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.
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.