Wolfson College, Cambridge

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Wolfson College, Cambridge

Wolfson college is a graduate college which also admits mature undergraduate students (students entering their first degree after their 21st birthday).


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Established: 1965

University: University of Cambridge

Address: Barton Road, Cambridge CB3 9BB

Telephone: +44 (0)1223 335900

Website: http://www.wolfson.cam.ac.uk

Student Union/JCR website: no

Graduate/MCR website: no

Admittance: Mature undergraduates and postgraduates


Undergraduate Student Statistics

  • Total Undergraduates in 2014-15 = 162 (106 men + 56 women)
  • Total Undergraduates in 2007-8 = 100 (61 men + 39 women)
  • Total Undergraduates in 2006-7 = 119 (58 men + 61 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 07: 44 (33 men + 11 women)
  • Students admitted to their current course in Oct 06: 38 (20 men + 18 women)

Source: "The Reporter Special Issue: Student Numbers 14-15 Source: The Reporter Special Issue: Student Numbers 07-08

Wolfson Application Statistics See College applications and admissions statistics

Wolfson Application Statistics per subject See Appplication Statistics

50% of St Catharine's acceptances in 2007 and 67% in 2006 were from students edcated at state schools (source).


  • Wolfson is in the Newnham area, apparently one of the most desirable areas in Cambridge (house price tags seem to confirm this) - Newnham is QUIET, so no drunken sods being noisy at weekends, pleasantly green, close to Grantchester etc. And no tourists!
  • Not in the town centre (20 min walk from the market)
  • Not far from the Sidgwick site (with Classics, MML, History, Law, Economics, Philosophy, Divinity, English, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies departments)
  • The best thing about Wolfson is that it's close to Grantchester. I used to go there fairly regularly, it's a pleasant walk.


The advantage of accommodation at Wolfson is that it is on the main college site i.e. bar, cafeteria, library, porters etc are only a short stumble out of bed away!

  • New blocks (image)(circa-late 90s)

The inside looks like an ugly Holiday Inn, but they are nice, the rooms are the same size but most have ensuite bathrooms. Singles in the New Blocks might be marginally larger that in the Old Blocks, but they have smaller kitchens. Shared sets in the New Blocks are an interesting phenomenon. They have one outer door, which opens to a long, narrow hallway. Two doors facing the outer entry lead to good-sized rooms with nice wood furniture. At one end of the entry hall is the bathroom; on the other, the World's Smallest Kitchen. This is not a problem if you plan on eating primarily in the canteen or subsisting on pasta. The New blocks are further away from the bar, so less drunken late night conversations out the front of your window…The New Blocks feel more comfortable than the Old Blocks: the furniture is definitely nicer, and there's even a heated towel rack in the bathroom.

  • Old blocks (image) (circa 70s)

The old blocks are built in the ‘traditional’ Cambridge stair-case style (i.e. twelve rooms, four on each floor, sharing a common stair-case) rather than on corridors. I think they feel a bit darker and more cramped, and the décor is more 1970s than 1990s. But the room sizes are pretty much the same (small!), and the actual facilities/ functionality of the rooms is very similar i.e. all have the same internet connection and fairly decent heating. If money is an issue, then choose the old block, but if you want a slightly more modern room, choose the new block. My ensuite single in the Old Blocks was about 150 square feet, including the bathroom. My room in the Old Blocks had a single bed, three bookshelves above the head of my bed, a desk / plastic chair, a medium set of three drawers, a standing bureau, a padded arm chair for reading (or holding laundry in my case). I like the Old Block kitchens much better than the ones I saw in the New Blocks, but that could be in part because my flatmates were generally considerate about washing up & putting away their cookery.

Social Spaces

Library and Computing

Academic Performance

Wolfson's ranking in the Tompkins Table (which ranks colleges by their Tripos exam results): 27th (2008), 27th (2007), 27th (2006), 23rd (2005), 28th (2004), 28th (2003).


Wolfson was declared the 23rd sportiest Cambridge College in Michealmas 2009 by The Tab. See The Tab article: The College Cup revealed


  • It's a very friendly college, definitely international but also British (lots of students from everywhere imaginable, but lots of home students as well).
  • No old buildings and no traditional formal halls (I mean not like in other colleges). But, you know, this is exactly the thing many people I know in Wolfson (myself included) appreciate about it, that it is relaxed and has a different atmosphere.
  • The orientation activities at Wolfson are, compared to my fellow grad students at other colleges, exemplary.
  • The only possible downside is that I think it is far (only a 20 minute walk, but far for me) from the market, but, even so, the walk (or ride) is enjoyable. I also wish the cafeteria facilities had take-out trays. Other than that, I have no complaints. I would, in short, select Wolfson again.
  • The college is uber-relaxed
  • I think the best way to describe Wolfson is "functional" if you want "glamour" then it probably isn't the best place for you. However if you want all accommodation, library, gym, tennis court etc on the same site, friendly porters and "accommodating" staff (e.g. finance office) and don't mind living in a small room then Wolfson is a safe bet.


  • Canteen and dining hall
  • 24/7 Lee Library (image)
  • Computer room with printers and scanner
  • Clubroom and bar
  • Lee Hall (for concerts etc) (image)
  • Lee Room with newspapers, TV, email terminals and snooker table
  • Gym
  • All-weather tennis court
  • Laundry
  • Old Library Garden (image 1image 2)
  • Lee Garden (image 1image 2image 3)