The College occupies a surprisingly spacious site, including extensive gardens. These are a well-kept secret, even in Cambridge, and provide a peaceful haven for study or relaxation on the grass during the summer months.
Peterhouse is strikingly pretty: the 'Deer Park' is alive with daffodils in the spring, and the College features a range of historic buildings, some of which date back to its foundation. There is a real sense of history as our students live, work and play in buildings which have been in continuous use for over 700 years - although our newest building was completed in January 2015, so there are plenty of modern bits too.
Peterhouse and all of its accommodation is centrally located, but off the tourist trail and in a relatively quiet part of town. Travel costs whilst at Peterhouse are very low. The majority of academic sites students will need to visit are within a ten minute walk (or a couple of minutes by bike). The University bus service, which links University sites such as the West Cambridge site, the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Cambridge Biomedical campus, stops immediately opposite our gates. Lots of shops (including the market), restaurants and evening entertainment are only five minutes away in the centre of town.
All undergraduate accommodation at Peterhouse is located on or adjacent to the main College site and all rooms are less than 5 minutes walk from the Porters’ Lodge, dining hall, College Bar and Junior Common Room (JCR). Being on the College site means that our accommodation is very secure. The Porter's Lodge is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Porters carry out regular patrols of the site. Students can get also walk from one part of the College to another without leaving the site.
Peterhouse freshers enjoy some of the best rooms in Cambridge and are housed together so that it’s easy to make friends in the first few months. All first-years are accommodated in fully furnished single rooms. Most have shared bathroom facilities nearby, others are en-suite. All student rooms are equipped with a connection to the University’s high speed network for internet and email.
Before they arrive, freshers are asked to indicate their preferred rent band. The College then allocates rooms on a ‘best efforts’ basis within the constraints of the available rooms.
Students don’t need to worry about finding accommodation in subsequent years either as Peterhouse guarantees accommodation for all its undergraduates for the duration of their course, whether for three or four years. In later years, students choose rooms via a ballot. Most of the rooms are fully-furnished singles, but some en-suite rooms and shared ‘sets’ are also available.
What does it cost?
Peterhouse offers a wide range of rents to suit all budgets, with rents determined by room size and facilities. The College requires a 'caution payment' of £200 as a deposit before you first arrive. This is held by the College and is refundable at the end of your stay provided you have paid all the rent due and no charges have been incurred.
For the academic year 2017/18, weekly rates for first year rooms typically range from £80 to £180 (en-suites are available). These rents include the cost of network connection, water, central heating and cleaning, although electricity is charged in addition as a proportion of the use across the whole College. Undergraduates are charged for rent on a termly basis (generally for 10 weeks), in advance, via their College account. Charges for additional days of residence or for damage caused, if any, are added to their College Bill for the following term. Rents and other charges are reviewed annually and the College does not seek to make a profit from charges to undergraduates.
Importantly, unlike at some other universities, students only pay rent for the three ten-week termly periods when they are likely to be in residence, although the flexibility exists to stay up for longer.
Eating together is an important part of life at Peterhouse and the Kitchens pride themselves on the quality and variety of the food. The Fellowship considers dining together an important part of the rich experience of College membership and a valuable way of creating a close knit community and has structured the catering charges accordingly. Most students eat in the College’s Hall at least once a day: the more you use the Hall, the better value your meals will be.
Cafeteria-style breakfast, lunch and dinner are available every weekday. Brunch is available on Saturday mornings (10.30-13.30), and Sundays offer a traditional roast dinner. The Servery typically offers a choice of individually priced hot meals and vegetables, a salad bar, desserts, fruit, sandwiches, snacks and hot and cold drinks. A vegetarian option is always available and wherever possible the Kitchens will try to meet special dietary requirements. We happily cater for vegetarian, gluten/dairy-free, halal, vegan and other dietary requirements. In addition, Peterhouse is 5 minutes walk from the city centre, where a range of halal restaurants can be found.
In addition, Peterhouse continues to offer the option of a more formal dinner every evening. Formal Hall is a three course, candle-lit dinner with waiter service, for around £6.50. Popular and inexpensive, Formal Hall is an ideal opportunity for students to spend time with their friends and invite guests from other colleges. Occasional Super Halls are also arranged to test the Kitchens' culinary skills!
What does it cost?
We pride ourselves on the quality of the food and on being one of the cheapest Colleges at which to dine regularly.
A self-service lunch or dinner might cost between £3-5, depending on choice, while the price of Formal Hall is roughly £6.50.
The College bar is situated in the new Whittle building and is open every evening, serving a full range of reasonably-priced alcoholic and soft drinks.
Peterhouse aims to offer all the facilities you need to work, rest and feel at home. In addition to the library, academic facilities, accommodation, the dining hall and the bar, the College also has a common room for undergraduates to use, a fully-equipped tiered theatre, a squash court and there is a gym, music practice rooms and laundry facilities in the new Whittle Building.
Nearly all student accommodation includes shared basic kitchens (called 'gyp-rooms' in Cambridge), equipped with a fridge, kettle, toaster and combination microwave. Whilst you won’t be making any roast dinners, these facilities are suitable for the preparation of meals and snacks and students are able to cook for themselves if they wish. For more detailed information on the policies, procedures and costs of rooms and meals at Peterhouse, have a look at the most recent version of the Student Handbook.
Would I choose Peterhouse again? Absolutely! Top location, great people, excellent food and accommodation. Who wouldn't?