Undergraduate Accommodation

Offering spacious, secure and comfortable accommodation, we house all our undergraduates in single study-bedrooms on the beautiful main site.

Our undergraduate rooms are located in our stunning 19th-century buildings and our brand-new Dorothy Garrod Building. All the undergraduate rooms are on one site around the gardens, so you’ll always be close to your friends.

Many of the Victorian rooms have large sash windows, antique furniture and lovely views across the gardens – a very special student experience. Our new en-suite rooms have huge windows with balconies or window seats, oak floors and high ceilings. Because each room is unique, the room for you is a very personal choice – and we want to make it fair for everyone, we use our Room Ballot system (see below).

All the rooms have shared kitchen facilities (rare in Cambridge), so you can cook the meals that suit you at a time you want – though of course, you can always eat with friends in our friendly Buttery and new café.

We guarantee accommodation for at least the first three years of your course, and we provide substantial financial support for UK students to help those on lower budgets.

Room ballot

Room allocation at Newnham is done using a random ballot system. As you progress through College you get a better room each year, as you get to choose before the undergraduates in the years below you. It’s a slightly complicated system to understand, but second-years are allocated a random number in the ballot order, with that order reversed the following year (so if you’re bottom of the second-year ballot, you will be top in your third year). The same rent is paid for every room within your year-group, so cost is never a factor in your choice of room. So feel free to decide whether you fancy a room with a balcony, one with a walk-in wardrobe or one close to the Porters’ Lodge or Buttery.

Rents and charges

We have a different charging structure for undergraduate accommodation from that of many other Colleges, in that we charge the same rent to all students for all rooms. This will be £157 per week in 2020-21. There are two options: a termly contract (10 weeks per term), where your room needs to be vacated in the Christmas and Easter vacations, and a continuous contract (38 weeks) where it doesn’t.

Room licence (contract) dates for 2020-21, subject to minor changes, are as follows:

A continuous licence (38 weeks) runs from Saturday 3 October 2020 to 26 June 2020.   For 2020-21, total rent for this option will be £5,966 (£157 x 38 weeks).

A three-term licence (for term only):

Michaelmas Term: Saturday 3 October 2020 – Saturday 12 December 2020 (10 weeks; £1,570)

Lent Term: Saturday 16 January 2020 – Saturday 27 March 2021 (10 weeks; £1,570)

Easter Term: Saturday 17 April 2020 – Saturday 26 June 2021 (10 weeks; £1,570)


For 2020-21, total rent for the options are:

Continuous licence will be £5,966 (£157 x 38 weeks)

Termly licence will be £4,710 (£157 x 30 weeks)

The above charges include, as well as rent, background heating, Wi-Fi and personal belongings insurance. In addition you will be charged a Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC); this includes a contribution to running the College Buttery, providing and maintaining student kitchens and subsidising student Formal Hall events. Students who “live out” (not in College accommodation) pay a reduced KFC of £50 each year.

To help students on lower budgets meet these charges, Newnham offers a very generous system of student bursaries and rent subsidies to UK and EU students, and all students in financial need are encouraged to apply for these at the start of the academic year.

For new students there is a one-off cost of membership of the Newnham Roll, which is £60.  This payment enrols you as a life member of the alumnae association, which currently has 7,500 members.