Lectures and supervisions


Lectures take place in each Department or Faculty, and form a key part of every course. In many cases they are compulsory and cover the key material which will form the basis of discussion and further work in supervisions.

In other subjects there is a wider choice of lecture courses, which should be selected with care, following discussion with your Director of Studies or supervisor; you should make time for any preparatory reading and attend consistently.  Since a great deal of material is often covered in each lecture it is also important to allow time to read through your notes soon afterwards.  They will later become a vital resource in your preparation for examinations.

The University provides a service offering personalised student timetables to the University’s Departments and Institutions - available here.  Further details are often provided by Faculties and Departments, and Directors of studies can always offer advice.

Remember that members of the University are entitled to attend almost all lectures in any subject, so you are encouraged to make use of relevant interdisciplinary teaching and (as time allows) to explore your broader academic interests.


Supervisions are small-group teaching sessions, usually lasting an hour. They are designed to help you in your studies, offering a supportive framework for your learning rather than a formal test of your abilities. You might expect to discuss the material covered in lectures or in your own reading, to clarify difficult issues identified in the course of your written work, and to test and develop your own ideas.

You must make every effort to complete all work set and to hand it in on time. You can then expect your work to be marked before the supervision, when you should receive constructive feedback.

You should make an active contribution to supervisions and be ready to discuss your ideas and ask for help on any areas of difficulty. Your understanding and knowledge of your subject will be expected to be constantly ‘in progress' - you will not be expected to have all the answers, but to work hard before, during and after supervisions to continue that progress.

The frequency and size of supervisions varies from subject to subject, and often from term to term.

You must arrive on time for all supervisions.  If you are unable to attend a supervision you should contact your supervisor in plenty of time.  Repeated failure to attend supervisions will result in the College charging you directly for the supervisor's time.

CamCORS is the Cambridge Colleges' Online Reporting System for Supervisions. A report from each supervisor will be made available online each term to you, your Director of Studies, your Tutor and the Senior Tutor.  These reports are intended not only to mark your progress but to offer constructive suggestions on the further development of your work. You should read them promptly and carefully.

Email is the principal means of communication so check your @cam inbox regularly.