King's offers single rooms to all graduate students whenever possible, and tries to guarantee two years of accommodation to each student (normally in the first and final year of graduate study).
Graduate tenancies last for a minimum of nine months (from October until the end of the following June). If unexpected and extenuating circumstances arise such that a student believes they will be unable to fulfil their nine-months tenancy, and wish to request that the tenancy be terminated early, they must give one full term's notice in writing to the Accommodation Officer . A full term includes the vacation period if notice is given during the Christmas or Easter vacations. If the student fails to give such notice, then they remain liable for all accommodation charges up to the end of the three month notice period.
There is an option to extend tenancies into the summer if required, but please note that this may not always be possible; it is subject to the availability of suitable rooms and is dependent on permission from College. (If the room in which one has stayed up to June is not available during the summer then one might be still be able to extend one’s tenancy, but only if one is willing to move to another room.)
All rooms have a bed, a desk, a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, bookshelves and a reading lamp. They usually also have an easy chair and a coffee table. Internet access is available in all rooms via a wired (ethernet) connection and some have access to the King's WiFi network.
After being offered a place at King's, you are invited to fill in a form to request accommodation, in early August. Once your request is received, your accommodation is allocated by the College Accommodation Officer as soon as the University Graduate Admissions office confirms your place, and you have met all conditions of entry. You will be given an opportunity to request a room at the lower end of the rent scale; however this cannot be guaranteed and will be subject to availability. It is not normally possible to specify which building you wish to live in, although the Accommodation Officer will also take into account any students with special accommodation needs (such as disabled access). In recent years, first year students have been allocated one of the following hostels: Cranmer Road Hostel, Grasshopper Lodge, Tennis Court Road, Villa Building or the Stephen Taylor Building. This changes from time to time according to circumstances.
Please note, because the numbers of graduates requiring accommodation each year can fluctuate, there is normally a deadline in August by which you must request accommodation and have your place confirmed. Advance notice of this deadline is provided from year to year. If your place is confirmed only after the deadline (or you request accommodation after this deadline), we cannot guarantee that we will have accommodation available.
Assuming that you request accommodation and have your place confirmed in advance of the deadline, then you should expect to be informed of the room you have been allocated, and its rental charge, in early- to mid-September. Unfortunately, it is not possible for this information to be distributed earlier since rooms cannot be allocated until places are confirmed, and some places are not confirmed until late August.
After your first year, if you wish to apply for accommodation for further years, this is assigned by random ballot. Final-year students are normally guaranteed accommodation, and they choose first. Anyone else who would like to apply for a room are put into a randomly-generated order and select their rooms after the final-year students.
There are a number of accommodation buildings that may be available during your time at King's. Please see below for more details:
Tennis Court Road
This hostel is located about 12 minutes' walk from King's. One of the main attractions of the rooms here is their close proximity to many of the University departments, particularly Engineering and Chemistry. There is a large kitchen / common room on the ground floor, and smaller kitchens on the upper floors. There are shared bathroom facilities, and each room has its own washbasin. There are also laundry facilities onsite. The majority of rooms in this building are at the lower/cheaper end of the rent scale (see below, on Costs of Rent).
St Edward's Passage
Located right in the centre of town, St. Edward’s Passage is just across the road from the main College site. There are 10 rooms spread across 3 floors, and though the rooms are older, they are refurbished and good-sized (though the top floor has lower ceilings). Some have views of the Passage, whilst others look out onto the central courtyard. Rooms are en suite, and there is a kitchen on each floor. Though on the smaller end of the scale, the kitchens are standard, have electric stoves, and are still a good size for socialising. There are laundry facilities in the nearby King's accommodation, and a shared private bike parking area. Additionally, this hostel has access to a lovely common space shared between all nearby King's accommodations featuring a courtyard mezzanine. Rooms are charged near the middle of the rent scale, at the baseline (see below, on Costs of Rent) and are virtually identical, so rents are the same throughout.
The Cranmer Road Site:
The Cranmer Road site is just off Grange Road, about 15 minutes' walk from the College, and close to the University Library and the Sidgwick Site. The site consists of the following four buildings, a large garden, shared laundry facilities and common room. The Cranmer Site offers students a beautiful landscaped garden, with lots of outdoor seating and grass you can actually sit on! There are plenty of secure, undercover bike storage places on-site, although many University Departments and Facilities are in easy walking distance.
Grasshopper Lodge consists of two renovated old houses connected by a more modern building. Grasshopper has 29 rooms across three floors. Each room has its own washbasin, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities on each floor, and shared laundry facilities on the ground floor. Rooms are available in a variety of sizes and the rents vary accordingly (see below, on Costs of Rent). Most rooms have a single bed and bedside table, a desk with a lamp and office chair, an arm chair, a pinboard, a bookshelf, a closet or wardrobe, and small set of drawers. Depending on the room, some have sofas and tables, and a few even have balconies and mini greenhouses!
The Original Cranmer Road Building
The original Cranmer Road building has 17 rooms over three floors and access to the garden. Each room has its own washbasin and fridge, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities on each floor, and a common room on the ground floor. Rooms are available in a variety of sizes and the rents vary accordingly, though most rooms tend to be towards the lower/cheaper end of the rent scale (see below, on Costs of Rent).
The Villa Building
The Villa Building has 19 rooms over three floors. Each room has its own washbasin, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities on each floor. The building was completed in 2020 and has an energy efficient design which adheres to Passivhaus standards (a sustainable housing initiative which requires little energy for heating and cooling), which demonstrates King's commitment to sustainable, responsible development. Rooms are of very high quality and include a double bed and bedside table, a desk with a lamp and office chair, an arm chair, a large pinboard, a built in bookshelf and window ledge, two wall hooks, and a closet and small set of drawers. Rooms are charged near the middle of the rent scale, at the baseline (see below, on Costs of Rent) and are virtually identical, so rents are the same throughout.
The Stephen Taylor Building
The Stephen Taylor Building has 40 rooms over two floors. Each room is en suite, with shared kitchen facilities. There are two large kitchens on each floor, and a large common room on the ground floor, which is shared with the other buildings on the Cranmer site. The building was completed in 2020 and like the Villa Building, it also adheres to Passivhaus standards. Rooms are of very high quality and include a double bed and bedside table, a desk with a lamp and office chair, an arm chair, a large pinboard, a built in bookshelf and window ledge, two wall hooks, and a closet and small set of drawers. All rooms are en suite, so rooms are charged at the higher/more expensive end of the rent scale (see below, on Costs of Rent). Rooms are virtually identical so rents are the same throughout.
Stephen Taylor Court:
Stephen Taylor Court is on Barton Road, about 15-20 minutes' walk from the College. The site consists of four buildings, three of which are allocated to students (please see below) and the fourth is allocated to Fellows, as well as large gardens, communal spaces and onsite laundry facilities. Like the Stephen Taylor and Villa Buildings, all four buildings were built with environmental consideration in mind and have a similar energy efficient design which adheres to Passivhaus standards, ensuring highly efficient buildings with very low energy demands.
The Adkins Building
The Adkins Building has 48 rooms across three floors. Each room is en suite with a double bed and bedside table, a desk with a lamp and office chair, an arm chair, a closet and small set of drawers. There are two large kitchens and two common rooms on each floor. All rooms have lift access. This is a brand-new building, due for completion by September 2022. Rooms are of very high quality and charged at the higher/more expensive end of the rent scale (see below, on Costs of Rent). Rooms are virtually identical so rents are the same throughout.
Croft Gardens House
Croft Gardens House has 12 rooms across three floors. Each room has its own washbasin, double bed and bedside table, a desk with a lamp and office chair, an arm chair, a closet and small set of drawers. There are shared kitchen and bathroom facilities on each floor. This is a brand-new building, due for completion by September 2022. Rooms are of very high quality and charged near the middle of the rent scale, at the baseline (see below, on Costs of Rent). Rooms are virtually identical so rents are the same throughout.
Building A (1- and 2-bedroom apartments)
Building A consists of six 1-bedroom and six 2-bedroom open plan apartments for graduate couples and families. We have a mixture of furnished and unfurnished apartments. The rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is £1000 per month, and a 2-bedroom apartment is £1200 per month. The apartments include an induction hob, combination oven (microwave and oven in one), fridge/freezer, washing machine and dishwasher.
Rents for rooms are set according to a formula which was jointly written by students and Fellows of the College, and to which students gave their approval. The formula is reviewed every five years, with the last review in 2018. The formula works as follows. Rents at King’s are compared with rents at nine comparator universities in the UK which our students might otherwise have been likely to attend; the rent for the cheapest en-suite room at King’s is set at the same rate (adjusted for inflation) as the median rent for the same kind of room charged the previous year at those nine comparators. Rents at King’s are then organised into six “bands”, ranging from cheapest (band 1) to dearest (band 6). Band 4 is the baseline: this is the rent that is charged for our cheapest en suite, and which is pegged to the median rent charged for a comparable room at the nine comparator universities. The particular rent band that a given room falls into will depend on the facilities it has (size, amenities, desirability, etc.). If a room is judged to be superior to our cheapest en suite, then rent for it will be above the baseline. If a room is judged to be inferior, then rent for it will be below the baseline.
For graduates, band 4 rent (i.e. the baseline) is £2339.64 per quarter; the cheapest rent (i.e. band 1) is £1775.70 per quarter; the most expensive rent (i.e. band 6) is £2715.34 per quarter. In 2023-24, we expect that roughly half of the rooms we offer to graduate students will have rents at the baseline or below (i.e. rental bands 1-4), and the other half of rooms will have rents above the baseline (i.e. band 5-6).
The rent formula delivers a good deal for King’s students. First, our rental prices compare well to rent at other universities. In recent years, our rents have been pegged to those at the universities of Manchester, Warwick, and York, where cost of living (and thereby the cost of accommodation) is typically much cheaper than in Cambridge. Because our rents are pegged to the median rent at nine comparator universities, this means our rents have to be cheaper than at least four of these other universities: in recent years, this has meant that King’s has charged less for its rooms than students are charged for comparable rooms at places like Bristol, Durham, London Imperial, and UCL. Second, our rental prices compare well to rent at other Cambridge colleges. In 2019-20, for example, the median graduate weekly rent charge at King’s was cheaper than at 17 of the other 30 Cambridge colleges that house graduate students; and the maximum graduate weekly rent charge at King’s was cheaper than at 22 of these other 30 Cambridge colleges.
King's College accommodation is accredited by ANUK.