Selwyn College

| University of Cambridge

Selwyn College, Cambridge

Selwyn College, Cambridge was founded in 1882. It teaches in the region of 388 undergraduate students and 130 graduates. The college is ranked in position 13 of 29 in the Tompkins Table of academic results for the year 2014 (where 1 is the top possible score). It is located around 0.98 km from the centre of town.

Courses offered [ + ] Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic | Archaeology & Anthropology | Architecture | Asian and Middle Eastern Studies | Chemical Engineering | Classics | Computer Science | Economics | Education | 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 (4), Music (4), Sport (3), Smugness (2), Artiness (3) Facilities (3), Accommodation (3) | locate on map

In spite of its very pretty buildings the people here are quite unpretentious. Great stuff.

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

Review by Geoff - Cambridge Undergraduate - add your impression

Smugness should really be a zero - Selwyn is well known as one of the friendliest and most unpretentious colleges in Cambridge.

Selwyn is also known for one of the best formal halls around, and hit the top spot in the academic league tables last year beating every other college. The facilities used to be very average, but with the development of the new wing of Anns Court, including a new JCR, the accommodation it can offer has massively improved. Great advantages as an art student of being right next door to the Sidgwick site too. Brilliant.

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

Review by Maria - Selwyn Graduate (July 16, 2009) - add your impression

As a musician, I must comment that the music facilities offered by Selwyn are above average compared to most colleges. We have a superb audition-only choir, a non-audition orchestra, weekly recitals by both students and professionals, and regular 'chill out' sessions in the bar where anyone can come and perform anything they feel like. We also have a dedicated music room complete with piano, harpsichord and drum kit which students can book and use whenever they want. One of the best things about being in Selwyn for music however is the fact that West Road concert hall (the hub of all things music) is a 3 min walk away, which makes things very convenient. Note that Selwyn Jazz is not affiliated with Selwyn at all!

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

Review by Simon - Undergraduate (February 3, 2010) - add your impression

Biggest bonus: right next to the Sidgwick site (where all the Arts lectures take place). If you study English (like me), History, Theology, Economics, Languages and other Artsy things, you're closer than anyone to where it all happens. Waking up 10 minutes before lectures is 100% doable. If you're a scientist, you're no worse off than any of the central colleges - closer to some labs, further from others.

Selwyn is musically very good - and the Mighty Players, Selwyn's drama society, is worth a mention, being among the more active college drama societies.

If you're a quick walker, town can be reached in 10 minutes - the distance is no problem. Selwyn has quite a unique aesthetic among the colleges, Old Court and Ann's Court are charming, and as for Cripps... well almost everywhere had an architectural whoopsie in the 60s, and ours is not all that bad.

Sports-wise Selwyn doesn't have a brilliant rep, but you can still muck in and have fun if you're that way inclined.

The recent surge in Tompkins standing doesn't seem to have resulted from any special piling-on of pressure, so don't let the fearsome academic standing phase you. We can beat Trinity and Emma just the way we are =]

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

Review by Kayce - Fresher 2009/10 (March 1, 2010) - add your impression

Library - ok but not that great. Worked in their 'law library' once but it isn't a seperate room like in most other colleges. This place is very musical. It had a reputation as a really friendly college too - quite nice hall food, lots of people come during lunchtime who work in the nearby Sidgwick Site (from other colleges).

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

Review by Jack - Cam student (other college) - add your impression

Having recently obtained stunning overall results, coming in first place amongst all colleges in 2008 and 3rd in 2009, Selwyn certainly excels academically. In addition it boasts fantastic formal halls, 2 times a week, which are the perfect balance of formal and fun. The musical scene is great with one of the best choirs in Cambridge by joining with the next door girls college. Some may find the recent academic success stressful as the expected level of achievement is very high. This does result in a fairly work orientated college, especially in exam term when very little else occurs.

In terms of position, some may worry about Selwyns distance from the centre of Cambridge. However, not only is Selwyn one of the closest colleges to the arts lecture area in Cambridge, but it is only a maximum 20 minute walk to all the clubs/bars you may consider going to. Compared to most other universities, this travel time is still fantastic. No night term public transport is needed.

For medical students, and many other science based subjects even the furthest lecture halls are only a 10-15 minute cycle ride away while the closest ones are a maximum of 5. This means even waking up at a quarter to 9 for lectures starting at five past 9 is not a problem. It's equivalent to the walk from most other colleges. A final note on position, sainsburys, the main stop for food in Cambridge, is a 10 minute cycle or 20-25 minute walk which may be a problem for some.

All of the colleges accommodation is right next to the college, with only 2 houses not right next to the main court, and these are still only a 3 minute walk away from hall.

One problem some may have with Selwyn, if you are a budding sportsman, is the small size of the gym. While good for rowers it may be lacking for others who want to use other classical gym equipment, although a renovation is in the works. The college does not have its own sports grounds although does have use of other colleges which are a simple cycle ride away.

As an ex Selwyn student I have to say that I really enjoyed my time there, and for those how are high achievers I would highly recommend it. Especially for medicine where the supervision system and supervisors themselves are excellent. However, for those looking for a "typical" university time, first Cambridge may not be for you, it is very academically based, and if Cambridge is the place, then Selwyn may be too focused on studying rather than partying for you. But still, those 2 formals a week are a blast.

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

Review by Charles - Graduate (September 7, 2009) - add your impression