Advanced student



Traditional term for a cleaner in College (short for bedmaker; they do not make beds). Selwyn has replaced the term by ‘Housekeeping Assistant’.


The College’s senior financial and administration officer.

Come Up

Arrive in Cambridge at the beginning of term.


The area with the big bit of grass you’re not allowed to walk on. Known as a quad (quadrangle) in Oxford.


If a student is ill and has to miss a significant part of their course, they may request permission to take a period away, usually a year, before returning to College.

Director of Studies

The Fellow of the College (or other senior member of the University) responsible for overseeing an undergraduate’s academic studies.

Division of Term

The day that marks the mid-point of Full Term, at the end of the 4th week.

Easter Term

The term after Easter and before the undergraduates’ big, long holiday.


Permission to spend a night away from Cambridge. Students must sign out and back in again whenever they are away from Cambridge.


An academic or Senior Member of the College.

Formal Hall

Formal dinner on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


First-year undergraduate student.

Full Term

Shorter than Term, eight weeks long. All undergraduates must stay in residence during this time.

General Admission

The four days at the end of June/early July on which most BA degrees are awarded.


Black cape, to be worn on formal occasions (formal hall, chapel, matriculation). Graduates and Fellows wear a longer BA or MA gown.

Go Down

Leave Cambridge at the end of term.


Students being presented to receive their degree, having successfully passed their exams.

Gyp Room

A very small kitchen, only really suitable for preparing snacks, not feasts.


Dining Hall.


College accommodation in detached houses, on or adjacent to, the main site.


Junior Combination Room. Undergraduates are members of this.

Junior Members

Undergraduates and postgraduates.

Keeping Term

Satisfying the residence requirements of the University.


Kitchen Fixed Charge (not Kentucky Fried Chicken). A lump sum that covers part of the overhead costs of the kitchens.

Lent Term

Term between Christmas and Easter, surprisingly!


The Head of the College. His name is Roger Mosey.


Ceremony of entry to the College and the University. Having promised to obey the College and University rules, students become members of the College.

May Ball

Post-exam celebration – in June!

May Week

Also in June. The week after the end of the Full Easter Term; highlights include May Balls and garden parties.


Middle Combination Room. Graduates are members of this.

Michaelmas Term

Term before Christmas.


Minimum Meals Charge: an agreed termly minimum spend on meals.


Where your mail is left for you (in the Porters’ Lodge).

Porters’ Lodge

Porters’ Lodge. Where the porters are to be found.


College employee responsible for security, signing in and out, mail and spare keys. They do not carry bags.


Graduate student.


College Officer responsible for matriculation and graduation ceremonies.


University Officer in charge of discipline and administration.


Studying – “I am reading Natural Sciences”.

Rediit Book

Used to be a book you sign on the day you come into residence at the beginning of each term. Now done in the Porters Lodge electronically by scanning your University Card.


Cambridge is a residential University; students are required to spend a certain number of nights each term in order to be eligible to take their degree. Once you have come up, you are in residence.


Senior Combination Room. Fellows are members of this.

Senior Members

Fellows and Directors of Studies.

Snow Ball

Ball at Selwyn held in December.


What would be called tutorials in any other University!


The academic responsible for your Supervisions


A longer period than Full Term. There is no formal teaching outside Full Term.

Keeping Term Form/Terminal Exeat

The form that must be signed in the presence of your Tutor at your end of term meeting to confirm your going down and coming up dates.


A Fellow who oversees your welfare and acts as your advocate in various matters.