Gonville & Caius (pronounced ‘Keys’) is one of the oldest constituent colleges of the University of Cambridge. It has a dynamic and thriving graduate community of around 350 students from all across the world. A few are Cambridge undergrads who’ve stuck around for postgraduate degrees, but many are overseas or non-UK students who choose to undertake postgraduate study at Cambridge. While faculties and departments provide a variety of opportunities for engaging with the academic community at the University, the Middle Combination Room (MCR) provides an immediate and vibrant network of like-minded postgraduate students.
It gives you the traditional Cambridge experience, while also being friendly and supportive. Originally founded in 1348 as Gonville Hall, Caius has a strong academic reputation, boasting 15 Nobel Laureates (including Francis Crick, of DNA fame), the second-highest of any Oxbridge college. Inseparably linked to its academic excellence, however, is a thriving, socially active graduate community, comprising around 350 students from both scientific and arts backgrounds.
We have our own Common Room (the wooden-panelled ‘MCR’ in Caius Court, adjacent to the Red Room and College Bar, which also contains the ‘pidges’ or pigeon holes for mail). Postgraduate students at Caius also have our own Postgraduate Tutors for welfare support or academic advice, and the MCR committee runs in parallel to the undergraduate student union, the GCSU. Graduates dine in College far more frequently at Caius than at other Cambridge colleges. This, combined with our small size, means we have a very friendly, close-knit atmosphere where most graduates know, or at least know of, each other.
The MCR Committee, elected annually in late January, is responsible for planning and running a wide array of academic (such as the fortnightly ‘MCR-SCR Talks’ with fellows of the College, where one graduate and one fellow present a short paper on their subject of expertise) and social events (such as Superhalls, parties, sporting events, coffee & tea afternoons) all year round.
The MCR Committee also holds Port Night every Thursday, to which all Caius graduates are invited for free port in the Old Courts MCR following Formal Hall. One need not dine in Hall to join the festivities – all members of the MCR are warmly invited to drop by the Old Courts MCR anytime after 8.30PM. Because even the busiest postgraduates find a way to make it in for free port, Port Night is an excellent way to maintain contact with the MCR community as a whole during term time.
If you want to know more about the current MCR Committee, and positions that you can apply for, make sure to check out our Committee web page.
Contacting the Admissions Office
If you have a question about graduate admissions, you may well find the answer on the main college website at cai.cam.ac.uk/postgraduate.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or would like to seek clarification or advice on any matter, please contact the Admissions Office. Alternatively, please feel free to contact either the MCR President or Vice-President at (see MCR Committee section for e-addresses), respectively, with any questions.