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Cambridge University Library


The academical year was, from the earliest times, divided into three terms, Michaelmas (from 10 October to 16 December), Lent (from 13 January to the tenth day before Easter) and Easter (from the eleventh day after Easter until the Friday after Commencement (which was on the first Tuesday in July). There was also a ‘vacation term’ which ran from the end of the Easter Term to the beginning of Michaelmas Term, when lectures and disputations could not be held. Certain exercises could, however, be conducted, with the permission of the Chancellor. The dates of terms in more recent times have been dictated by ordinance and are as follows: Michaelmas: 1 October to 19 December; Lent: 5 January to 25 March (or 24 March in a leap year); Easter: 10 April to 18 June, or, if Full Easter Term begins on or after 22 April, 17 April to 25 June. See also full term for the application of this information to undergraduate life.