Undergraduate Study

Peterhouse is first and foremost a place of study and research, with a very strong academic tradition in both the Arts and the Sciences. 


At Cambridge, the University (through its Faculties and Departments) and the colleges undertake different aspects of teaching. While you will attend lectures and practicals/seminars, take exams, and use facilities at your Department or Faculty, supervisions are arranged by the College. Supervisions are the forum for the distinctive, Cambridge style of teaching where students meet either singly or in groups of two or three on a weekly basis to discuss their course work and ideas in detail with a member of the academic staff. The structure and delivery of our courses offer unparalleled learning opportunities and students are encouraged to develop and pursue their own interests in their subject. 

Supervisions and seminars are intensive and enjoyable interactive learning sessions where you have the freedom to raise specific questions and problems with your understanding of the material, as well as seek advice on how to further your understanding in any particular area. This form of focused and personalised teaching enables your Supervisor to gauge your progress and pay your particular interests close attention. Your own reading and research is of course vital to your success, as is self-motivation and good time management. A supervision

Your Supervisor will often be a Fellow of the College, but sometimes you will go to another college for supervision by other experts, just as undergraduates from other colleges will come to be taught at Peterhouse. Peterhouse Fellows offer excellent teaching in their areas of expertise and our links with specialists across the University mean that you will be supervised by the most appropriate person, regardless of the direction in which your studies take you. All Supervisors are united in their enthusiasm for teaching both undergraduates and graduate students. 

Academic terms are intensive but just eight weeks long, with lectures in most subjects running Thursday-Wednesday, allowing for long breaks from lectures between these intensive periods. Although some study and wider reading is expected in the vacations, there is ample opportunity for other activities. 


We want you to succeed in your chosen degree so academic support and College investment in facilities and resources for your studies are given prime importance. The transition from secondary to university level study is an exciting challenge for most new students and the College arranges practical working sessions on writing, study and exam skills to help you to make this transition smoothly. 

The College library contains over 65,000 volumes and has full connectivity for laptops and tablets. Well over 1,000 volumes are added every year on the recommendation of undergraduates, graduates and Fellows as courses change and reading lists are updated. Multiple copies of important texts for all degree courses are available for lending and you will rarely need to purchase books for your course. Should you need to purchase texts, book grants are available from Peterhouse to help meet the costs. During term-time the library is open from 9:00am until midnight. The computer room is well-equipped with computers, scanners, printers and specialist software. The College's Computer Officers are available to help students with any computing issues. 

High-achieving students may be awarded one of our academic scholarships, exhibitions or subject prizes which bring both recognition and monetary rewards. Finally, generous funds are available from the College for particular purposes, such as study-related travel during vacations. 


I've been challenged to go outside my academic comfort zones but, even when I felt daunted, I've been supported all the way.