Newnham College

| University of Cambridge

Newnham College, Cambridge

Newnham College, Cambridge was founded in 1871. It teaches in the region of 412 undergraduate students and 112 graduates. Admission is limited to female students. The college is ranked in position 22 of 29 in the Tompkins Table of academic results for the year 2014 (where 1 is the top possible score).

Courses offered [ + ] Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic | Archaeology & Anthropology | Architecture | Asian and Middle Eastern Studies | Chemical Engineering | Classics | Computer Science | Economics | Engineering | English | Geography | History | History of Art | Human, Social and Political Sciences | Land Economy | Law | Linguistics | Management Studies | Manufacturing Engineering | Mathematics | Medicine | Medicine Graduate Course | Modern & Medieval Languages | Music | Natural Sciences | Philosophy | Psychological and Behavioural Sciences | Theology & Religious Studies | Veterinary Medicine | (additional courses are often available to post-graduate students and many colleges offer complex arrangements of modern languages - please see our courses page for details )

College Scorecard (averages out of five calculated from 6 impressions)
Study (3), Music (3), Sport (3), Smugness (2), Artiness (3) Facilities (4), Accommodation (4) | locate on map

Newnham was founded in 1871 with the aim of helping women to reach their full potential - and though it runs on similar lines today (girls only) it is by no means a nunnery! Boys are NOT stopped at the door.... And socially it is pretty good actually.

The buildings house all of the students on site and are encased in really pretty gardens - all of this a short stroll from the Sidgwick site, where most of the arts faculties (history, law, theology etc etc) are based. These are also good if you want to do a bit of library tourism...

Everyone pays the same rent and most of the rooms are good - many have got some really cool antique furniture and there are lots of kitchens with surprisingly good facilities if you want to cook for yourself.

Of note is our rehearsal and performing space right in the middle of the gardens - the Old Labs - and our art rooms, dark room and observatory really make living in college fun.
Not to mention the tennis and netball courts for the sportily inclined.

Come have a look!

Study (2), Artiness (4), Sport (3), Music (4), Facilities (5), Accommodation (5), Smugness (3)

Review by Undisclosed - Undisclosed (August 26, 2009) - add your impression

The criteria don't do this college justice. It's stunning, the gardens are my favourite in cambridge. The people I've met are wonderful. The rooms I've seen have all been fantastic. The cooking facilities are great and so on. It's a great college, in a good location (particularly for arts students). If you want to pick a girls college, newnham is lovely. They've started getting better socially this year, putting more effort in, but I think this goes in cycles. I think not as much going on socially as in Jesus where I study, but my newnham friends are happy to socialise a lot out of college, which isn't a bad thing either. It's a great place to live.

Study (2), Artiness (3), Sport (1), Music (4), Facilities (5), Accommodation (5), Smugness (1)

Review by Undisclosed - student from another college (April 1, 2010) - add your impression

I think it's a shame that girls get put off from applying here because it's single sex. It's beautiful, the room that I have seen was awesome, the corridors have really cool william morris-style wallpaper, the bar is nice and homely and the grounds are fab. and it's right next to sidgwick site and only a short distance from the science sites. and boys are allowed in. sounds pretty fab to me...

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (3), Music (3), Facilities (3), Accommodation (3), Smugness (3)

Review by Undisclosed - current girtonian (March 26, 2010) - add your impression

Don't let the all-girls thing put you off - there's just as many blokes knocking about as there are at other colleges (often in the bar and around the gardens if you look); plus you've more incentive to socialise outside of College and with people on your course, which makes Newnham much less clique-y. The gardens are phenomenal, definitely one of the best in Cambridge.
Not all the first year rooms are great, but a good ballot system means you've got a strong chance of living somewhere absolutely spectacular in second and third year if you drop unlucky in your first...
If you fancy trying/continuing rowing, they're the strongest boat club on the river, and the other sports facilities aren't too shabby.
Only downside I remember is formals - they're not as frequent as at other Colleges and a bit more expensive. The food's normally up there with the best, however...

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (4), Music (4), Facilities (3), Accommodation (3), Smugness (2)

Review by Katie - Graduated 2008 (July 25, 2011) - add your impression

Newnham is a very pretty college with lovely buildings and gardens. It has very good facilities with a well stocked library (I never had to buy a book during my undergraduate course, I was able to find almost all the books I needed in the library), good JCRs and very good cooking facilities. The canteen serves a good range of food but portion sizes tended to be on the slightly small side. Compared to some other colleges formals are a little infrequent (once a week) and are mid-range in terms of price, however the food is of a good quality and the hall is quite pretty (although new).

Accomodation is good, with onsite accommodation being provided for all three years. The order for picking rooms is determined by a random ballot (rather than determined by academic performance) which is then reversed for the third year (so if you got last choice in the second year you will get first choice for the third year). The rooms are generally of a decent - large size, with reasonable amounts of storage space, although lockable storage for leaving stuff over the vacation can be limited. All rooms pay the same rent which gives everyone a chance to get a good sized room without having to worry about finance, however this does mean there is no option to go for a small room with low rent.

I found Newnham a pleasant, friendly place to live. However, when I started social activities within college were slightly limited, by the time I was leaving there was a push to change and get more people into the bar etc. Our garden party was very popular in 2009 and we held a ball in 2010 which was nice, although a little small. During my time there Newnham did was not really known for any social events like some other colleges. That said, we had quite a good range of sports societies and have some onsite sports facilities (sports fields and netball/tennis courts and a gym). The quality of sports facilities depends on what sports you want to play really as Newnham doesn't have badminton or squash courts like some colleges.

Even though this is an all girls college there is no problem with having guests to stay. The porters lodge is manned all night and the porters are all very friendly and happy to help with problems. However, one drawback with access to the college is that after about 8 o'clock in the evening the only way to access the college is via the porters lodge, which can get a bit annoying if you live at the other end of college and are coming from that direction.

In terms of location, Newnham is well placed for humanities which have their departments/lectures on the sidgewick site as this is just opposite. It is a bit further to the science sites, however as this is Cambridge, nothing is very far and these are only a 20 minute walk/ten minute cycle. Also, if you are not keen on the college bar, there are a few other colleges close by whose bars you can easily visit.

I found all my directors of studies at Newnham very friendly and helpful, and while they obviously wanted you to achieve well academically I didn't find they put pressure on any of us in our course to be working more or achieving higher grades.

Study (3), Artiness (3), Sport (3), Music (3), Facilities (4), Accommodation (5), Smugness (1)

Review by Undisclosed - BioNatSci Graduated 2009 (August 20, 2011) - add your impression

Lovely, friendly college with beautiful rooms. Gardens are gorgeous. Newnham is a home from home, you will never forget being here.

Study (4), Artiness (3), Sport (3), Music (4), Facilities (3), Accommodation (5), Smugness (1)

Review by Deepa Parry-Gupta - alumnus (July 15, 2013) - add your impression