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Pembroke 101: This is Pembroke

The end of September marks the start of the academic year and the arrival of a new cohort of students, both undergraduate and graduate.

If that’s you, first of all, welcome! Secondly, this blog should help answer some questions you have about starting at Pembroke, and point you towards some useful resources for getting to know our College before your arrival.  We’ll be publishing several other blogs to welcome you to Pembroke over the next couple of weeks, so do look out for those.

Here are some common questions you may have:

  1. How do I get in touch with my Tutor? This will be arranged by the Tutorial Office – so you don’t need to do anything!
  2. What is matriculation/what is the dress code? Matriculation is the formal ceremony that admits you to the College, in which you become a member for life. It is formal, so you’ll need to wear formal clothes (e.g. black trousers/skirt with white shirt) and you’ll also need a gown.  There’s a second-hand trade in these; ask the Junior Parlour or the Porters when you arrive.
  3. What do I need to do before arriving? Anything academic will be arranged between you and your Director of Studies.  You’ll be given lots of information on arriving; give yourself time to read through it and follow it up and you’ll be fine

You can find more useful information on our website, here.

You may also hear unfamiliar terms used. You’ll get used to them quickly, but here’s a quick guide to get you started:

  • Trough This is the servery/cafeteria, and a catch-all term for Hall.  It’s in Old Court, and breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served here. You can eat in the cafe as well if you want.  There are always lots of options, and plenty of allergen-free options as well.
  • Plodge The Porters’ Lodge. The Porters are always here, and are where you can go if you have a question or problem.  They’re also where you pick up your keys.
  • JP/GP The Junior Parlour is the College’s version of a student union for undergraduates. It’s also a physical space in N staircase, next to the cafe.  You will probably have heard from members of the JP committee already.  The Graduate Parlour is the same, but for graduate students (e.g. MPhil and PhD), with a physical space in M staircase.
  • Tutor Your Tutor looks after your pastoral needs. You’ll have a meeting with them at the start of term, and can arrange more if you need something, are ill, or need to know where to find support.
  • Director of Studies Directors of Studies look after your academic needs. They’ll help keep you on track, and are who you can go to with a question about your subject.

Finally, here are some of the ways to stay up to date with what’s happening in Pembroke, and get to know our College before you arrive.

Kit Smart blog

It’s likely you already know about this, because you’re currently reading it!  This blog updates twice a week during term time and covers everything from evening lectures and our Fellows’ research to the activities of student societies and welcoming new staff members.  If you’ve got something to share, please do get in touch with  In the meantime, here are some past blogs that might help with getting to know Pembroke:

  • Our ‘Day in the Life’ series will give you an idea of what it’s like to live, work, and study at Pembroke
  • In the ‘Undergraduates‘ section, you can read about the activities of past and present students, from composing to volunteering, sport to science.
  • Curious about what kind of events happen in College, and what our community looks like? Have a look here to find out.

Social media

Our social media updates every week day.  Our main profiles can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  Make sure to give us a follow to stay up to date with College life, and tag us for a quick and easy way to tell us about something you’ve been doing.


We also have a YouTube account that updates regularly with videos featuring our staff, Fellows and students.  For a taster of what a year in Pembroke is like, try the video below. Subscribe to our channel to be alerted when new videos are added (we’ll also notify you through our other social media, if you don’t use YouTube)

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