Preparation and Arrival

Preparation and Arrival

We are aware that the current global situation is a cause of concern for many applicants. The uncertainty we face is a challenge for students, teachers, and administrators in universities around the world, and at Hughes Hall we are working hard to adapt with all our colleagues across the University of Cambridge. We continue to monitor the situation around the world so that we are ready to adapt as necessary.

Information sources

The College’s coronavirus information page is a helpful source of information and links about the College’s response to the pandemic:

The University has a general coronavirus information page which is available at:

Applicants for postgraduate study should check the Graduate Admissions Office coronavirus advice.

Applicants for undergraduate study should check the undergraduate coronavirus advice.

Registration Dates

New students should be ready to commence at Hughes Hall on the Registration Date for their course. If you are travelling from a country that the UK Government requires to quarantine/self-isolate on arrival, you will need to arrange to arrive early enough to complete this before Registration. Registration dates will be advised to you by the Admissions Office, or please check the Registration Dates 2020 document.

Official quarantine/self-isolation requirements are available on the UK Government Entering the UK website.

If you are allocated to Hughes Hall student accommodation you will be advised of your accommodation arrival date (Licence Start date), this may be earlier than your Registration Date in order to manage arrangements for arrivals and quarantines. If you wish to adjust your arrival date, this will need to be agreed in advance with the Accommodation Team.


The process for allocating Hughes Hall student accommodation for new students arriving in 2021-22 has not yet opened. When this opens in the Spring, the College will contact all applicants whose applications have progressed to a stage making them eligible to apply for accommodation with guidance on how to apply for a College room.

  • Student rooms in the College are priced by bands based on the size of the room, the room’s location, and whether or not it has en-suite bath or shower facilities. Prices for 2020/2021 can be found on the fees and charges page.
  • Pictures of rooms and shared facilities can be found in the MCR Accommodation look book. (Please note, we are no longer renting Swirles court for the next academic year.)
  • There is information about College accommodation in the Student Centre > Accommodation pages.

We monitor developments in health requirements and relevant government regulations, and due to the nature of the pandemic it is possible that we will need to make temporary or longer-term alternative arrangements at short notice. It is our intention to provide the best service we can, however please note that should the requirements for health provision or other appropriate measures to respond to the pandemic be required we will adjust as appropriate. We hope we will have your understanding should this arise. Please arrive on your Licence Start date or arrange to adjust the Licence Start date (usually to an earlier arrival as adjustments become more difficult later in the cycle) in advance, and note that we hope to give everyone the band offered when they arrive but in some circumstances we may need to offer a different band, or arrange accommodation from another provider.

The University’s Accommodation Service is a good starting point for inquiries about accommodation from other providers:

Coronavirus and Self-Isolation
  • We can offer all full-time students allocated a Hughes Hall room who are required to quarantine under current regulations with facilities to do so if this is requested in good time. Due to the additional demands of quarantine you may be required to arrive on an earlier date and may be accommodated in a different room during your quarantine period. We can also offer quarantine facilities to Hughes Hall students who will not be living in College accommodation subject to availability – again you should expect an earlier arrival date. In all cases you should request this when you accept the room offer or as soon as the UK government adds the country you are travelling from to the list of countries requiring self-isolation on arrival. See Please bear in mind that demand is likely to increase as the cycle progresses, so planning for earlier arrival is likely to make it easier to put self-isolation/quarantine provision in place.
  • We have also made an arrangement with the Moller Institute in Cambridge which is offering rooms for students who need to self-isolate. Rates are £89.00 per night including Bed and Breakfast. Breakfast will be placed outside your door. You can also order lunch and dinner priced at around £5 – £8 per meal.

Disability and Medical

The College and the University work together to offer the maximum possible support to all disabled students. The earlier we are aware of any disability, the better we are able to ensure that all the arrangements you require are in place before you start here (e.g. study skills support, suitable accommodation and exam access arrangements). You may also find that you are eligible for Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) or other available funding to support your needs. If you would like support, please contact the College’s Disability Equality Officer. The University’s Disability Resource Centre can provide further guidance, tel: +44 1223 332301, email:

There is additional guidance about equality and diversity at Hughes Hall in the About Us section.

It is essential all students register with a local doctor whilst studying. To do this you may need to request a letter confirming your status as a student using your Personal Information page which becomes active after registration and can be accessed from the Student Centre section. A list of local Medical Centres is available here. Try contacting them in advance to find out what information they will need to register you. (NB If you are on a 1 year course and there is less than 6 months left on your course when you register with the doctor, you will be charged for any treatment/consultation.)


  • Before you arrive in Cambridge, you need to complete Student registration. All Students are emailed instructions in advance but you can click here if not. After collecting your UIS computing account and changing you password, you will enable you to access your Microsoft mail account, any specific resources and course materials provided by your college and department, and some of the University Library’s online resources.
  • Please ensure you have read the University Computing Service pages for new students. See their general introduction and advice on good practice to protect yourself and the College online
  • Please see Getting Started with IT
  • Please check information about the College’s IT service

Crime prevention and personal safety

Other sources of welcome and information

There are many other University organisations which provide welcome activities and/or useful services. These include:

Useful websites for international students:

See also, the Other Helpful Information and Useful Information sections of the New Students’ Signpost page.