Clare College Cambridge

Natural Sciences

Ellie Adams

Comprehensive School, Leeds


When I applied to Clare College, it was almost entirely at random. I had never visited it; I hadn’t visited any of the colleges. I picked Clare from the prospectus based on its size- not too big and not too small, its apparently pleasant gardens, and its reputation for friendliness.

Now that I’m at Clare, I can quite confidently say Clare College is the best of the Cambridge colleges. I’m sure everyone says that, but then, they haven’t been to Clare. The college is ideally situated moments from both the city centre and the University Library, our gardens are nationally acclaimed, our Ents are widely known as ‘the best Friday night out in Cambridge’, we’re all really, genuinely friendly, and we’re not doing badly in the league tables either. And we’ve got our own punt.

Studying Natural Sciences at Clare is fantastic. The Directors of Studies and other associated fellows are always happy to help, whether in giving you advice or writing references for internships and summer projects. The size of the college means there’s plenty of other students who are doing or have done your subjects. It’s easy to set up study groups or get some help off someone who’s been there and lived to tell the tale! The course at Cambridge has significant plant content, which I have really enjoyed, especially about how plants continue to develop throughout the course of their lives and what causes that to happen. The plant based practicals in physiology were a particular favourite of mine; loads of fun and really interesting. This summer I am going on a week long summer school studying plants, and I have a nine week internship researching the pest-resistant effects of silica in grasses. I’m looking forward to it all so much, and I can’t wait to get back to Clare for my second year in the autumn!