Graduate Admissions


Bringing Your Family to Cambridge

If you have a dependent partner, or children, you can bring them with you to Cambridge but you should think through the implications before you do so. There will be financial considerations (see below) and you will also have to plan your time very carefully so that no aspect of your life suffers.

Make sure that once you have a college place, you keep your college fully informed about your family circumstances. If, for example, your family size increases between receiving an offer and coming to Cambridge, you must let both your college and the Board of Graduate Studies know.

For more information and advice about bringing your children to Cambridge, contact the Graduate Union, Cambridge University Students' Union or the Childare Office. Once you have a college place, your college should be your main contact point.

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Financial implications of bringing your family to Cambridge

If you are made a conditional offer of admission and are planning to come to Cambridge with a dependent family, you will have a much higher fee liability to meet as part of the financial condition of your offer. You should also be aware that not all funding bodies make provision for dependent relatives. The tables under "Full-Time Course Costs" show you the minimum estimated amounts needed to live on in Cambridge - please be aware this does not include the costs of childcare (which can be considerable). It is very likely therefore, depending on childcare, housing, clothing and other factors, that your actual costs will be significantly higher than the estimated minimum.


Accommodation for families

There is limited college accommodation for families (please see the 'Colleges' section for more details), and privately rented accommodation in Cambridge can be expensive and difficult to find. If College accommodation is not available, the University's Accommodation Service can help you find accommodation once your offer of a place has been confirmed. The Service is also responsible for letting 360 University-owned properties, which are a mixture of furnished and unfurnished one-, two- and three- bedroom flats and houses located at different sites across the city. Demand for these is high and priority is given to those who are new to Cambridge.

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Childcare arrangements (for children aged four years and under)

The University Nursery at West Cambridge offers places for the children of students. Queens' and Gonville & Caius Colleges have their own campus nurseries available to students. Churchill, St John's, Trinity and Girton Colleges also have a joint facility known as the Kids Unlimited Wolfson Court Nursery.

There is usually a waiting list for places at the university and college nurseries and you should also consider private childcare such as a day nursery, childminder or a nanny. Contact the Childcare Information Service for Cambridgeshire, Opportunity Links, for details on all childcare facilities.

The Government's Early Years Education Funding scheme offers free part-time places to three and four-year-olds for 38 weeks a year at eligible childcare providers. These include day nurseries; local authority nursery classes; private nursery schools; pre-schools; and childminders belonging to a childminding network. For more information contact Opportunity Links, as above, or see the Cambridge Guide for Student Parents.

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Schooling (for children aged four and over)

In Cambridge, school attendance at state schools is free for children from the September after their fourth birthday. The school year begins in September and is divided into Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms. Upcoming state school term dates can be found on the Cambridge County Council website. You will be entitled to send your child to a school close to where you live if there is a vacancy. Apply for a place at a state school through Cambridgeshire County Council. You must have a local address for your child before you apply and overseas students will need to provide copies of their child's passport and entry visa. For advice, contact the County Council Admissions Team, listed under the "Education and learning" pages of the County Council.

You may need to make arrangements for childcare at the start or end of the school day, and in the holiday periods, depending on the demands of your course. For before- and after-school clubs or childminders and all other types of childcare facilities, see Opportunity Links. The University operates a holiday play scheme.

The University operates the means-tested Central Childcare Bursary Scheme to assist overseas and EU student parents, who are members of participating colleges, with childcare costs. Home students can apply for assistance from the Access to Learning Fund. For more information see the Financial Information page of The Cambridge Guide for Student Parents.

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Visa Requirements

Applicants requiring a visa to study in the UK should take note of UKBA regulations on bringing any dependents on a student dependent visa, particularly those applying for courses that are shorter than 12 months. Please see the 'Frequently Asked Questions' on the International Students Team page for further guidance: