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Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate Education at Cambridge operates on a collegiate and supervision-based system which makes it quite different from many other universities. Responsibility for your education is split between your department(s) or faculty and your college.

The Role of Your Department

Your department(s) or faculty is responsible for setting the course syllabus, examinations, and organising lectures as well as other central tasks such as maintaining the faculty library. Most departments also produce a course handbook, which is often a fantastic source of guidance to their course. It may also provide the contact details for many other useful sources of information within your department, such as your course coordinator, director of undergraduate studies, or departmental secretary.

The Role of Your College

Your college is responsible for the other major aspect of your education at Cambridge - your supervisions. Although in some departments these are coordinated centrally, it is ultimately the responsibility of your Director of Studies (DoS) to oversee your education. This includes ensuring that you receive the appropriate number and quality of supervisions, helping with any difficulties or issues you might be having with your studies, and ensuring you have any extra support or adjustments you may need.

If you have any concerns about your supervisions or your course generally, or if you are worried about anything in your personal life which might affect your academic performance, it is always a good idea to contact your DoS to let them know. If you need special support (for instance lecture notes in advance of lectures for disability-related reasons), extra-time in your examinations or an examination allowance, your DoS should provide support in achieving this.

You can also contact the Students' Unions' Advice Service if you are encountering any difficulties or considering making a request for an examination allowance. Our Advisors have been trained extensively in the university regulations and statutes.

Study Skills

Your DoS can provide information and support on study skills and resources available and help with any concerns.

The Study Skills Section of this website also provides information on central university resources, online resources, and training opportunities.

Study Space

Spacefinder helps you find study spaces which match your needs. Whether you want to work alone or in a group, silently or with background noise, in a modern or historic library, cafe or common space, Spacefinder will show you matching spaces nearby.