Basic information about the University and Colleges

The University of Cambridge is the educational institution which provides teaching and examining in a wide range of different subjects, of which one of the smallest in terms of student numbers, is ASNC. The component colleges are the institutions which admit students to read one subject or another, and which provide guidance, additional teaching, and various facilities, including accommodation and sustenance.

You will probably live in your college, and will rapidly get to know your way round it. Many of your social and other activities will be centred in college; but in the case of a small subject, like ASNC, you will find that many activities will be centred in the Department, of which you are a member.

The Terms
The academic year comprises three eight-week terms: Michaelmas Term, Lent Term, and Easter Term (click here for dates). It also incorporates three periods of vacation (now officially designated ‘Research Periods’): about five weeks over Christmas and the New Year, about five weeks over Easter, and a three-month Long Vacation in the summer. You will find that the vacations are best regarded as an integral part of the academic year, since it is during the vacations that you will be able to work steadily on particular subjects, set texts, your dissertation, or general revision.

Examinations for the ASNC Tripos begin about six weeks after the beginning of the Easter Term, and will be over within a few days. The year ends with the Bumps, which take place in May Week, which is in June, followed by the May Balls, also in June. Results of the examinations are generally published at the end of the week following May Week.