College Teaching

Supervisions are the College-based teaching system, and are at the heart of a Cambridge undergraduate education. These take place within Emmanuel, and are organised by subject-specific Directors of Studies.


These are personal tuition sessions between the College's subject specialist Fellows and small groups of students. Supervisions can either be onetoone, or with up to three people. They are an opportunity to develop your knowledge and explore your subject. They extend learning beyond lectures & practical classes, and can help you test your ideas. They can also often offer detailed discussion of written work with your supervisors.

Supervisions are usually held weekly, and are between one & two hours in length (depending on the course). You will prepare for each session, usually by reading, writing an essay or working on a small project. They will cover all major topics covered by the course.

Supervisors are appointed by, and work closely with, the subject’s Director(s) of Studies. They write a termly report for each of their students to monitor their academic progress.

Director(s) of Studies (DoS)

The Director(s) of Studies provide guidance about the course papers available, and give advice about lectures & classes. They also appoint College supervisors, and manage College teaching. They work in parallel with the pastoral support of the College Tutors to develop the academic progress of their students.

Meetings with your DoS will be arranged at the start & end of each term. They are always prepared to discuss any difficulties students might have with work at any other time during the term. They organise practical arrangements about supervisions, and discuss progress reports on your academic work. All reports are submitted electronically and are available online, so students have free access to them.

DoSs can help or give advice on how best to prepare for exams. Alongside the College supervisors, they arrange 'mock' papers too. Supervisions are never assessed.