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Gateway programme

Helping you make the most of every opportunity at Cambridge and prepare well for life afterwards
Three women sitting on a sofa on a stage, panellists for an event.

Gateway Programme

The Gateway Programme is an academic and career-focused development programme for our students and is unique to Murray Edwards College.  

The Programme’s vision centres on ensuring young women from all backgrounds are able to make the most of the opportunities available to them at the University of Cambridge through skills workshops, internships, early career planning, and funding.

The Gateway Programme has three strands:  

  • academic skills
  • personal development
  • career preparation

First year undergraduates are offered sessions which focus on academic progress, complemented by personal development and groundwork for career preparation.

Examples of sessions include:

  • How to make the most of supervisions and what constitutes ‘good’ work.
  • What is effective revision and good practice in exams.
  • Discipline specific skills e.g. scientific computing and writing, presenting quantitative solutions, and academic principles in essay writing.
  • How to manage competing priorities as a student.
  • Guidance on accessing College-negotiated internships and support during the application process.

The student mentors in each subject [gave] tailored advice about what is expected in supervisions, essays and exams. It was invaluable to talk to someone who had recently been through the same process.

Postgraduates, finalists and second year undergraduates focus on personal development skills to support their successful transition into work or further study. Sessions also offer insight into careers and help with the process of getting a job.

Postgraduate students are also offered academic sessions as part of their introduction to Cambridge.

Examples of sessions include:

  • Personal development plan designed to cover academic performance and attributes sought by employers.
  • Online networking evening.
  • ‘Into employment Saturday’ – Mock interviews, a group assessment exercise and Q&A with senior-level experts.
  • One day work-shadowing and College-negotiated internships.
  • Introduction to academic expectations, intellectual property, and the supervision system.

There was a full day on CV writing and mock interview practice. I found that excellent.

Workshop sessions are led by experienced academic fellows, alumnae, professional consultants, and our highly regarded student peer advisors.

Gateway Challenges Funding

The Gateway Programme encourages ambition, challenge and excellence. Experiences have an important contribution to make, but finance is often a constraint. This funding is available to students who have participated within the Gateway Programme and who want to build their skills, resilience and experience further through their own challenging interests.

The summer funding was invaluable at levelling the playing field and enabling me to have opportunities I otherwise couldn’t afford.

Those experiences of travel and exploration were extremely formative and have continued to inform and impact me today.

I can confidently say that the summer I spent in China funded by Gateway Challenges changed the whole direction of my career.


Internships and work placements

Placements within work environments help students make well-informed choices about what they want to do and provide students with insights and on-the-ground experience to greatly strengthen their CVs.

The Murray Edwards College Internship Initiative has negotiated internships for students in many sectors including: Computer Technology, Law, Finance and Investment, Education, Health Management, Publishing, Architecture/Building Design, Marketing, Oil Services/Industrial Technology, and Non-profit.

One-day work-shadowing placements are also offered and in the past students have shadowed people in role such as: Criminal Court Judge, Environmental Consultant, Social Media Manager, Head of Campaigns and Communications, Technical Director, Head of Rewards, Local Councillor, Head of Data Integrity, Director of Marketing, and Medicinal Chemist.

The internship placement really strengthened my CV.

I applied for a job at the firm where I currently work after shadowing one of the alumnae for a day!

[After an internship] I’m now in full-time employment in that company.