Clare College Cambridge

Living Out

Notes for undergraduates wishing to live outside College accommodation in the following year

These notes are intended for first- and second-year students (as well as third-year students on their year abroad) who are considering living outside College accommodation in the following academic year. They do not apply to other students who will be fourth-year undergraduates in the following year: for a fuller explanation of exactly who counts as a fourth-year student for accommodation purposes, please see the Appendix.

Clare is in the fortunate position of being able to offer College accommodation to all its undergraduates for their first three years of study. Because living out of College tends to be significantly more costly and less convenient than living in, the vast majority of students choose to take advantage of this opportunity. Requests not to do so are considered carefully on an individual basis.

If you hope to live outside College accommodation, you will need to plan carefully during the preceding year, and to obtain permission from your Director of Studies, your Tutor and the Senior Tutor. In particular you must complete and submit the application (forms 1 and 2) to live outside College, included at the bottom of this letter before their respective deadlines.

Form 1 is to obtain college permission to live out and must be handed in before the end of January (of the calendar year that you intend to begin living out).  Any requests submitted after this date will be rejected.  Once you have submitted this form your nme will be removed from the ballot of College rooms for the forthcoming year.

Form 2 is to gain permission for a particular place to live. Rented accommodation is hard to find in Cambridge, and so you should aim to complete and submit this second form as early as possible and by the final day of the Easter Term at the very latest.  Note that if you request to live out and then fail to find private accommodation we cannot guarantee to find you a room in College, although we will try our best to do so.

Your Director of Studies, your Tutor and the Senior Tutor should all sign the first form, and your Tutor will also need to sign the second one. It is your responsibility to ensure that they do so, and to return both of these forms to the Tutorial Office before the deadlines. If you are abroad, then email confirmations from everybody should be provided.

The following information is intended to help you in making your plans.

1. The College undergraduate accommodation ballot takes place at the end of the Lent term (for shared accommodation) and at the start of the Easter term (for all other accommodation). If you take part in the ballot you are committed to occupying your chosen room for the following year and so cannot then choose to live out (regardless of whether you have submitted one or both of the forms described above).

2. Your Director of Studies and your Tutor will discuss your plans with you, to make sure that living out is a good idea for you and that you have considered your options carefully. They will also want assurance that your proposed home is suitable for you to live and work in.

3. If you opt to live out you may choose whether or not to pay the KFC.

4. Your accommodation must be within 3 miles of the center of Cambridge, taken to be Great St Mary’s Church. It is a statutory requirement of the University that all students live within this distance, to safeguard against students’ work being disrupted by the need to travel.

5. Living out does not constitute grounds for maintaining a car in Cambridge. You must therefore ensure that your journey in each day is manageable without a car. If you plan to cycle, you are urged to seek a safe route in to Cambridge, and to take advantage of the College’s subsidy for bike helmets and lights.

6. Please bear in mind that you represent the College wherever you live in Cambridge. You should therefore deal in a reasonable and sensitive manner with your neighbours.

7. You should think seriously about your security if you choose to live out. You will need to take out contents insurance in the same way as you do for your possessions in College accommodation. Bear in mind that Cambridge has a high rate of petty crime: you should ensure that your new home is adequately protected against this. You should also consider your journey to and from the centre of Cambridge: will this journey be a safe one late at night? The Head Porter may be able to advise you about security.

8. You should ensure that you are happy with all the details of your proposed lease before you sign it, and if necessary take advice from your Tutor or from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau. Your lease is your responsibility, and you should make sure that you are adequately protected if, for example, someone in a shared house decides to leave or the landlord/lady tries to terminate the lease early. Pay close attention to the conditions attached to any deposit.

9. Your planning should of course extend to your finances for the year. The College does not subsidise students who choose to live out, and the costs of living out do not constitute grounds for a hardship application.

10. Communications about accommodation generally take place using your email address, so you should make sure to check it regularly. This is particularly important if you are abroad.



4th year undergraduates and postgraduates

Because of the increasing number of Part III courses, the distinction between undergraduate and postgraduate students is less clear than it used to be.  At Clare the distinction is currently drawn along the following lines for accommodation purposes:    

  • All students who have yet to graduate (e.g. fourth-year engineers, biochemists, classicists) count as undergraduates;
  • The only exception to this rule concerns 4th-year mathematicians who count as postgraduates (because their course is different in kind to other four-year courses;
  • The only 4th-year students who count as postgraduates are clinical medics, vets and mathematicians;
  • If you have spent a year abroad (eg MML, AMES), then for the purposes of Clare accommodation you count as a third-year student;
  • For the puposes of Clare accommodation, 4th-year undergraduates include those who have changed subject so that they are in their fourth year of residence but their third year of Tripos.

 Revised October 2013