College Guide

Gonville & Caius

Introducing your JCR Access Officer

Lily Goulder

Hi I'm Lily from Hull! I'm currently in my first year studying Linguistics at Gonville and Caius College (Caius for short!). My role as Access Officer is to be a bridge between our Outreach and Access staff here at Caius and the student body. I encourage students to get involved in Access Events, like open days and promotional videos. It's really important to me to make sure people from all backgrounds feel they'd be welcome and could succeed at Caius, especially those who may otherwise have barriers.

Key Facts

~160 UG students per year

College size across the uni ranges from 80 - 200 students/year

~£6200 median yearly rent (2022-23)

Median rent ranges from £4100 - £7100 across the uni, including mandatory catering charges. Note this is a rough guide only, and there will be cheaper options as well

Paid gym

Music practice room

Inclusive prayer space available

Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal, Gluten-free meals available daily

No gender expression fund :(

A fund to reimburse students for items that make them more comfortable with their gender presentation, including but not limited to binders, packers, and concealing underwear

Good accessible accomodation


What is your favourite thing about Gonville and Caius?


I love the community feel we have here. Caius' buildings are a little more spread out than other colleges, but this means you're likely to see people you recognise all over the city which is really nice. I think at Caius we get the best of both worlds with a central college and library (perfect for popping to Sainsbury's), but accommodation further out as well, giving a calmer environment.

Describe your first year accommdation.


Most first years live in either Harvey Court or Stephen Hawking Building. The buildings have very different vibes, with Harvey Court serving brutalism and Stephen Hawking giving a more hotel-like vibe. However, all rooms in both buildings are ensuite! The only exception will be for Music students who sacrifice an ensuite for a piano in their room. All kitchens have an induction hob, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle. There are no ovens, but the microwaves can actually cook more than you would think! The kitchens range in size from cupboard-like to spacious with a table. Obviously, the bigger your kitchen is, the more people you will be sharing with.   As for rent, Caius offers a 10-week rent system where you only pay for rent during term time. This is great for saving money but it can be annoying to have to take everything out of your room at the end of term (though there are options for opting for continuous rental).   Fresher's rooms are put into 3 bands from most to least expensive (with corresponding differences in size). Band C costs around £1,879 a term, Band B £1,985 and Band A £2,033!   Perhaps the best thing about the first year accommodation for me is the proximity to the Sidgewick Site. This is where most humanities lectures are held, and it is literally a 2-minute walk away. Even if your lectures are not held here, it still means you have a plethora of amazing libraries right on your doorstep!

What is the food like?


At Caius, we have a bit of a unique system called the Minimum Dining Requirement (MDR). This is basically a fancy way of saying we are semi-catered. You pre-pay for 36 tickets at the start of every term, equating to 4 meals a week. These tickets can be used for lunch, dinner and even brunch on Saturdays. Meals work out at about £5.30 each. For this, you'll get a starter (usually soup and a bread roll), a main course with sides, and a dessert. Not bad value! As a veggie, I feel the college offers us diverse and tasty choices (most of the time- everywhere will be a little hit-and-miss!). My favourite would have to be curry nights or fajitas. There are also a wide range of different dining experiences offered here. Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday see a cafeteria hall run from 6-8pm. Every other day has two sittings: first hall at 6pm and formal hall at 7pm. Formal halls are special because we all wear our gowns, grace is read in Latin and the hall is lit by candles. For special occasions such as Bonfire Night we have Formal Formals (costing 2 MDR tickets) which have fun decorations and themed menus.

Does Gonville and Caius provide additional funding?


Caius has number of different grants which all students are eligible for, regardless of their background. We all get £150 every year for academic-related costs (books, software etc) and a further £150 is available for academic travel. You can also access up to £150 for co-curricular activities such as societies or sports teams. The college routinely offers to pay for half a student's language course at the Cambridge University Language Centre every year. The college also offers hardship funding and a number of different scholarships you can access if you meet specific criteria.

What welfare provision does Gonville and Caius offer?


In terms of staff, we have a College Nurse, Dean and a newly-appointed Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisor who are all available to offer support when students need it. There are frequent welfare-focused events such as yoga or crochet. We also have three different welfare officers on the student union if students feel they want to speak to someone on a peer-level.

What are the facilities like at Gonville and Caius?


Disabled students are able to withdraw from the ballot to be allocated a room fitting their needs. The gym is in the Harvey Court building. It costs around £15 for a year-long membership. It's a small space but well-equipped with machines and free weights. The Bateman Auditorium has seating for around 100 people.

What would you change about Gonville and Caius?


There is basically no second or third year accommodation with ensuite. This is pretty common in Cambridge (a consequence of the historic buildings), but it would be nice to have it as an option!

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website