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6. Rules and Disciplinary Matters


The Dean (Prof Charlotte Summers) and Assistant Dean (Prof Grant Stewart) are responsible, together with the Master, Senior Tutor and Tutors, for disciplinary matters. She also deals with certain routine matters, such as authorizing parties and booking public rooms. The Deans also deal with certain routine matters, such as authorizing parties/gatherings of 10 or more people and booking public rooms. The Deans are available for consultation by appointment. An email to is the best way to arrange a convenient time. The Deans, Senior Tutor and Bursar have shared responsibility for the rules and regulation governing student behaviour in relation to the Covid-19 health emergency. These are dealt with in a separate part of the College website and anything in this section of the student guide is subject to amendment to comply with the Covid rules found there.

Selwyn’s rules and regulations are essential to managing the life of a community in which hundreds of people live and work in close proximity to one another. The College is also responsible for upholding University regulations to which students are subject, the law of the land and other obligations. Our rules help ensure that members of Selwyn enjoy good working conditions, do not interfere with each others’ lives and work, and enjoy responsibly the facilities provided by the College. A summary of these University regulations, which are enforced by the Proctors, can be found in University publications.

Disciplinary matters are handled under a number of different policies and procedures that cover different aspects of College life. The demarcation across the various areas is pretty intuitive. There are core rules on student discipline, academic and tutorial matters, and on the regulation of clubs and societies. These can be found in Section 10 of the guide alongside other policy documents (not all of which are primarily disciplinary). Those include the College’s Respect and Dignity at Study Policy (covering student to student relations), Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, Fitness to Study and Complaints. All of these policies have particular application in specific circumstances and all look, where that is appropriate, to informal means to resolve any issues that may arise. All are also subject to the detailed provisions that are contained in the Rules for Student Conduct, those for Clubs and Societies and the Academic and Tutorial regulations. As is made clear in the various policies, the mention of any given example does not necessarily suggest that only those specific acts mentioned in them are covered. If you have any questions about the interpretation or application of the policies, do not hesitate to consult the Deans or the Senior Tutor. You will also see that the various rules all stipulate processes of appeal and guarantee students a fair process.

Two of the most basic of Cambridge University’s rules are:

6.0.1 Matriculation

Junior members of the College become members of the University by matriculating (putting their names on a list) at the beginning of their first term of residence. In doing this, they promise to observe the Statutes and Ordinances of the University, and to pay due respect and obedience to the Chancellor, and other officers of the University. The College holds a dinner for all first-year undergraduates and postgraduates to mark this event.

6.0.2 Residence (‘Keeping Term’)

In order to obtain a BA Honours degree at Cambridge, it is necessary not only to pass examinations but also to have completed nine Terms of residence (six Terms for Affiliated students). There are three Terms: Michaelmas, Lent and Easter; the first two are of 80 days each, the third 70 days. Within each Term there is a period called Full Term. For 2020-21 the dates are:





Michaelmas Term 2021

1 October

5 October

3 December

19 December

Lent Term 2022

5 January

18 January

18 March

25 March

Easter Term 2022

17 April

26 April

17 June

25 June

For future years, see:

In most subjects, all formal lectures and supervisions are given during Full Term. In order to ‘keep Term’ for purposes of a degree, an undergraduate must reside in Cambridge for a period equivalent to the length of Full Term, i.e. 60 days (59 nights) in the Michaelmas and Lent Terms and 53 days (52 nights) in the Easter Term. If any nights are spent away from Cambridge during Full Term, they must be offset by residence during the period of Term, either before or after Full Term. Days kept in excess of those required in any Term cannot be transferred to a subsequent Term. At the end of each Term, you will be required to sign a list to indicate that you have kept that Term. (See the Student Accommodation Handbook for more information.)

Full Term always begins on a Tuesday. Lectures normally start on the Thursday and run for eight weeks (four in the Easter Term), ending therefore on a Wednesday. Full Term itself ends on a Friday.

Postgraduate students have different residence requirements, details of which can be found online