. See The Tab article: The College Cup revealed


Extensive information at



Magdalene Pros and cons

Student-eye view

Other Links


Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic
Modern and Medieval Languages
Natural Sciences
Politics, Psychology and Sociology


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