The College’s postgraduate community of more than 200 students is notable for its diversity and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Some students are Selwyn graduates, but many come from other British universities and more than one third from overseas.
For most postgraduate students, academic life will be based in a particular Department or Faculty; indeed, most science students will spend a majority of their time in department-based labs. The tie to a particular place is less strong in the Arts and Humanities, though the University libraries are likely to become quite familiar. In other words, College membership for postgraduate students is not directly associated with academic training, but rather with more general support, a social context, and a 'home in Cambridge.'
All postgraduate students have a Tutor who is there to provide advice and assistance when financial, administrative and personal issues arise. The Tutor also acts as an intermediary between students and the University. Selwyn encourages contact between postgraduates and senior members, especially with Directors of Studies in their particular subject.
All postgraduate students are guaranteed a room in College for the duration of their course. Postgraduate accommodation is all within the immediate vicinity of the College, either in Cripps Court or nearby large houses. As such, postgraduate students play an integral role in the Selwyn community, contributing to all the social, cultural and sporting activities that are so much a feature of the Cambridge colleges.
Cafeteria-style meals are provided daily in the College Hall; breakfast is available every day except Sunday. There is always a wide choice of dishes on offer, and special diets are easily catered for. There are also 'Formal Halls' (with service at table) on two evenings a week; these are very popular with students. A variety of cooking facilities is available in student houses, ranging from kitchenettes to fully equipped kitchens.
All students have direct access to the internet through the University's computer network. The College IT Office provides extensive support to new and experienced users, whether they work from their rooms or in one of the College's two well-equipped computer rooms. There are also extensive computing facilities in the University faculties and libraries.
The College has a number of public rooms, which are used by students for meetings, rehearsals, plays and concerts. There is a games room, a TV room, and of course the Middle Combination Room – the social centre for Selwyn postgraduate students. The College Bar also provides a lively focus for social life, and is the setting for the hugely successful 'Selwyn Sessions.'
The real essence of College life, of course, comes from the wealth of interests and activities shared by its students. Selwyn hosts a diverse range of clubs and societies, with something for pretty much everyone: from music and drama to politics and sports. Many students, for example, become involved in collegiate and inter-collegiate sports, taking advantage of the nearby playing fields and facilities that we share with King's College. In recent years, Selwyn has been especially successful in women's football, men's rugby and water polo – though most students do sports simply for the fun and recreation.
Music has always been one of Selwyn's particular strengths. The Music Society is very active and regularly organizes and promotes concerts. The Chapel Choir, under its professional director, has the reputation of being one of the best in Cambridge. In addition to regular choral services, the Choir has been invited to sing at a number of prestigious venues and regularly tours overseas.
The College Chapel, as well as being the venue for daily services and ceremonial events in the life of the College, provides a 'sacred space' that all members of the College – of any faith or none – are free to use for reflection, meditation or prayer.