The Kings College Graduate Society (KCGS) Domus officer maintains these pages for your information and convenience. Please use the navigation panel to find the section you require. Current and prospective students can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions about graduate accommodation at Kings. As this site is run by KCGS, it is independent of official communications provided by Kings College, Cambridge, i.e. the views and facts presented here do not necessarily reflect those of the college itself, and vice verca. Every effort will be made to ensure factual accuracy, but it can't be guaranteed particularly as the number of rooms in our database is large, and the source of certain of the data rather old.
Email (slightly edited) from College Accommodation Officer, 23rd May 2014
Dear Graduates entering the Accommodation Ballot,
The room ballot was drawn this morning and the full list of names and appointment times are now available (attached to the original email, subject: 'Ballot results, rents and available room information').
Please check the date and time of your appointment, and come to the Tutorial office (F2 Gibbs) at the allocated time to choose your room for next year. As the appointment times are short, please make sure you have thought about where you would like to live next year, and arranged to view any rooms you are interested in, before your appointment.
If you cannot make the appointment time given, please email me at the latest the day before as you have a couple of options:
I have also attached a list of the available rooms in the Ballot. A small number of these rooms have been granted reservation outside of the ballot so please check the Intranet room availability rooms to see what will be available on the day.
Rooms available for selection are listed at: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/students/grads/accommodation/ballot.html. This is the only site that will be kept updated as rooms are selected. Further information about rooms is also available at the following student-run websites:
[The webpages you are currently looking at] - Useful for many things such as reviews, photos etc not available on the college website. It has now been updated and should (hopefully) automatically synchronise availability information with the college website above. In case of doubt, the college website (or the college accommodation officer directly) is the authoritative source on room availability. [Edited from original text to match recent updates]
http://kords.kcsu.org.uk/ [the undergrad-run room database] - I have not been able to remove some of the now unavailable rooms from KORDS list so please don't check this for up-dates or use as a comprehensive list - only use it for any descriptions or pictures that you find useful for comparisons.
Information on Accommodation Rents for 2014-15 available here: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/intranet/students/grads/accommodation/rents.html
General Ballot information available here: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/intranet/students/grads/accommodation/procedures.html
Croft Garden Flats
We have been informed by the First Bursar that Croft Garden flats will be available until at least Easter 2015 and quite likely until June 2015 before they are due to enter refurbishment. These are self contained flats which would ideally suit a couple but as they have two bedrooms - they would also work for people wanting to share accommodation. If you are interested in this accommodation outside of the ballot - please contact me via E-mail at Accommodation Officer. The rent is currently offered at £952 a month + utility bills (I have been advised that the utility bills come to an extra £100 a month. We would like to offer the use of any available flats to the Graduates as a priority because the number of single rooms available in the ballot has decreased from last year. If you are unsuccessful in the ballot then this could be a way for you to still live within King's College managed Accommodation.
If you have any questions then please let me know. Otherwise I will see you at your appointment.
Information About Accommodation at King's (now a little out of date)
Availability of Rooms
King's has about 120 rooms for graduate students. Officially, the college guarantees to offer a room to graduate students for one year of their degree. In recent years, most students have been offered accommodation for at least 2 years, and sometimes 3, but this is not guaranteed. PhD students in their final year are the most likely to be offered accommodation, followed by first years (including MPhils). Availability of accommodation at Kings compares very favourably with other universities in the UK; some Cambridge colleges may be able to offer a slightly better deal on average, but both supply and demand can vary substantially from year to year at any college. The person in charge of accommodation is the Accommodation Officer, Tom Cumming.
Rooms for first-year students are allocated during the summer months. It is therefore necessary to set aside a quota of rooms for first-years, as everyone else is allocated rooms during May. For 2010-11, out of 119 rooms 55 were set aside as the freshers quota, which it is hoped will cater for all freshers who want accommodation. The rest, 64, go into the random room ballot. Final year students ballot first, the 'Category 1' ballot. Then intermediate year students (including 1st-year PhDs who did MPhils at King's), the 'Category 2' ballot. There are about 60 final year students, ~50% of which are expected to take rooms. There are about 85 intermediate year(s) students. So final years are effectively assured of getting a room, intermediates not. Five rooms are available for wardenships of undergraduate hostels. These come with obligations to be resident for all nights of the undergraduate term. College treats the allocation of these wardenships as it would a formal job, i.e. you will be expected to provide character references etc.
IF YOU DID AN MPHIL AT KING'S BEFORE A PHD READ THIS: MPhils who go on to take a PhD are considered intermediate year students for their first year of PhD, i.e. you are not entitled to a room from the freshers quota. So if your PhD lasts 3 years, you will enter the intermediate years ballot twice, before entering the final year ballot.
3RD YEAR PHD STUDENTS READ THIS: PhDs that are expected to take more than three years can either enter the final year ballot in their 3rd year, or postpone it until their 4th year (or higher still). I.e. you can only enter the final-year ballot once, but you can do it from your 3rd PhD year onwards. After that you can only enter the 'Category 3' ballot which mops up any remaining rooms after the Cat 1-2 ballots are over.
Variety of Accommodation
King's owns a number of hostels for graduates. Most of these hostels are at least 10-20 minutes walk from the main college site. Some are large purpose built hostels, others are converted residential houses. The hostels set aside for fresher accommodation are: Marlowe Rd, Eltisley Avenue, Whichcote House, Cranmer Rd, part of Grasshopper Lodge. Please see the KCGS room database for detailed information and locations of all hostels. Rooms vary markedly in terms of ratio of bathrooms to residents, overall size, noise, views, location, furniture and price (though hopefully not value-for-money).
In terms of furniture, you can expect to have all essential tables/bed/carpet/wardrobe etc, usually a decent desk with a lamp, and sometimes a private fridge (if not there will be one in your nearest kitchen). Linen, kitchen utensils (though not things like kettles and fridges) and all toiletries are not normally provided. Most hostels have 24 hour hot water.
PLEASE NOTE THAT COLLEGE POLICY IS TO CONFISCATE ANY STUDENT-OWNED LARGE FURNITURE ITEMS FOUND IN STUDENT ROOMS. THIS INCLUDES RUGS, MATTRESSES ETC. THIS IS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF VERMIN INFESTATION. Posters etc are permitted provided they are not stuck directly on the wall with bluetac - most rooms have a picture rail which you must use instead.
Rent is determined by several factors, but most important is floor area. Rooms are divided into 6 rent bands (see the database). There is a fixed termly catering charge of �85.
Rent is normally payable approximately two weeks into each university term, i.e. October, February, May and July. Fees can be paid in a variety of methods, such as cheques, direct debits and BAC transfer. Late payment may result in a fine. Students are not permitted to graduate if they have unresolved debts to college. Students who find themselves in financial difficulty may be able to apply for financial assistance from the college's hardship funds, however this cannot be guaranteed and students are not normally permitted to start their degree without demonstrating an ability to support themselves financially.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Aside from Kings Parade and St Edwards Passage, college cleaning staff will only clean common areas of hostels, and not student rooms. This differs from the system for undergraduates, where student rooms are cleaned as well. The person in charge of cleaning staff is the College Furnishings Officer, Andrew Packman.
College provides a service for maintenance of buildings. If you discover a technical problem with your room or hostel, you may fill out a maintenance report at the porters lodge on the main college site. The problem is usually fixed within 48 hours, or less if urgent. The person in charge of maintenance is the Clerk of Works/Surveyor of the Fabric, Peter Young.
The college garden team are responsible for keeping the front and back lawns pristine for events such as graduation. They also take care of the private Fellows Garden, which all graduates are entitled to use. The Fellows Garden is located on the far side of queens rd, very close to the back gate, and boasts a large croquet lawn. The college gardeners also provide a limited service to the gardens attached to the hostels.
Kings students have access to a range of sports facilities, including both grass and hard tennis courts and playing fields. Many facilities are located at the college sports ground at the end of Fulbrooke Rd (see googlemaps). This facility is shared with Queen's, Robinson and Selwyn, but students are also entitled to use some of the facilities owned by King's College School (when not in use by school pupils) which are a lot closer to the main site. These include two hard tennis courts and an astroturf pitch. Squash courts are under construction here as well. The college has a small gym, but most people go to the university gym at Fenners. Many students get involved in rowing, which is a very active sport in Cambridge. For more relaxing river-antics, the college has six river punts available for hire much cheaper than commercially rented punts.
Catering and Common Room Facilities
Kings has its own bar, much-loved coffee shop and cafeteria which are open most days/evenings of the year. Cafeteria food can be eaten in the bar or the grand college hall, though this is sometimes occupied by conference guests. Cafeteria, bar and coffee shop purchases can sent to an automated tab (the 'EPOS' system) which is paid at the same time as rent.
The hall is where formal dinners take place, approximately 20 a year. Tickets cost about �14 and are heavily sought-after! First year PhD students are entitled to a ticket to the seven-course Founder's Feast in November. There is also a Supervisor's Dinner in May when students can dine with their research supervisors. All students who begin studies in October can attend the Matriculation Dinner for free.
In addition to this, King's graduate students have their own common room - the fabled Grad Suite- including a quiet study area (though no substitute for the college library), a TV/party room and a computer room. KCGS organises the popular weekly 'grad drinks' social event here.
The Cambridge University Data Network is very fast indeed and has a trunk connection to the internet. It can be accessed wirelessly in most parts of the college main site. In hostels wired access is provided, however the CUDN has not yet been extended to Whichcote House which runs off a commercially-provided internet connection. Access to journals etc is still possible from Whichcote House using the University Library's EZProxy feature. Every Cambridge student is entitled to a UCS account, which allows you to use computer rooms in college and around the university. A wide range of software is available, including Adobe CS4, SUSE Linux and OSX. The contact for computing related problems is the college Computing Officer who should be the first port of call for network connection issues. The central University Computing Service provides a range of services including hardware repairs and software sales.