Freedom & Sexuality Conference.

The vision of our founders was to help students and young people to address pressing issues facing society, and to reflect on how their academic studies could contribute the betterment of society. 

Today, this incorporates a range of activities, including subsidised study retreats, scholarships and mentoring schemes for postgraduate students and early career researchers, and our work with international students and school children.

Study retreats

Cumberland Lodge has offered subsidised residential and non-residential study retreats for students in higher education for nearly 70 years. We now welcome about 4,000 students every year. 

As part of the programme we offer St Catharine's Sessions, which encourage students to reflect critically on ethical, moral and social issues outside of their own field of study.  


Cumberland Lodge offers bursaries to help students with limited means attend our conferences and join visiting university groups for study retreats. Find out more here.

Scholarships and mentoring 

Cumberland Lodge offers two scholarship schemes to mentor and support PhD students and early career researchers and encourage them to use their personal skills and academic studies for the betterment of society. 

Our Cumberland Colloquia scheme also offers early career researchers and doctoral students the opportunity to organise their own inter-disciplinary conferences at Cumberland Lodge, which engage with contemporary ethical and social issues. In the process we seek to nurture thought leadership for the future.

Resources from previous Colloquia can be found on our Read, Watch, Listen webpages.

Student conference delegates at Cumberland Lodge


Our popular annual 'Life Beyond the PhD' conference for doctoral students coming towards the end of their studies provides advice and training for planning future careers, and a forum for the exchange of experiences and ideas.

International students

Our Emerging International Leaders Programme equips international students in the UK, who are potential future leaders and opinion formers, with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate and influence policy in their home countries, and build a powerful global network around freedom of religion or belief.

Our Commonwealth and International Students Christmas conference in December has taken place every year since 1947. It gives international students studying in the UK the chance to experience a traditional British Christmas, to engage in a programme of thought-provoking and inspiring seminars and workshops, and to meet others who are studying away from home. 

Children and young people taking part in a workshop at Cumberland Lodge

Work with schools

We offer workshops for local school children in Windsor, Bracknell, Slough and the surrounding areas, to promote social and civic awareness and equip them with the skills and confidence to become active participants in their communities.

For some of these workshops we draw on the connections between Cumberland Lodge and Roald Dahl's children's story, The BFG.

Find out more

For more information about our work with students, early career researchers and schools, please our Programme Team at