+44 (0)1223 334 898
enquiries@hughes.cam.ac.uk

Life at Hughes

Everything you need to know – even when it’s difficult to visit!

We would love to say hello, show you around, and introduce you to our students, staff, and Senior Members. Ours is a wonderful and welcoming community – this page is designed to give you a flavour of it including a video introducing you to the College and our people, culture and community.

History and culture

The oldest graduate college, Hughes Hall was established in 1885, but we wear our history lightly. We are known today as a progressive College, bridging the academic and external worlds with an informal atmosphere. Coming to Hughes Hall today means joining world-class academics, making lifelong friends, and becoming part of a global network, all supporting one another to make a difference around the world.

A distinctive aspect of life at Hughes is our friendly and inclusive culture; and everyone is allowed to walk – or relax – on the grass!

A progressive College with a friendly and inclusive culture – and fabulous views across the University cricket ground!

Our students

We are one of only three Cambridge colleges for mature students, so everyone here is at least 21. We admit the most postgraduates in Cambridge as well as around 200 undergraduates every year. And we are proudly multinational, with students from more than 80 countries. Everyone at Hughes has arrived by a different route, with a different background, and brings different experiences, strengths and stories to their studies. That’s what makes life here so varied and fulfilling.

The gates to our Gresham Court accommodation were sculpted by a well-known architectural blacksmith – the 117 marigolds represent all the different countries that our students have come from. We are very proud of our diversity.

Everyone at Hughes has arrived by a different route, with a different background, and brings different experiences, strengths and stories to their studies

In their own words

You can find out more and hopefully be inspired by some of our students who wanted share their own journeys to Cambridge, their research, why they chose Hughes Hall, and their experiences of the College: Meet our students.

Your journey at Cambridge starts with Matriculation, the formal pledge of membership to the College and the University, and ends with Graduation, the celebration of your success.

Location

Hughes Hall is an oasis of calm and tranquillity right in the heart of Cambridge providing a relaxing and stimulating environment for your studies and research. Our College buildings run alongside the University’s Cricket Ground and around the corner is lively Mill Road, known for its cafes, restaurants, bars, vintage clothes, and international supermarkets. We are halfway between the railway station and market square, a 10-minute bike ride from most university departments, and 5 minutes from punting on the river Cam, and Midsummer Common’s famous cows.

You can find out more on our location and accommodation pages. This links to a University platform that enables you to find the Colleges on a map, as well as other city and University landmarks: www.virtualtour.study.cam.ac.uk.

With the city Centre, beautiful green spaces and the river on your doorstep, Hughes Hall is ideally placed to access the best of this beautiful city and the University

Accommodation

We have some of the best accommodation at Cambridge, and offer both traditional and modern College rooms with kitchen facilities, and one of the highest number of en-suites. Plus, there are roof terraces, couples flats, city houses, accessible rooms, and some fabulous views across the cricket field. We prioritise our first-year students and those taking longer courses for College accommodation, although you’re welcome to find your own rooms if you prefer. Find out more about College rooms and flats on the accommodation page.

We have some of the best accommodation at Cambridge, and offer both traditional and modern College rooms with smart kitchens, roof terraces and en suite bathrooms.

Library

Our college library, the Edwin Leong Library, is a beautifully light and airy space overlooking the lawns. Open 24/7, it has 60 study spaces on two floors, and step-free access. We have 9,000 books, computing and copying facilities, and two experienced librarians to help you find and use information resources for your studies, and develop your research skills.

Dining

Everyone in our community can eat together in a grand modern dining hall, its tall windows overlooking the cricket field. Our food is considered some of the best dining at the University. You can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner here every weekday; and at weekends, come for our popular brunch, or a Sunday roast.

Two nights a week, we hold traditional Formal Halls. Some are themed to mark special occasions like Chinese New Year, LGBTQ month, or Thanksgiving. Unlike other Colleges, we don’t have a High Table reserved for Fellows. Our students, seniors, staff and guests all eat together so it’s a great opportunity to chat to everyone in our community.

Unlike other Colleges, we don’t have a High Table reserved for Fellows. Our students, seniors, staff and guests all eat together so it’s a great opportunity to chat to everyone in our community.

Events and entertainment

You’ll be invited to lots of events around your subject area, both inside and outside College including supervisions, dinners, research showcase evenings, seminars, career events, panel discussions, and large symposia and receptions, organised by both students and Fellows. Hughes Hall also has many sports clubs, societies, and social events; plus a College gym, a Steinway piano, and a varied music programme.

We have a particularly strong tradition in rowing and rugby, with representatives in the Boat Race and Varsity matches, although most of our students join clubs for fun, fitness and friendship.

Your week might include a badminton match, a fireside chat on banking, Halloween Formal Hall, rowing for the first time, and a lively night in the College bar.

Alongside your departmental work, your week might include a badminton match, a fireside chat on banking, Halloween Formal Hall, rowing for the first time, and a lively night in the College bar. Or just a walk around the College gardens and a good book – what you take from Hughes Hall is up to you! But you cannot miss the May Ball!

The Cambridge Colleges are famous for their May Balls and Hughes Hall is no exception

Welfare

It is important to us that you can excel in your studies as well as broadening your horizons. And that you can do this with a smile, whilst feeling comfortable, secure, well supported, and surrounded by people who want you to thrive. At Hughes Hall, we place a great deal of value on our welfare provision if you’d like to explore our detailed welfare pages, and have a tutorial team dedicated to your wellbeing, as well as a College nurse and counsellor. We are always here to help you navigate the peculiarities of the Cambridge system.

Our dedicated  Student Centre provides a lot more information for our students on all academic, practical and welfare issues from examinations and IT to how to book a slot with the nurse and what’s on the menu today.

Make a difference

Our students tell us we are the friendliest college in Cambridge, but Hughes Hall is unique for lots of reasons. Many of our seniors come from the wider world, bringing experience in business, policymaking, and philanthropy to college life. We combine this with the expertise of our researchers through our Bridge initiative and have launched exciting research centres – in education technologies, climate change, oracy, and digital innovation – all providing a platform for you to make a mark, make connections and make a difference.

We have a range of scholarships, bursaries and awards to help you thrive with us and support you in having an impact around the world. For example, This publication is a great example of the translational and impact-orientated nature of our work, as members of our academic community explain how they have been helping to tackle the pandemic.

Our website should tell you all you need to know, from our academic excellence to our equality and diversity commitment, and from our cutting-edge research centres to our Fellows and Senior Members.

Join our thriving student community to build on the experiences and achievements of your past, for a springboard for a brilliant future and a welcoming home for today

Further information

We are always available to answer your questions so please don’t hesitate to get in touch: admissions@hughes.cam.ac.uk or +44 (0)1223 334897.