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Cambridge is known and respected across the globe for the excellence of our teaching and research, and the quality of our graduates.  You are taught in lectures and seminars by academics who are experts in their field. This is reinforced by supervision - personal tuition which explores topics in more detail.

How you're taught

Tuition is organised by either the Faculty of Classics or the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics. The faculty, or a department of the faculty, will arrange lectures, seminars and practicals attended by students from all the Colleges.

Each academic year is organised by the University and consists of three eight-week terms. And during this time, you’re expected to spend, on average, 42-46 hours a week on your academic studies (including teaching/contact time and independent study). You'll also need to undertake some work during the vacations (eg further reading/research, revision, assignments).

There is pleanty of advice and support to help you.

Teaching methods


Lectures are a starting point for your own research and typically last around 50 minutes. Depending on the subject anywhere up to several hundred students may attend.  Many lecturers are leading academics working at the forefront  of their field, so lectures are a fantastic opportunity to find out about the latest research.

Seminars and Classes

These are usually for medium-sized groups (eg 10-30 students), last between one and two hours, and provide the opportunity to discuss particular topics in more detail. They’re led by academics but you’re expected to contribute actively.


Sometimes called ‘labs’ or laboratory classes. Practical work on some courses may be assessed.


This system of personal tuition is one of Cambridge’s greatest strengths. Supervisions provide the opportunity to explore your subject more deeply, discuss your own work and ideas, and receive regular feedback. As they aren’t assessed, supervisions provide the ideal environment for you to test your ideas and interests, while encouraging you to develop your thinking.

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