1. Top 20 Oxbridge colleges
  2. Colleges of Cambridge
  3. Sidney Sussex College

Sidney Sussex College: An Overview

Learn more about Sidney Sussex College, one of the top 20 Oxbridge colleges and a college of Cambridge University.

Sidney Sussex College: An Overview

Founded in 1596, Sidney Sussex College is one of the oldest colleges of the University of Cambridge. Located in the heart of the city, it offers a unique living and learning environment for its students. It has a long and proud history of academic excellence, producing many distinguished alumni, including Prime Minister Harold Wilson and actors Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch. With its beautiful buildings, vibrant social life, and diverse student body, Sidney Sussex College is one of the most popular colleges in Cambridge.

This article provides an overview of the college, its facilities, and its history.

Sidney Sussex College

was founded in 1596 in honour of Lady Frances Sidney, who was a great supporter of education. It was originally known as Sidney College, but the name was changed to Sidney Sussex College in 1867. The college has an impressive history and has produced many notable alumni over the years, including scientists, politicians, and poets. The college is located on the banks of the River Cam in the heart of Cambridge and boasts beautiful Tudor architecture. The college has a number of facilities available to students, such as a library, sports facilities, and a chapel.

Sidney Sussex College also offers a range of academic programmes for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The college has a long tradition of academic excellence and has produced some of the best minds in the world. Students at Sidney Sussex have access to some of the best resources and support to help them excel in their studies. The college is also known for its vibrant social life. There are a number of clubs and societies available to students at the college, as well as opportunities to take part in events such as lectures and debates.

Finally, Sidney Sussex College is renowned for its close-knit community. The college prides itself on its friendly atmosphere and is committed to providing a supportive environment for all its students.

Academic Programmes

At Sidney Sussex College, students are offered a wide range of academic programmes. Undergraduate students can choose from over 30 subject areas for their Bachelor's degree. These include History, English, Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Sciences, and more.

The college also offers postgraduate courses such as Master's and Doctoral degrees in a variety of fields. These include Law, Management Studies, Social and Political Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and more. Students can also opt for postgraduate certificates and diplomas. At Sidney Sussex College, students are encouraged to pursue their individual interests. The college offers various research projects and internship opportunities which help them to gain invaluable experience and knowledge.

In addition, the college also has an extensive library with books and journals related to all the subjects offered at the college.


Sidney Sussex College was founded in 1596 by Frances Sidney, Countess of Sussex, in memory of her late husband. Originally named the Lady Frances Sidney Sussex College, it changed its name to Sidney Sussex College in 1856. Throughout its history, the college has played a major role in the development of Cambridge University and has educated many prominent figures. Notable alumni include the scientists Robert Boyle and Stephen Hawking, the writers Virginia Woolf and John Cleese, and the Nobel Prize-winner Sir John Kendrew. The college grounds are known for their stunning architecture and include two quadrangles, a chapel, a library, and a large garden. The college also provides a range of facilities and services for its students, including a student bar, gymnasium, and common rooms.

Social Life

Sidney Sussex College provides a vibrant and stimulating social life for its students.

Through the college's various clubs and societies, students can explore their interests and meet new people. There are over 20 societies and clubs, including the Sidney Film Society, Sidney Music Society, and Sidney Sussex College Boat Club. These offer students the opportunity to take part in activities such as lectures, debates, and social events. The college also organizes events throughout the year, such as guest lectures, sports tournaments, and concerts. These provide students with the opportunity to interact with their peers and gain new experiences.

The college has a lively bar and restaurant which serves a variety of food and drinks. It is also home to two separate student unions which allow students to get involved in student politics and organize social activities. Sidney Sussex College provides a wide range of activities for its students, allowing them to make the most of their time at the college and create lifelong friendships.


Sidney Sussex College offers its students a range of excellent facilities, including a library, sports facilities, and a chapel. The college library is one of the best-stocked libraries in Cambridge, with over 100,000 volumes and digital resources available to students. It also features a dedicated study space with advanced multimedia equipment.

Sidney Sussex also boasts a range of sports facilities, such as tennis courts, squash courts, and a gym. In addition, the college has its own chapel which is open to students of all faiths and beliefs. The college also provides its students with a range of other services and facilities, including a café, laundry room, IT rooms, and a Common Room. These facilities provide students with an opportunity to socialise and relax in a safe and comfortable environment.


Sidney Sussex College has a close-knit community, which is one of the college’s biggest strengths. It fosters an atmosphere of support and collaboration, encouraging students to help each other succeed.

The college has an extensive network of alumni who are always willing to offer support and advice to current students. The college also offers a range of social activities, such as sports and music, for students to get involved in. The small size of the college also helps create a strong sense of community. Everyone knows each other, making it easier to build relationships and foster a supportive atmosphere.

The college has a variety of student-run societies for students to get involved in, such as the Sidney Sussex Student Association and the Sidney Sussex Drama Society. Sidney Sussex College also offers student welfare services, such as counselling and mentoring, to ensure that every student has the support they need. Sidney Sussex College is an outstanding college that offers a top-class education within a welcoming and supportive environment. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, impressive facilities, and wide range of academic programmes, Sidney Sussex College is one of the best Oxbridge colleges and a college of Cambridge University. No matter what field of study you're interested in, you'll find plenty of opportunities at Sidney Sussex College. The college provides students with an excellent learning experience, top-notch resources, and a vibrant community.

Whether you're looking for an academic challenge or a strong sense of camaraderie, Sidney Sussex College has something to offer for everyone.

Joe Robbins
Joe Robbins

Joe Robbins is the esteemed Head of Consultancy at The Profs, an acclaimed education startup recognised for its innovative approach in the industry with several awards, including The Telegraph Trade Awards' Most Innovative SME Exporter 2018, and Education Investor’s Best Tutoring Company 2017. At The Profs, Robbins has been a pivotal figure, initially excelling in the Client Liaison team by generating over £1,000,000 in revenue. His remarkable contributions led to the establishment of The Profs Consultancy, a multiservice wing focusing on premium educational services such as admissions support to top-tier UK and US universities, educational mentoring, career application support, and tailored educational planning for discerning clients. Educationally, Robbins is a distinguished alumnus of King's College London, where he completed a Master of Science (MSc) in Security, Leadership, and Society, graduating with a Pass with Distinction. His academic achievements complement his professional expertise, making him a respected leader in the education sector. Joe Robbins continues to drive The Profs Consultancy with a commitment to excellence, shaping the future of education through innovative solutions and a deep understanding of the sector's evolving needs.

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