With a history stretching back 800 years (making it the second oldest university in Britain), a solid-gold academic reputation, a wealth of lore and tradition, and some truly glorious architecture, Cambridge has plenty of justification for its boast of being one of the best universities in the world. It's also slightly tainted by the accusation that only posh types need apply, but the university is vigorous in its attempts to encourage people from all backgrounds to have a go: if you fancy a Cambridge education, there's no reason to be dissuaded. It's made up of 29 undergraduate colleges and the college you belong to will be the focus of your university life. They all have their own character, so choose with care. Academic pressure is intense, though most students find time to throw themselves into extracurricular activities on the side. Cambridge itself is a dreamy place to be, with plenty going on if college life gets too insular.
£3,375 for full-time undergraduates in 2011-12.
2012-13 fees: click here for latest information on how much universities are planning to charge.
Means-tested and calculated on a sliding scale. Up to £3,400 for eligible students. Further awards and bursaries are also available.
Almost all students are housed by their college for the full length of their course. Standard rents are between £70 and £115 a week.
Extensive resources are offered to students at Cambridge and include access to 114 libraries, eight specialist museums and collections, and the university botanic garden. Most student rooms are connected to the university network and wireless hotspots are available throughout the university. The colleges offer a variety of other resources and amenities, and each has its own common room and bar.
Cambridge is a small city and almost all the colleges and departments are fairly central - most students walk or cycle everywhere. The Uni4 bus service connects many departments and colleges, and a discounted fare is available to students. London is about an hour away by train. Stansted airport is nearby.
Tel: 01223 333308
Accommodation: See individual college websites for details