College Guide


Queens' optimal location near the city centre means that most lectures are just a short roll out of bed away. It's on the river, so you can spend your free time impressing the punters by walking over the mathematical bridge. The old buildings on ‘the dark side' are beautiful, and the new buildings on ‘the light side' have purpose built accommodation and facilities, including a gym, Qbar, music rooms, squash courts, the Fitzpatrick hall, and most famously the Queens' buttery, home to the BEST student meal discounts in Cambridge: only £3 per meal, including the critically acclaimed Queens brunch (I cannot emphasise how big of a draw this is!) With the ~150 undergraduates per year, it's always bustling and social.

(Gigi, First Year)

Introducing your JCR Access Officers

Conal Lowe

Hi! I'm Conal, the JCR Access Officer for Queens' College and I am in my second year studying Linguistics (which is the study of language as a concept if you're confused!). The Access Officer is in charge of outreach initiatives across a specific college. I helped organise and manage the annual Queens' Roadshow in which groups of undergraduate students travel to schools in one of our link area (Kent, Bradford, and Havering) to deliver access talks to students about not just Cambridge but university more generally. It is my job to make sure any prospective students have access to any important information about university life and overall to be a welcoming face for incoming or prospective students!

Key Facts

~150 UG students per year

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

~£5300 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 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 Queens'?


My favourite thing about Queens' is the layout of the main site. That might sound very strange but Queens' has one of the largest populations of students of any college. It has about 500 undergrads and 500 postgrads. Despite this, the main site is relatively small and compact. This means that Queens' is always bustling and is a great place to meet new people. This is especially helpful in Freshers' Week and is helped by the fact that Cripps (the building most freshers live in) is purposefully designed to facilitate socialisation; all of the kitchens connect to each other with doors which makes it very easy to traverse and just bump into people. Despite its size, Queens' still has nice green spaces that are really popular in summer. Erasmus lawn is one of the most popular locations in the college and is always full when the weather is sunny. It overlooks the river opposite the Grove (a little green wooded area) and has really beautiful gardens full of flowers. I think the actual design of the site makes it very easy to meet other people or just chill on your own on a patch of green.


The best thing about Queens' has to be the buttery. As a horrendous cook, the £3 meals are an absolute life saver.

Describe your first year accommdation.


Most Freshers live in Cripps. This is one of the newer buildings of the college and takes up most of the light side (the side with the porters' lodge). The rent ranges from around £1700 to £2200 a term. Queens' allows its students full access to their rooms throughout the Christmas and Easter breaks which makes the rent slightly more expensive. Cripps does have the buy-back scheme in which college will reimburse the money you would have spent for your room over the breaks if you move out completely. Every room in Cripps has an en-suite or private bathroom (which is always about 3 steps away from your room). The kitchens are connected by large white doors which makes socialisation very easy. If you're friends with the other household, you can prop the door open and have a massive 10-person kitchen.  Some (around 26) freshers do not live in Cripps and instead live on the dark side of college (the older side) in Friars. Friars has 4 staircases, 2 of which (M and N) are reserved for freshers. Although Friars is slightly far away from Cripps, as someone who was there in first year, the building is definitely worth it. The price of rooms is much cheaper (usually £1300-£1500 a term) while the rooms are also significantly larger than most Cripps rooms. Rooms at the back of Friars look into Kings College and those at the front look onto Queens' chapel so the views are generally a bit nicer than Cripps. The main difference between Cripps and Friars is that each Friars staircase (13 people) has 3 toilets. There are 2 on the ground floor and 1 on the third (top) floor. The rooms on the top floor are slightly more expensive but they are considerably larger and were designed to be shared sets (complete with a bedroom and separate living room). However, each set is now offered to just one person. These rooms are sometimes given to freshers but may also be other students.

What is the food like?


The food at Queens' is very solid in my opinion. We have an amazing JCR Food Steward and a very hard-working catering team. The food at Queens' is generally quite cheap (it is £3 for a main with two sides - which is a lot of food) and all vegan options have a small subsidy. During term time, lunch and dinner offers one meat, one vegetarian, and one vegan main (the vegetarian option is not offered outside of term) as well as having a salad bar. We have brunch on both Saturday and Sunday which usually costs around £3 as well. Queens' often has themed lunches which are usually based on the cuisine of a different part of the world; they are definitely a highlight.


Amazing. Queens food tastes great, there are always vegetarian and vegan options, and most of all, it is incredibly cheap compared to other colleges - only £3 per meal

Does Queens' provide additional funding?


Queens' has a lot of funding initiatives. There are college-wide sports and music bursaries both of which valued at £150. These can be applied for no matter your skill level; the college wants to be able to facilitate people picking up new hobbies/societies. Hardship funding is available from the college, the value of which is dependent on individual circumstance. All students who receive the Cambridge Bursary will also receive the Additional Queens' Bursary. The college also offers subject specific funds that vary based on subject so it is always best to check the college website for individual subject funds. Most of them though cover travel to e.g., conferencing. Queens' also has a slew of more general travel grants that are capped at £1000 per year per student. These can be for academic or personal reasons. Those who take one of these grants are required to write a short, page-long report about the experience.


Personally I have used the Q550 to fund sport costs, it pays up to £150.

What welfare provision does Queens' offer?


Queens' has a very involved welfare team. The head of the team is also a harassment and assault officer who is always there if any students have been harassed or assaulted by anyone, be that student or otherwise. They have a close relationship with the police but make sure the entire process is student-led. The college has NHS trained nurses as well as a councillor. They are generally open for 2 drop-in sessions each business day. They are also readily available for bookings. They are there to help with really anything; they are trained professionals who can help students with both physical and mental health concerns. If needed, they may also be able to fast-track students to a GP appointment if the local GP is a bit overwhelmed. We have 2 JCR welfare officers who have a very close relationship to the welfare team; they are always available for more informal questions and help. They also oversee the ordering and distribution of natural cycle products and welfare care packages.


Queens' is exceptionally good at offering welfare services, appointments and products (eg menstrual products) to students.

What are the facilities like at Queens'?


Queens' has multiple ballots a year. One of these ballots allows disabled students to mark their room requirements. This ballot is always done before the main ballot to assure that disabled students get first priority for accessible rooms. There are accessible rooms in Fisher and Cripps buildings on the light side of college (the side with the porter's lodge). Most freshers are in Cripps anyway and Fisher is full of second and third years so accessible rooms are right in the heart of college surrounded by other students. I would estimate there being around 10-15 rooms accessible for wheelchair users. Fisher is generally the most expensive building in the college and some Cripps rooms are of comparable price. However, there are options for subsidy for accessible rooms.  There are two gym rooms. The first contains the following machines: squat rack, bench press with adjustable bench, chest press, lat pull down, leg extension, leg press, tricep dip and pull up, cable crossover, and a preacher curl as well as assorted weights. The second contains the following machines: elliptical/cross trainer, treadmill and a spin bike as well as accessories (boxing equipment, exercise balls, yoga mats). There are also 2 squash courts that can be booked from the porters lodge. Cripps is also home to many of the college's facilities: the dining hall (buttery), café, bar, JCR common room, multi-faith centre, health and wellbeing centre, and specific study spaces for undergraduates and postgraduates. We have the Fitzpatrick Theatre which is by the gym and music rooms. It is a decently large room that is used for many different purposes. It features in-built retractable seating if the rooms needs to accommodate a lecture or a performance. For other activities (such as some sports) these seats can be put away. The stage is equipped with loads of technical equipment for any theatre performances one needs. For example, it has its own sound and lighting booth. 


Three student rooms have been adapted for wheelchair access: W1 (Fisher Building) BB2 (Cripps Court) and CC3 (Cripps Court). All three are all on the ‘light side' of the river, so do not require crossing the mathematical bridge. All have en-suite wet-room showers and WCs, and all have kitchenette facilities. All are ground floor rooms with wheelchair ramps. An extra ramp is also at the bottom of DD staircase (Cripps Court). The room balloting process at Queens' can also accommodate for other access needs (eg a quieter room)

What would you change about Queens'?


Queens' has a strange policy on flags. They are generally banned entirely to stop hateful flags/symbols from being flown. This, however, does make events like Black History Month, Trans Day of Remembrance etc. hassles as the college is generally against flying any flags other than the Queens' one. In recent years, we have managed to get some flags on the bridge but there are still many restrictions that seem unnecessary to me.  Also, as a lower income student, it sometimes feels as though there aren't too many options in terms of affordable accommodation. I have managed to live in the cheapest rooms the college has to offer both years I've been here so far, but the actual choice of buildings is very limited. This is a problem in most colleges though.


I would add a Queens' art room, similar to the one at Kings college, for students to sculpt and paint in.

Other Resources

 JCR website (Undergrad community)

 College website