A list of terms that appear throughout the College website, with their meanings.

Affiliated Student

A graduate who has earned a degree from another university and attends the College to take a BA course.


This is the term to describe former students.


Slang for someone studying Anglo Saxon, Norse and Celtic


The Senior Bursar and Domestic Bursar are collectively responsible for the College's finances.


The College canteen, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner to College Members. During term the Buttery is also open in the morning and afternoon to serve snacks, tea and coffee. Wi-Fi access is also available.


Looks after the pastoral care of all members of the College.


Slang for a student taking the Computer Science Tripos.


Those eligible to receive a degree will be conferred to do so at a ceremony at Regent House. It is one of the oldest traditions in the University.


The Cambridge Online Preliminary Application is a required part of the application process for applicants from outside the EU, or for anyone wishing to be considered for a Choral Award or Organ Scholarship.


Elected by the Governing Body, they will discuss affairs involving the College. They have the powers to make decision for the good of all members of the College, and define duties of the College Officers and management of the property and income.


Short for 'Cambridge University Students' Union', which students automatically become a member of. They provide support and events, as well as campaigns on the students' behalf.

Dean of Chapel

Responsible for the life of the Chapel and its community, including the conduct of worship, the work of the Choir and for the oversight of pastoral care.

Dean of College

Responsible for disciplinary issues concerning junior members.

Director of Studies (DoS)

Each student is allocated a suitable Director of Studies, who looks after the academic welfare of the student.


Refers to the 'entertainment' being organised and also the officers on the JCR and SBR that help to organise them.


They are a senior member of the College, in an academic post, and are involved with College affairs.


Undergraduates in their first year (and most particularly in their first Term) at the University.

Full Term

The academical year is divided into three terms (Michaelmas, Easter and Lent). Within those terms is Full Term, in which members of the College are expected to be in College and teaching takes place.

General Admission

This is the main Congregation in June for awarding degrees.


Undergraduates who are about to graduate for their degree.


This is the term used to describe someone who has graduated with a degree or is progressing to a higher degree.


'Hall' refers to the the dining Hall, which is reserved for student dining in College and other special events.


Short for the Junior Combination Room of which all junior members are joined to, it refers to a common room in which they are able to relax. It is also the colloquial term for the committee that is elected by the student body, in which they work to improve the students' experiences here by providing support and entertainment.


Affectionately used to describe a student of the College, past and present.

Junior Member

This is the term used to describe to describe an undergraduate or research student of the College.


Short for 'Kitchen Fixed Charge', this is the subsidised charge for the College's canteen facilities and utilities. This is a historic term and something that the College no longer charges.


Refers to the Lady Margaret Boat Club, which is the rowing club for members of the College. It is also the oldest boat club in the University.

Long Vacation

The terms are separated by vacations, during which no teaching takes place. This vacation in the summer (after Easter Term and before Michaelmas Term) contains a period of residence, in which students can request to stay for certain courses or extra teaching.


It is the Master's responsibility to secure the good government of the College.


This is when students enrol to join the University. They sign a declaration stating that they will obey the University regulations.

May Ball

Taking place during May Week, although actually held in June, this is the end of year formal Ball which is held by many Colleges. Ours is particularly spectacular and usually themed, leading to a high demand for tickets.


This is the slang used to describe the Natural Sciences Tripos or the student taking it.

Organ Scholarship

These are students chosen by competitive audition who come to the College who in addition to their Tripos. They would be highly involved in the College's choir and musical services.

Overseas Student

This is a student from outside the European Union who attends the College.


This is slang for Porters' Lodge, where Porters are there to greet visitors, regulate access and for members of the College to collect mail.


When an applicant isn't chosen for admission to the College, due to the limited number of places, they are put into a 'pool' with applicants for other Colleges. This is because the Director of Studies deems them still good enough for a place at Cambridge and gives other Colleges a chance to accept them.


Porters ensure the security of College and man the 'Porters Lodge' at the main entrances. They also assist with the distribution of internal and external post to students and Fellows.


This is the term used to describe a student who has earned one graduate degree and is continuing on to an advanced degree.


A college officer who is responsible for students that are matriculating and also presenting them for their degrees.


Assists the Master in governing the College and acts as their deputy. Also oversees the welfare of the Fellows and has a strong involvement in our research activities.


These are university officers who deal with disciplinary matters. They are also involved in formal affairs such as Congregation.

Research Associate

The College Research Associates are post-doctoral Research Fellows of the University who augment the Fellowship in their specialist research fields.

Research Fellow

Research Fellows, at the beginning of their academic careers, are supported by the College while they pursue their research interests and involve themselves with the College's academic community.


All applicants are required to complete an online Supplementary Application Questionnaire by the set deadline in order to make a valid application to the University of Cambridge.


Short for the Samuel Butler Room, it is the graduate union of the College and the common room it looks after, and is run by the graduate students.


A student who does exceptionally well academically and thus becomes part of the Foundation of the College, along with the Master, Fellows and other Scholars.

Senior Tutor

Overall responsibility for the educational needs and welfare of Junior Members.

Statues & Ordinances

Statutes are written legal powers granted to the College to enable the College to be self-governing. Within these are Ordinances, which is legislation defining how the College conducts itself.


The College Officer responsible for the kitchens and food in Hall.


This is the main form of teaching in College by Supervisors whose specialism is relevant to the area of study being taught. These are normally carried out individually or in small groups.


The periods of the academic year, which are as follows: Michaelmas - October to early December; Lent - January to early March; and Easter - April to mid-June

Trinitarian Formula

The Latin formula to which the Vice Chancellor states at a Graduation ceremony, "By the authority committed to me, I admit you to the degree of (name of degree) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."


Undergraduate courses at the University of Cambridge; the term ‘Tripos’ derives from seventeenth century graduation ceremonies, when verses would be read out by someone sat on a three-legged stool (or Tripos).


Everyone is assigned a Tutor, who looks after a student's personal welfare throughout the duration of their course.


Provides an admissions/applications system for higher education in the UK.


This is the term for students who are currently taking their first degree.

Visiting Student

These are students who come to us via an existing exchange scheme (such as the those we have with Heidelberg, Caltech and MIT).

Wooden Spoon

Up until 1909, an award comprising of an over-sized wooden spoon was given to the student who achieved the lowest passing exam marks in the Mathematical Tripos. The last wooden spoon was awarded to a member of St John's College and is now in the possession of the College.