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Supervisions are small-group sessions, usually for between one to four students, which provide the opportunity to explore your subject more deeply, discuss your own work and ideas, and receive regular feedback. Your supervisions do not count towards your final grade at the end of the year, which means that they are a great space for you to try out new ideas, ask for help or clarification and develop your thinking further.

Typically, you have one to four hour-long supervisions each week (this varies from course to course). You usually prepare in advance for these supervisions, which can include reading, writing an essay or working on some problems. Supervisors are specialists in particular subjects (they may even be one of the country’s or the world’s leading authorities) and throughout your course, your supervisors will change depending on what you are studying at the time.


Tips for academic success at Cambridge...

"I think at Cambridge how academic success is defined is important - it is not just about grades. In the first year, I think it’s about adjusting, developing your own writing style and thinking about topics in more critical ways. So, I think the way to do this is by trying your best in supervisions by speaking up, discussing your ideas and doing some reading beforehand. Also, don’t be disheartened by feedback and instead take it on board because your supervisors are trying to help you."

- first-year undergraduate student