Who We Are

At Hughes Hall, students from all over the world come together in a friendly atmosphere to use their learning for real-world change.

A place made of people

Hughes Hall is one of the 31 Colleges of the 800-year-old University of Cambridge, with a unique character that comes directly from our members.

We’re one of just four Cambridge Colleges dedicated to undergraduates aged 21 and over and postgraduates. That gives Hughes Hall a very different feel from colleges with younger students.

We’re the second-largest College for postgraduates, but we also have around 100 undergraduates and medical students. Overall, we have around 700 student members and 200 senior members.

We’re one of the most international Cambridge Colleges. We have students from more than 75 countries, and our senior members also come from all over the world. They include top academics, leading figures from government and the third sector, and senior executives in business, finance and law.

Want to make a difference? So do we

Hughes Hall is a College that bridges the academic and external worlds. Our mission is to use academic learning to bring about real change and growth in the world.

We started out as a women-only college for schoolteachers. Over time, we’ve widened both our student profile and our teaching. Today, we welcome students from every background and every part of the world, many of whom are looking for a new direction in study, work or life.

We cover every subject, but we focus strongly on five areas that are all about solving real-world problems through training professionals and studying their associated academic disciplines: law (with philosophy);  business (with economics); medicine (with the life sciences); engineering (with computer science, mathematics and physical sciences) and education (with social sciences).

Thinking differently, treating people the same

Hughes Hall was founded in 1885. That might sound like a long time ago, but it actually makes us quite young for a Cambridge College. With less history to weigh us down, we’ve been free to follow our own path.

Our atmosphere is open, friendly and communal. We don’t put up any barriers between students and academics. Everyone works, talks and studies together, making new friendships whatever their age and background.

We have fewer rules than some Cambridge Colleges. For example, we all eat the same food, we don’t have a ‘high table’ reserved for Fellows at mealtimes, and students (not just Fellows) are allowed to walk on the grass!


College students, staff and fellows work hard to develop the College’s sustainability initiatives – there is more information about these here.

Hughes Hall is for people who make a difference