College Guide


With a sizeable undergraduate body of about 600 students and its well-known reputation of being the friendliest college, there is a wide range of people to meet at Homerton. Although further out compared to other colleges, Homerton is about a 7- minute cycle, 30-minute walk or 15-minute bus journey into town - conveniently, with a bus stop right outside college. There are various options for food shopping - a 5-minute walk away; there is a Tescos Express, Sainsbury's Express, Co-Op Express and Jiamart. We are also located near Mill Rd, where there are various international mini-markets. Thanks to its location, the grounds are quiet, making it a nice escape after being in town all day for lectures. Our orchard has football nets, a barbecue available for booking and college beehives! We also have our own apple trees, which students can pick from. Homerton is one of the newer colleges, founded in 1768, meaning the college is a mixture of modern and old buildings, which is an excellent atmosphere for students who may be intim

Introducing your JCR Access Officer

Lorena Piedrahita-Lopez

Hi! I'm Lorena (they/she), a third-year, HSPS student, and I'm the Target and Access officer at Homerton College this year. My role includes ensuring that all students from different backgrounds feel comfortable, as well as listening to their concerns relating to college life. I am also here to improve the widening participation of prospective students. I'm happy to give unbiased answers about life at college from my own perspective, coming from a state-school-educated, first-generation university and migrant family background!

Key Facts

~185 UG students per year

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

~£4100 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

No inclusive prayer space :(

Vegetarian, Vegan, 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 Homerton?


Coming from a Latin American background, I was extremely nervous about moving to Cambridge, especially as I grew up in London, where I had a cultural community to fall back onto. I applied to the college because I read it had a high BME population, and although I was still one of two Latinx students in my year, I found a community amongst other students who felt the same struggles of trying to fit into a university which wasn't really built for them. This combined with its location near Mill Road, where I could buy food that let me cook traditional Colombian meals meant that I was better able to adjust to the culture shock of Cambridge. This is not to say Homerton College is perfect as it has its issues, but being surrounded by many other BME students helped me deal with the imposter syndrome I was dealing with.

Describe your first year accommdation.


All first years are housed in West House, where all the rooms are ensuite and charged the same price - in my first year, I paid a total of £4,060 (£1,540 in Michaelmas Term, £1,260 in Lent Term and £1,260 in Easter Term). However, this has increased by £1 per day due to the cost of living. Overall, it is still one of the cheaper Cambridge colleges.  There are some differences in rooms: the fourth-floor rooms are smaller with a ceiling slant compared to the rooms from the ground floor to the third floor. I lived in the smaller fourth-floor rooms and found it completely fine as the difference wasn't too significant. There are different options which will be considered when balloting for first-year accommodation, including mixed, single-gender and alcohol-free corridors.  However, I did struggle with the kitchen facilities, or 'gyps'. These facilities have a fridge, hob, microwave and kettle, which meant that there was a limit to what I could cook. I could adjust; however, it was very frustrating as it meant more frequent food shopping. The gyp sizes vary per floor, although they were overall quite small, which caused issues when three or more people were cooking simultaneously. No seats or tables were provided either. The lack of freezers and ovens is a standard in most colleges, although some colleges don't have hobs, so Homerton does well compared to most other kitchen facilities.  Homerton has housekeeping staff who clean bedrooms, communal service areas, plus changing bedsheets and towels (which is optional, I chose to bring my own for both to make my room feel more homely). Once a week, someone will come to clean your room. However, you do have the option to not have your room clean by putting up a notice. Although, a big issue is that we weren't given access to hoovers or mops, meaning that if we dropped something in our room, we would have to wait until it was our housekeeping day to get it cleaned up.

What is the food like?


Food is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday. On the weekends, lunch is served on a Saturday, and then there is a Sunday Roast. We also have the buttery, which is open from Monday to Sunday, serving snacks and coffee and acting as a study space for students. The pricing for catered food is good, I never spent more than £5 for a side, a main and a dessert. There is a main bar for hot meals, but there is also a cold bar which serves salad and pasta options.  In relation to dietary requirements, there is a meat option, fish option, vegetarian option and sometimes a vegan option. There has been an increase in halal options, but this isn't available often. Other religious dietary, such as Kosher options, are available but stored in a freezer, and therefore, students need to make catering aware further in advance. Most special dietary requirements can be requested and ensured, but it can be a longer process.

Does Homerton provide additional funding?


I have received additional funding via the Cambridge Bursary, funded by Homerton College and the University of Cambridge, which is paid in three termly instalments and is available for all students with an annual household income of under £62,215. I have also had financial support from Homerton in relation to getting a diagnostic assessments relating to ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, where I was reimbursed. However, I did have to follow up more than once due to not getting a response.  Homerton also offers different funding forms, which you must go through your tutor to access. These are not often well advertised, so I will provide a list now of what is available for undergraduate students:  The College Hardship Fund: offers more support to those who do not qualify for the Cambridge Bursary Scheme and those whose financial circumstances have changed since they started the course.  The Bell, Abbot and Barnes Fundings: aims to support students who have experienced unexpected financial hardship, this grant can go up to £2,000 per annum.  Vacation Study Grant: students can get the college to pay for their accommodation if they need to stay over the holidays. There are a limited amount of these, and applications aren't always successful, with little feedback provided on what meant a student was ineligible.  Funding for taxis for students with disabilities related to mobility.  Crane's Charity Hardship Fund provides hardship grants for students towards the cost of medical, surgical or psychiatric treatment or for convalescent accommodation and travel to assist students who are ill.  Students who receive a first at the end of their exams receive a financial reward.  Choral Scholarship, these scholarships are for the duration of the student's degree, and choral scholars are required to take part in the musical services of the Charter Choir at the neighbouring Church of St John the Evangelist, attend choir practices, and are expected to take an active part in the secular musical life of the College.

What welfare provision does Homerton offer?


We have three welfare officers on our student union who are able to signpost you towards different resources at college. They offer regular drop-in sessions where students can ask where to go for support and raise any concerns they may have about college life.  Homerton's main form of welfare provision is college counselling, where you can request multiple counsellors. I have used this service and was able to request a BME counsellor who better understood my circumstances. The college will initially pay for six sessions and, depending on the circumstances, can provide an additional six sessions. Homerton has now introduced a specialist for trauma and sexual violence, hoping to expand on other specialist options. This can all be achieved by emailing the wellbeing coordinator.  There is also the option of speaking to the college nurse on-site during weekdays. For more complex matters, she may refer you to your doctor or other medical services in Cambridge, but is a great first step!

What are the facilities like at Homerton?


Although Homerton College on paper is accessible, there are various issues related to accessible accommodation. Disabled students now receive a priority ballot when deciding on their accommodation blocks and rooms. However, there have still been issues with disabled students not receiving accessible accommodation as it has been given to non-disabled students. There are only ten available rooms across all five undergraduate accommodation blocks which are suitable for wheelchair users. Two of the accommodation blocks in particular (ABC and West House) have frequent lift breakdowns, which in some cases have lasted the entire academic year which students are not warned about, leaving rooms completely inaccessible for periods of time. For three out of five accommodation blocks, ground-floor rooms which require no stairs or lifts are available. Four out of five accommodation blocks are ensuite. There are no tables or seats available in any of the Homerton gyps, meaning that students either have to purchase their own seating for cooking or stand for the entire duration which they are in the kitchen. Although the grounds of Homerton are fairly level, there are issues related to the college grounds not being well-lit.  By filling out a short form on the Homerton College website, you gain free access to the gym for the whole year, which you have to re-new every year (all free). The gym is divided into two rooms. One room contains weights and rowing machines, which is open from 6am to 11 pm everyday. However, there are limited options for weights, for students who are interested in more heavy weight lifting, there is a pure gym located 6 minutes walking from the college (although this will require a paid membership). There is a second room that is open 24-hours everyday containing equipment such as: treadmills, motion trainers, pull-down machines, leg extension machines, and a wide range of different machines. There is no theatre space, but there is a small dance studio which can be booked for rehearsals.   Our orchard has football nets, a barbecue available for booking and college beehives! We also have our own apple trees, which students can pick from. There are also other locations where students can relax, including our undergraduate common, college bar and the quiet room (also known as the 'Mushroom').

What would you change about Homerton?


If there was one thing I could change about Homerton would be better communication between staff and students. There is very little information provided on different avenues for funding, welfare or other issues related to college life as staff do not sufficiently share information on what support the college has to offer. This has meant I've spent many nights trying to research what my options are, rather than being told what is available for students. This is why I've tried to make this Q&A as detailed as possible so students are aware of any and all information!

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website