College Guide


Introducing your JCR Access Officers

Jenna Buller

Hi, my name is Jenna (She/Her) I am one of the undergraduate Access and Class act officers at Emmanuel College. I am a first generation student in my second year, studying Psychology. As part of my role I work to organise events for prospective students on the academic and social aspects of university. I am also responsible for working with members of the college who identify as coming from widening participation backgrounds ensuring their transition into university, as well as their time here is as enjoyable as possible.

Yasmin Hornsby

Hi, I'm Yasmin, a 3rd year medical student who is studying psychology for my intercalated year(a year where medics study something slightly different for a year and get an extra degree!). I am one of the Access and Class act officers at my college and I am responsible for organising outreach events for secondary school students to allow them to see what life at Cambridge is like and give advice on the application process.

Key Facts

~145 UG students per year

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

~£5100 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

Free gym

Music practice room

Inclusive prayer space available

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

Gender expression fund available

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 Emmanuel?


Emma is a central college meaning I do not have to walk more than 15 minutes to any of my lectures which is great for getting a lie in.


My favourite thing about Emma is the location and the grounds! It's right in the centre of the city and everything is so close by! Sainsbury's local is 1 min walk away, the grand arcade shopping centre is 3 minutes away, my medicine lectures are less than 5 minutes away and my dissections are 10 minutes. This is especially handy with my busy medicine schedule where I might only have 45 minutes for lunch and it means I have time to go back to my room rather than having to hang around town. And the grounds are absolutely beautiful! My favourite place is the paddock which is a big grass open space in the centre of college and in the summer, everyone sits out there with their friends to chat, eat lunch and play games.

Describe your first year accommdation.


During first year the main accommodation is in South court. Old south has larger rooms however no kitchen facilities (there is a room with a toaster, kettle microwave and you are able to bring your own appliances as long as they are PAT tested by college). This building is central to the new development site including study spaces and the Cafe. While it is quite old, the grading (price rank) of these rooms has just been reduced and they are due to be refurbished soon.   New south is a new block with all en-suite rooms. there is a lift for disabled access as well as larger accessible rooms. The kitchens are very large with a dining table and hobs as well as the standard appliances.  Young's court is our newest accommodation (built 2023) and is similar to new south in that it is all En-suite with large kitchens that also have ovens. Unlike south court that is all freshers this building is shared 50:50 with later years.  Currently (22/23) freshers can live in North court which is the older 'more traditional, Cambridge accommodation. All of these rooms have shared bathrooms and kitchens which have hobs. North court rooms are quite large making them good value for money.  Emmanuel offer onsite accommodation for all 3 years of your degree and all of the rooms have a mini-fridge included.  In terms of pricing our rooms are graded between 1-8 going up £10 approx per grade. Rooms are currently being regraded however all are expected to drop by 1 grade. This would make rooms in old south grades 1-3, new south 5/6, north 2-5 and Young's 6-8.   The 23/24 pricing for incoming freshers (off the Emma website) ranges from £148.10 per week for a grade 1 room to £231.40 for a grade 8 room.


I stayed in 2 places during my first year. One place(old south court) had huge rooms with separate lounges and lots of chairs! My friends at other unis couldn't believe how big my room was! You shared a bathroom and a kitchen between 5 people which was never an issue for me. The downsides to this place was that it was in need of some renovation and the kitchens(gyps) had no hobs or ovens which made cooking a challenge! Although lots of people, including me, ate evening meals in hall so it was never much of an issue for me. These rooms are grade 1 and 2 so very affordable and you get massive rooms for your money.  I also stayed in new south court which were much smaller rooms with en-suites. These are grade 6 rooms. This block was new and people often said it looked like a hotel. The kitchens were much bigger, had a table in them and hobs. Only 1 accommodation block has ovens at Emma which is a disadvantage for accommodation here but lots of people still self cater with hobs and lots of people eat in hall.  (Rooms are graded 1-8 based on size, en suite, kitchen facilities, how many people sharing facilities btw. 1 is cheapest and 8 is most expensive).

What is the food like?


Food at Emma is generally well liked. It includes normal, vegetarian and vegan (upon request) hot meals, a vegetarian cold salad bar, soup, the ECSU meal deal which was brought in by our jcr to help with the cost of living crisis and includes a main and 2 sides for £3.20. there are also many desert options including yogurt and fruit. At lunch there are pre-made sandwiches and wraps available as well.   We offer breakfast everyday including hot food, cereal, yogurts etc as well as cooked brunch on Sundays.   Our JCR have just recently got college to lower the prices of food across college so it is quite affordable.

Does Emmanuel provide additional funding?


I got a 50% subsidy for college accommodation as I am doing an un-paid hospital placement for a week in August.  They also pay for doctors notes when an illness impacted my studies. These are £30 each so this was a massive help. This also meant I needed an en-suite room and I got a significant subsidy on the rent for this room too. (grade 6 room but I paid grade 4)


Copied from Emmanuel students website  Hardship Fund - Any student can apply for financial assistance through the College via their Tutor throughout the year. The Welfare Team (internally called the Master & Tutors' Committee) meet regularly during term to review and decide on applications. Each case will be looked at on its own merits and there is no restriction on subject.   General Funds - The College has some funds for specific purposes, which are available to all undergraduates. These support non–academic College or University activities, and there are other funds which can be applied to for activities & sports not detailed below. We do not award grants specifically for travel, unless related to College or University activities. Grants are usually awarded upon submission of receipts.  Burnaby Fund & Jameson Fund - Grants range from £50–£250 and are available to help with financing music lessons. You should use these Funds to make a significant contribution to the musical life of the College.  Gerard Evans Fund - For short trips to the USA "for purposes connected to undergraduates' academic studies". Grants are normally up to £250.   Performing Arts Fund - Grants of up to £150 are made to enable undergraduates to take part in the Performing Arts (e.g. Drama, Music & Dance).   Baker Welford Thompson Fund - For study of Spain, Portugal & their former colonies, and grants vary between £100–£500. Frank Needham Windsor Fund - To provide financial support for specific (‘sweaty') sporting endeavours. Grants can be up to 50% of costs (max. £250/year). Funding is only given for 'strenuous' sport at the level of University Blues, or Emmanuel 1st teams.   Academic Funding - Students can apply to the College for support in activities relating to their course & studies. Dissertation Grants - these are available to help with specific costs related to Part II dissertation research (e.g. Library or Archive study/Field trips). The College offers up to £250, and you will be reimbursed via your College bill  Cambridge University Language Programme (CULP) Courses - you can claim a subsidy from the College, equal to half the course fee. You must inform the College of your successful completion of the course and providing a copy of your CULP certificate. Once your confirmation has been processed, you will be credited to your Easter Term bill. Subject-Specific Grants - There are also subject specific grants for Earth Sciences, History, Law, MML and other language studies.

What welfare provision does Emmanuel offer?


Our JCR has 2 welfare officers that are trained in welfare and run weekly drop-in sessions as well as being available to contact via email for any queries. they also put on numerous welfare events throughout term such as sweet giftbags in week 5, chocolate fountain and tea and cake sessions.  We also have a college counsellor who can be contacted for support. As well as everyone being assigned a personal tutor who is in charge of all of your pastoral needs.

What are the facilities like at Emmanuel?


The Queens lecture theatre typically hosts lots of musical events and can seat many people however, is less suitable for dramatic performances.


There are ground floor rooms for disabled students as well as accessible rooms in blocks of flats that have lifts. These have wider door frames, bigger en-suites etc. These rooms are amongst the other rooms in college(ie 1 room on each floor is accessible) so you are not in a separate place from your friends. Regarding the ballot process, if you need a specific room (reason can include physical disability as well as needing an en suite for religious reasons and needs arising from conditions such as autism, adhd etc) then you email your tutor and you and 1 friend get to pick your room first before the ballot process starts. There are also regular introductions on how to use the gym equipment and free gym sessions lead by a personal trainer. >

What would you change about Emmanuel?


It can be very difficult sometimes to obtain information form the college for quite important things such as what the menu for the day is or how much rent for this year is, so I would like to improve access to this information and transparency as to how these decisions are made as they can very problematic.


Compared to other colleges, not many of our rooms are en suite and the kitchens are small and lack ovens, freezers and sometimes hobs. But sharing a bathroom has never been an issue and as mentioned, many people cook all their meals so it definitely doesn't force you to eat in hall. I choose to eat in hall each evening as it's a really nice time to catch up with friends and often might be the only time I see them each day as they don't study the same subject as me.

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website