Graduate Life at Murray Edwards
Graduate life at Cambridge revolves around two main locations: the Department, Faculty and/or laboratory where you work, and the College. A College is not just a place to live but also a community that you join. Colleges are your 'home' while at Cambridge and that means places where you can relax, socialise, make friends, receive personal support and, in one word, belong. College is your 'launching pad' into wider Cambridge life: fully part of the University and yet offering a cosier, more intimate environment for everyday life, work and recreation.
The term 'MCR' (which stands for 'Middle Combination Room') is used to refer to three different things:
- The entire graduate student body of the College.
- The graduates' common room
- The MCR committee - an elected group of students who represent graduate student views in the college and university
The Murray Edwards College MCR committee organise regular social events for Murray Edwards College graduates and their friends, including film nights, games nights, garden parties and BBQs in the summer and lots more. A programme of events is arranged during the first week of the new academic year to welcome new graduates ('freshers') to Murray Edwards College and help them settle in quickly. All graduates have the opportunity to stand for election to the MCR committee in the Lent Term.
The focal point of the graduate social scene is the spacious, comfortable and modern graduate common room in the Canning & Eliza Fok building. The common room is equipped with sofas, a kitchen, computers, a television, a CD player, DVDs, games and books. Graduates use this room relaxing, socialising and entertaining their friends, as well as for activities organised by the MCR committee.
All graduate students at the University of Cambridge have a College Tutor. Officially, Graduate Tutors provide a formal link between students and the University. At Murray Edwards College, however, we aim to offer further tutorial support; our Graduate Tutors are friendly, approachable and supportive, and can offer confidential help and advice on any aspect of University life, including accommodation problems, finances and general well-being. Your Graduate Tutor can also act as a liaison between you and your Faculty or Department in case of difficulty. If students have health concerns, they can visit the College Nurse, who is regularly available to all students during term time. Although we ask all students to register with a doctor as soon as they arrive in Cambridge, our College Nurse is a useful first point of contact for students with medical concerns of any kind.
The principal academic focus for a graduate student is her Faculty or Department rather than the College. Further information about courses can be found on the relevant Faculty or Department websites (listed in the University's Department Directory).
The College also runs an annual Graduate Symposium in Easter Term, which provides a forum for graduates to present and discuss their work informally with other Murray Edwards graduates.
Graduates have access to the College's excellent study facilities, including the Rosemary Murray Library (open 24 hours a day for seven days a week, with some 56,000 volumes), a dedicated Law Reading Room, Wi-fi and excellent computing facilities.
The College has a multi-gym, tennis courts, squash courts and sports fields, which are open to all members of the College. All graduates also have free access to University sports fields and facilities and many Murray Edwards College graduates are active in University-level sports.
For musicians, there are several music practice-rooms with upright pianos, as well as a harpsichord and a Steinway grand piano. Buckingham House also boasts a superb auditorium with cinema, hosting regular film festivals. The College Music Society always welcomes new members.
For those who enjoy art and photography, there is an Art Room in College, as well as a well-equipped darkroom for photographic developing and printing.
The College cafeteria, which is located in the Dome, offers lunch and dinner throughout term time. Meals are of high quality and very good value. There is plenty of choice and consideration is given to various dietary requirements. Dinner may be taken with Fellows in the Fellows' Dining room during vacations.
During term time, graduates are invited to one Formal Hall per week free of charge (Murray Edwards College is the only college in the University to offer free formal halls to graduate students). The meal is of high quality, and the occasion a popular one for entertaining guests. The Fellows of Murray Edwards College invite all graduate students and their guests to meet socially in the Fellows' Drawing Room before formal hall, and graduates gather in the MCR after formal hall to continue their evening together.
For those who prefer to cook for themselves, all graduate rooms have access to excellent kitchen facilities.
Murray Edwards College is home to the world's second largest collection of art by women. More information, including an online catalogue, can be found on the Art Collection website. The collection is on permanent view throughout the College, so that you will live surrounded by world-class art by women! The College also regularly hosts exhibitions of women artists from the U.K. and beyond.
The College also regularly hosts film festivals in the state-of-the art lecture theatre of Buckingham House, as well as lecture series with distinguished guest speakers such as, most recently, that dedicated to 'Environment on the Edge'.
Murray Edwards College's forward-looking spirit is reflected in buildings that are modern and architecturally daring, set in spacious informal grounds. At the heart of Murray Edwards College is the imposing Dome that gives the College a unique skyline and offers a stunning, distinctive space for dining and entertaining. College accommodation, including the new Graduate block, is modern and comfortable and set within the College gardens. The gardens at Murray Edwards College are part of the Cambridge wildlife corridor, alive with squirrels, pheasants and rabbits, wild plants and flower borders. They are less formal than other College gardens and students can walk on the grass, pick herbs from the gardens and fruit from the orchard. At the same time the grounds are beautifully landscaped and now incorporate the prize-winning 'Transit of Venus' garden that Murray Edwards College presented at the Chelsea Flower Show (London) in 2007.