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 do the following: (1) write to their Graduate Tutor, explaining their situation and securing their tutor’s support, then then (2) write to the Assistant Tutor for Accommodation and to the Accommodation Officer, copying in their Tutor, explaining their request. College will be sympathetic to such requests, though they will only be accepted in the case of genuine and significant extenuating circumstances. Absent such circumstances, College cannot guarantee that that a request to terminate a tenancy early will be accepted
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.
Unfortunately, the College has very limited accommodation for families and couples. Occasionally space in College-owned flats becomes available to graduate students. Students who need family accommodation should get in touch with the Accommodation Officer, who will be able to give an indication of the availability of flats.
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, Wolfson Court, 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 late-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 only after this deadline), we cannot guarantee that we will have accommodation available.
Assuming that both 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 of 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 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, if available, can chose afterwards in a randomly-generated order.
There are a number of accommodation buildings that may be available during your time at King's, 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).
The Cranmer Road Site: Grasshopper Lodge
The Cranmer Road site is just off Grange Road, about 10 minutes' walk from the College, and close to the University Library and the Sidgwick Site. The site consists of four buildings and a large garden. One of these buildings is Grasshopper Lodge. Grasshopper has 28 rooms. Each room has its own washbasin, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. There is a laundry and a large common room. Rooms are available in a variety of sizes and the rents vary accordingly (see below, on Costs of Rent).
The Cranmer Road Site: the original Cranmer Road Building
The Cranmer Road site is just off Grange Road, about 10 minutes' walk from the College, close to the University Library and the Sidgwick Site. The site consists of four buildings and a large garden. One of these buildings is the original Cranmer Road building. This house has 17 rooms and access to garden. Each room has its own washbasin and fridge, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. There are kitchens on every floor, and a common room downstairs. 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 Cranmer Road Site: Villa Building
The Cranmer Road site is just off Grange Road, about 10 minutes' walk from the College, close to the University Library and the Sidgwick Site. The site consists of four buildings and a large garden. One of these buildings is the Villa Building. This house has 19 rooms. Each room has its own washbasin, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. There are kitchens on every floor. This is a brand-new building, completed in 2019. Rooms are of very high quality, so rooms are 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.
The Cranmer Road Site: Stephen Taylor Building
The Cranmer Road site is just off Grange Road, about 10 minutes' walk from the College, close to the University Library and the Sidgwick Site. The site consists of four buildings and a large garden. One of these buildings is the Stephen Taylor Building. This house has 40 rooms. 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. This is a brand-new building, completed in 2019. Rooms are of very high quality, and 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.
Wolfson Court is on Clarkson Road, about 15 to 20 minutes' walk from the College, close to the University Library and next door to the Department of Maths. This is a large Graduate student hostel, of which King's students will occupy one wing. Rooms are somewhat basic. Each room has its own washbasin, with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. Some rooms have balconies. A few rooms are en suite. There is a central laundry room on the ground floor. There are several common areas, including several green spaces. Rooms are of varying quality and rents vary accordingly (see below, on Costs of Rent).
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 £2039.73 per quarter; the cheapest rent (i.e. band 1) is £1551.51 per quarter; the most expensive rent (i.e. band 6) is £2365.20 per quarter. In 2021-22, we expect that more than a quarter of the rooms we offer to graduate students will have rents below the baseline (i.e. rental bands 1-3), roughly a quarter will be charged at the baseline (i.e. band 4), and less than 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.