Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge

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Sidney Sussex College


University: University of Cambridge

Address: Sidney Street, Cambridge CB2 3HU

Telephone: +44 1223 338800


Student Union/JCR website:

Graduate/MCR website: no

Admittance: Undergraduates and Postgraduates


Student Statistics

  • Total Undergraduates in 2007-8 = 379 (180 men + 190 women)
  • Total Undergraduates in 2006-7 = 371 (190 men + 181 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 07: 124 (57 men + 67 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 06: 116 (53 men + 63 women)

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

Sideny Sussex Application Statistics See College applications and admissions statistics

Sidney Sussex Application Statistics per subject See Statistics

62% of Sidney Sussex acceptances in 2007 and 66% in 2006 were from state school students (source).


Opposite Sainsburys (i.e. right in the centre of town where you want to be!)


First Year Accommodation

Since the renovation of Cromwell Court, the quality of first year accommodation is a lot more even. Garden Court and Sussex House have the advantage of being near and having hobs and Cromwell Court (about five minutes down the street) is all shiny and new and has a great social atmosphere. In the first year, you are simply allocated a room.

Garden Court (floors R, S and T) has some lovely big rooms with large windows and some even have fireplaces. The top floor (T) has just recently been refurbished so that's all shiny new and lovely this is where the majority of international students are housed. Kitchens and bathrooms are shared between about 4 or 5 people and are usually pretty basic. Garden Court is situated in the middle of college, directly above the library and within stumbling distance of the bar. There are rumours of kitchen and S floor revamps. It also contains an amusing (and lethal, if you mess with it enough) lift which has no door to it, so you see the wall slide past you.

Sussex House has also got large rooms with kitchens and bathrooms shared between roughly 6 people. Thanks to a new carpet, the infamous glue smell has now almost disappeared (for now...)

Cromwell was renovated over Summer 2008, room sizes range from large to fairly small. The rooms are arranged in flats of four or five and there is a bathroom (all with very good showers!) and kitchen (These tend to be fairly small with only a combi microwave and George Forman grill in although there are two flats with larger kitchens and proper cookers in) in each. Cromwell has a reputation for having a great atmosphere, as the building is inhabited by half of the first years (and only the first-years). There is a TV room, which is great for socialising.

Second and Third Year Accommodation

In choosing rooms for your second year, you can choose up to 3 other people to ballot with. Then, names are drawn out randomly, and people pick in the order of the ballot. In the second-year, half of the students choose to live in a college-owned house (ranging from just around the corner to 20 minutes walk from college), and the other half choose to stay in college. For the third year, the order of the ballot is reversed and thus, people who chose last for their second year, get to choose first for their third year. Most third years choose to return back to college, to stay close to the library, although on occasion, students choose to remain a house.

The most coveted rooms in college (usually taken by third years) are the sets in the old staircases and in Cloister Court. Sets consist of a bedroom and a study room/living room. Kitchen and bathroom facilities for the staircases tend to be fairly basic, and shared between ~5 people. Second and third years may also choose to live in Sussex Court (see above) or Blundell Court. Blundell Court rooms are all ensuite, and relatively new (they were refurbished just two years ago). The kitchens in Blundell Court are shared between 6-9 students and are considered the nicest kitchens in college.

There are several college-owned houses, situated around town, including Portugal Street, Park Parade, Huntingdon Road and near the river (De Frev). The houses on Huntingdon Road are the furthest, although in Cambridge terms, 'far' translates to about a 20 minute walk from college.


Unlike at some other colleges, you can walk on about half of the grass (it's always a joy to be able to step onto grass in Cambridge!). The front courts - Hall and Chapel- are off limits, and so is the Master's Garden. However, the gardens at the back are some of Sidney's best-kept secret. Large, and well-maintained, Sidney's three gardens (Cloister Court, Fellow's Garden and Tennis Garden) play host to a number of wonderful events in the Easter term (i.e. summer term), such as plays and garden parties. They are also simply a wonderful place to relax.



Sidney's pride and joy has got to be its bar, and no description of Sidney is complete without giving the bar a mention. Sidney has the only entirely student-run bar in Cambridge - Sidney students manage the bar, its stock and finances, and Sidney students can also work behind the bar to make a little extra money. It also happens to be the cheapest bar in Cambridge.

It has an extremely friendly atmosphere and is frequented by students, whether or not they want to drink. Often, students from other colleges also like to pop in. Has a darts board, pool table, football table and Itbox.

The bar hosts fortnightly themed Bops, as well as cocktail nights, jazz nights, open mic nights... It also bears witness to RAG fundraising events, such as the RAG Auction, and regular SSCSU open meetings.

Library and Computing

The Library is open 24hrs and operates a self-issue system, so should the desire grip you, you can go in and borrow a book at 4 'o clock in the morning. There is a computer room upstairs (mostly Windows but a couple of Macs), with two laser printers and a scanner. There is also a photocopier, and ample studying space. Wifi internet is available in the library. All rooms have internet connections (ethernet).


TV Rooms

For those who can't go without their daily fix of Neighbours, there is a main JCR Common Room with Freeview, a room in Garden Court and a tv room in Cromwell Court.

Dining Hall

Sidney's chefs are amongst the best in Cambridge (having won numerous awards in national competitions), although as per usual, normal hall food can be a bit of a hit or miss (but still better than many other colleges). Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served Mondays-Fridays; brunch and dinner are served on Saturdays and dinner is served on Sunday.

Formal hall takes place three times a week - on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays - and are very popular, often selling out weeks in advance in Michaelmas and Lent (especially on bop nights). Formal food at Sidney is considered one of the better formal halls in Cambridge, and costs £5.50. Each Sidney student can book up to three guest tickets. Dress code is semi-formal (guys wear suits and ties; girls dress in something nice - no jeans).


There are also music practice rooms with electric keyboard and other rooms with pianos available - mostly for music students. There is a small (but reasonably well equipped) gym (termly fee of £5) and squash court. A newly equipped "erg" room is available to members of the college boat club.

Academic Performance

Sidney Sussex's ranking in the Tompkins Table (which ranks colleges by their Tripos exam results): 14th (2008), 12th (2007), 9th (2006), 14th (2005), 18th (2004), 15th (2003), 19th (2002), 16th (2001), 23rd (2000).


Sidney was declared the 22nd sportiest Cambridge College in Michealmas 2009 by The Tab. See The Tab article: The College Cup revealed


Gowns are worn for matriculation (the ceremony, dinner and photograph) and also for formals - a great Cambridge staple. People usually go to formals for birthdays, for swap with students from other colleges, when friends visit, for a big piss up at the end of term, for a big piss up at the start of get the idea.

Freshers' Week

As with other Cambridge colleges, Freshers' week isn't technically a week, but something more akin to a "Freshers' four days". Starting from Saturday when most UK students arrive, it starts off with a wonderful garden party in the Masters' Garden. Freshers get to meet other freshers and eat free food and drink. More importantly, it is at this garden party that they meet their college parents and say goodbye (temporarily) to their real parents, as they then get taken off on a tour of the college and dinner with people studying their same topic.

Freshers' Week is what you make of it. There is a lot going on, so there are plenty of opportunities for fun. It is organised by second and third years, and includes things such as a speed dating-style breakfast, punting, pub crawl, a bop, etc.

The University also holds a Freshers Fair with virtually every society. It is a brilliant place to gauge what is out there, and to sign up for various emails and information. Additionally, lots of societies (both college-based and university-based) have squashes (little party things) to get you interested. The Sidney Sussex Boat Club squash is very good (and rather alcohol fuelled!), and attended by many Sidney freshers.

Freshers' Week varies from year to year. Basically, you'll get a big pack when you get your exam results and there will be much more information in there!

Freshers' Week is being revamped in 2009 to include more and better organised activities. Its website can be found at www.

Facilities Overview



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


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