College Social Life

Newnham has a lively social life, with everything from students cooking supper together, to society meetings and performances, to big summer events.

Newnham was designed from the start to be a friendly college, with lots of opportunities to meet fellow students and spend time together. However, because we are a women’s college, Newnham tends to be a less insular college than many.  The male friends who you meet through your courses or social life will be at other Colleges, and you’ll then meet their friends as well. The result is that most students will develop very broad friendship groups across the University, as well as within the college itself.

We find that our students get involved in all that Cambridge has to offer, particularly in the worlds of music, sport, theatre and politics. There is also the normal range of student nightlife, and college facilities can be used for social events and parties. There are a number of student-run subject societies, with multiple events for you to choose from every day.

Our financial assistance may also help you take part in some activities that otherwise you might not be able to do.

Every year, Newnham’s students organize either a May Week Garden Party or a June Event, on the scale of a May Ball.

The JCR and MCR

Many students participate in our local democracy; students are represented on all the main committees that govern the College and their views are taken seriously.

Undergraduate views are  co-ordinated by the JCR (the ‘Junior Combination Room’), who elect a President and committee each year. The graduates are represented in a similar way by the MCR (the ‘Middle Combination Room’). The JCR  and MCR represents students on college committees, campaigns on student issues, hosts open meetings, runs information evenings, and encourages students to participate in Cambridge and national elections.

As well as being student bodies, the JCR and MCR are also physical rooms, providing social spaces and facilities (the MCR even has a grand piano). The JCR and MCR organize all manner of events and activities, from Freshers’ Welcome Week in October (where everyone works hard to help all the new students find their feet) to post-exam celebrations in June. The JCR and MCR also provide funding for college clubs and societies, and there is always scope to found new ones.


University is about trying things you’ve never had the chance to do before. At Cambridge, you can do almost anything at almost any level, from ‘having a go’ to semi-professional.

Cambridge has more than 700 clubs, societies and groups for you to choose from so there really is something for everyone and if you don’t find one that suits you – start one!

The societies are a great way to meet people and have regular social events for members. There are more than 50 political clubs for you to debate issues that are close to your heart, student newspapers and magazines, and countless music and drama clubs and bands to get involved with. There are religious societies, volunteering opportunities, national and cultural societies and much more.

For a list of societies and groups within the University click here.

As well as University societies, there are plenty of clubs and societies in Cambridge run by people who aren’t members of the University.