College Guide

Murray Edwards

Introducing your JCR Access Officer

Anouk Waller-Sargent

Hi! I'm Anouk (she/her) and I'm the Access Officer for Murray Edwards College, one of the hill colleges which stands out for its gorgeous gardens (where students can pick the flowers!), the fact that it is for women only (or anyone who isn't a cis man!) and its unique Dome and brutalist architecture. I study History, and am going into my second year, and I love to play rugby for the university as well as write for the paper and generally have a good time !

Key Facts

~105 UG students per year

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

~£5400 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 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 Murray Edwards?


My favourite thing about college is almost certainly the gardens, which are all around college and so gorgeous all year round. Our team of gardeners are incredible- they are SO friendly and offer regular classes (as well as the Librarians) on plant maintenance. They look after us (and our plants) so well! You can also walk on all the grass and pick all of the flowers.   As most of Medwards (Murray Edwards) have historically been pooled, the community here is so varied with people from all backgrounds. We are not just a community of women, and have an incredible LGBTQ+ community in college with thriving LGBTQ+ and Women's' Societies. It's honestly very relaxed- starting from the moment you cycle out of the horrendously busy town and into our very calm college spaces. Everyone is very hardworking, but since we generally don't rank very high on the Tompkins table there is, I think, a lot less pressure. We are small, so there are a small amount of people doing your course, and you form invaluable bonds with them! The health and wellbeing here is probably one of the highlights, with our President being extremely committed to prioritising our wellbeing., The library offer genuinely helpful sessions, such as weekly yoga, and all of our tutors are extremely helpful, with good financial aid available to all. Oh, and not forgetting our Gateway Scheme, which means that by just attending a weekly hour-long session on revision and study tips, you can accumulate points which entitle you to up to £500 to spend on a trip over the summer. There are also plenty of opportunities to work in college- we are one of the only colleges where you can work in the bar (which is very chill) or as a Student Ambassadors. I need to stop soon, but a final note is that our porters are so friendly, and as we are so small we only have one Porters' Lodge so they get to know you very well.

Describe your first year accommdation.


All first years are put together in Pearl House, which has 7 floors each with 15 ensuite rooms, one big kitchen, one smaller kitchen. Some even have baths! The large kitchen is incredible- probably one of the most equipped in the university- we had fridges, freezers, a full 4 hobs, 2 ovens, microwaves, toasters and kettles and PLENTY of cupboard space as well as a huge dining table. Rooms are split into either A or B band, with A rooms being slightly larger and potentially having a small balcony. Both are on a 31 week licence, with A rooms being (As of August 2022) £6,456 a year (£2,152 a term) and B rooms being £5,826 a year and £1,942 a term. Pearl House has a large functioning lift, as well as the laundry room being located in its basement.

What is the food like?


We have amazing brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays which attracts people from all over the university. The food at Medwards is interesting, it is very hit or miss, and sometimes quite expensive, but, due to our incredible kitchens it's rare to eat in our hall (which we call Dome). Formal food is very different. The food is good but it's quite expensive and better veggie options and halal options besides just chicken would be great!

Does Murray Edwards provide additional funding?


Yes. Our hardship fund allowance is worked out in confidence with your tutor, and works on a calculation on how much your average monthly spending is and how much your average monthly income. If you do not have the capacity to afford your monthly spending (with very little judgement), then college should be able to support you.   We also offer an annual Travel Fund, as well as the Gateway Fund which can be achieved by attending weekly hour long sessions and gaining points. You can then be awarded up to £400 just for travel purposes!   Any student who is in Blues training (but has not received a Blue as yet) will be eligible to apply for £75 towards their training costs. A student who has achieved a Half Blue will receive £150, and any student who receives a Full Blue will receive £200.  Musicians may also apply for a bursary, and any member of the INter ALios Choir may apply for a Choral Scholarship of £100.   Murray Edwards are very understanding and generous as a college, and, as stated before, our President and JCR are committed to making sure everyone who deserves to be here may do so with as little financial difficulties as possible.

What welfare provision does Murray Edwards offer?


The JCR often give gifts, especially in week 5, as well as Skive at 5 every week which offers hot drinks and snacks to aid with the study stress! The library also put on PLENTY of welfare events such as nail painting, gardening, weekly yoga, and so many more little things. We have a strong family system which often offer family brunches, picnics. Everyone knows everyone because we are a small college so it's really easy to find someone if you have a particular problem/ need things talking through. Free period supplies and contraception for all students. Welfare team of staff will be put together next term due to a large donation which college has decided to put towards welfare.

What are the facilities like at Murray Edwards?


A lot of the ground floor orchard court (for second and third years) accom might be unaccessible for wheelchair/mobility aid users because the corridors are really narrow. The shelves/cupboards in a lot of rooms throughout college are quite high which might be inaccessible for people with mobility difficulties.  We have an onsite gym which is in the centre of college with a variation of weights, treadmills, crosstrainers, rowing machines and bikes. Membership is paid on either a termly basis or annually, at a cost of £18 a term or £52 a year. Whilst not having official sports grounds, we do have two tennis courts on college site as well as a squash court.

What would you change about Murray Edwards?


Dome food could be better and less expensive, and the rent is quite expensive for what you get. Saying that, we are a modern college, with drastically less funding from alumni because of this compared to other, really old colleges (which is something to keep in mind! We can't help it!!) There isn't much I would change about Medwards which isn't related to a funding issue- and anything that ANYONE did want to change could very easily be discussed if they brought it up with the JCR or even emailed our President!

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website