We are very grateful to our supervisors for their time, effort and commitment helping Emmanuel students strive for academic excellence.

The generic intercollegiate guidance and the information in this College-specific webpage are aimed to support you in your supervisor role. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further questions.

Practical Information & Contacts


The creation of a supervision report provides you with the name and CRSid of any given student’s Director of Studies (DoS) and Tutor. You can also find details of DoSes in the College’s list of academic staff. DoSes would be able to advise if you have queries about particular students you are supervising, what we expect in your subject and other academic matters.

If in any doubt as to which DoS to contact, if you need to be put in contact with a student’s Tutor, or if you have questions regarding the submission or processing of reports, please email the Tutorial Office for further guidance. Questions related to the payment you have claimed should be addressed to the College HR.


Please make every effort to submit your reports each term at least a week before the end of Full Term. See the relevant University webpages for term dates. That timing allows Directors of Studies and Tutors to discuss reports with students. Even if this means submitting a report before all supervisions have been conducted, we’d rather have the report available than nothing. Students appreciate this chance to discuss reports. The content can also inform planning for vacation study, revision or remedial effort. It is fine to submit a report that states some supervisions are yet to be given and a further report later, not claiming any additional hours.

We also ask Directors of Studies to approve supervision reports within a reasonable timeframe to allow payments to reach supervisors by mid-January, mid-April and mid-July. We may run supplementary payments in October if significant numbers of reports miss the earlier deadlines, but we cannot make ad hoc payments.


Details of the College policies on fitness to study, discipline, freedom of speech and other matters may also be found in our 'About' section. You are also expected to be aware of the general safeguarding guidance given to all supervisors.

Supervising for Emmanuel: Our Expectations

Our precise expectations about supervisions vary by Tripos, Tripos part and sometimes by individual student circumstances. Our core generic advice would be to facilitate student participation in supervisions and not to lecture; to allow time to respond to students’ questions; and to respond to the particular needs of a given supervision group whilst not losing sight that the process is both an exploration of the subject and part of preparation for Tripos.

We do not want either supervisors or students taking on more work than is necessary for the system to run smoothly and successfully. If in doubt or if you have concerns that you may be running beyond such limits, please ask the relevant Director of Studies or the Senior Tutor for guidance. College Supervision Information provides further information around expectations.

In most cases you should already have been briefed by a Director of Studies about students’ names, contact details, any Student Support Document guidance, the number and frequency of supervisions we anticipate should be given, and the volume and the level of work we will require of the students you teach. Please do not vary from these expectations without first checking with the Director of Studies. Where the relationship is mediated through a departmental role, you may also need to consult course convenors and administrators as well as the relevant Director of Studies on some matters.

Serious Academic, Pastoral & Welfare Issues

If you have serious pastoral or academic concerns, please alert the College promptly. We appreciate the role that our supervisors play in supporting students, but do not expect them to take on the duties which Directors of Studies, Study Skills specialists, the Nurse and Tutors provide in managing serious academic or pastoral / wellbeing concerns. Please refer such matters to us rather than seeking to deal with them yourself.

Nor do we expect or encourage supervisors to accede if a student suggests that they wish to tell them something in total confidence, not for onward transmission to others. We operate under a Confidentiality Policy that is very clear that we cannot give guarantees of absolute confidentiality. You may wish to report any such request informally to a member of our welfare team such as the Tutor or Senior Tutor. It is often a sign that a student needs additional support.

Supervisors are not expected to become pastoral advisors to students. Their role is an academic one.

How we use supervison reports, and what they are for

Supervision reports should be thought of primarily as feeding back to the College (DoS and Tutor) on a student’s work during the term. They are, of course, also visible to the student and thus can be used to reinforce feedback that has been given in writing or in supervisions. Reports help us to support and advise students. It follows that we prefer third person reporting – “they are doing well” – to reports addressed to the student – “well done, you are doing well.” Students are used to such a style as it is the most common format for school reports.

The College values an effective assessment, even if a brief one, of a student’s strengths and weaknesses; aptitude, attitude and progress, their work rate and their participation. Reports are particularly useful when things go wrong for a student. All supervision reports must be submitted as part of any case made to the Examination Access and Mitigation Committee (EAMC). That body cannot help but see blank reports or those that are laconic in the extreme as unhelpful to a student’s case compared to one that speaks to effort, engagement and aptitude.

A report is used in several ways:

  • It informs DoS and Tutorial conversations with students regarding their attendance, commitment, participation, and achievement in supervisions. It assists in steering students on how to work efficiently rather than too hard, too little or with the wrong focus;
  • It helps students to see an assessment of their work and locate their progress in the wider context of their whole course;
  • Where a student may be struggling personally or academically reports provide invaluable detail. Discussions of capability to study are enhanced by reports that give an early clear and balanced account of how a student has been doing. The underconfident can be boosted, the overconfident given a timely reminder of the need to improve some aspect(s) of their studies;
  • It assists in planning revision, consolidating work or honing study skills;
  • It helps us to manage students’ expectations;
  • Tutors and Directors of Studies may also feed in material based upon supervision reports when they write references. These are greatly enhanced by the ability to refer to supervisors’ views. References are sometimes requested years after graduation and being able to feed in material from reports is then especially helpful. Please note that supervisors are not required to provide personal or academic references for students. Occasionally a supervisor may be happy to provide a reference, perhaps especially if it relates to dissertation work. That is fine and may be very much in the student’s interest. However, please do not feel obliged to do this and do feel free to liaise with the student’s DoS if approached.

Multiple supervision reports from one supervisor are not necessarily better than single ones. Even if you use draft reports as an aide-memoire with detailed accounts of supervisions, please do not feel obliged to submit separate reports on every supervision. In some ways it can be preferable to have a single, shorter report that summarises the student’s strengths and weaknesses and makes suggestions on how best to consolidate and improve their work. The heart of what we are looking for is as follows:

  • An account of what has gone well and areas for improvement;
  • Brief commentary on work rate and participation;
  • Advice for the DoS and Tutor to pass on to the student;
  • Comments looking forward to revision and preparing for the Tripos examinations.

If you feel there is a need to write at greater length, please email the Director of Studies and/or Tutor via the links provided on the report form.

Some Common Questions

Do I have to complete the fields on industry, progress, interest and estimate of work?

Yes, please. These are very important to Directors of Studies and Tutors and can be vital in the EAMC processes. In the last case, please give an honest assessment of the quality of the work actually done so far rather than an optimistic evaluation of what the student might possibly do if all goes as well as possible. If you feel you cannot give that last estimate, please explain why to the Director of Studies.

What constitutes a missed supervision?

Supervisors should establish clear expectation on this at the start of term, notably if their own commitments limit their flexibility to rearrange supervisions. Guidance to students on this topic stresses that attendance at supervisions and completing work for them is mandatory, not optional. We warn students that to miss supervisions without good cause and/or without reasonable advance notice to the supervisor and other students is not acceptable. Good cause would include illness, serious personal or family issues, Faculty commitments, for final year students job or HE interviews, and such like. Extra-curricular activities would not usually be regarded as constituting just cause. Please tell us if a student does miss supervisions without good cause. It can be an important early indicator that we need to put extra support in place for them.

What should I do if a student persistently misses supervisions or fails to hand in work?

Please treat such behaviour as you would other serious academic or pastoral concerns as discussed in the section of this guidance on serious academic or other concerns.

How honestly critical should I be in writing a report? How much should I sugar coat?

The College would like you to be as honest as possible whilst balancing positive and negative commentary. Mention what has been done well as well as areas for improvement. For many students that will mean overwhelmingly positive commentary. In a minority of cases, it may mean commentary that the student will not particularly enjoy reading. However, an open and evidenced report may be vital in helping them to learn, grow and improve their performance. Unremittingly optimistic reports may not help the student. Disappointing results that follow unrealistic expectations can be particularly traumatic. Directors of Studies will have the opportunity to read reports before they release them to students. They can suggest changes if they feel there is a need. They can also add their own gloss to reports. If you are hesitant about what to include or the tone, please contact the DoS or Tutor. They know their students well enough to anticipate likely reactions.

I think a student could benefit from some extra tuition, how should I proceed?

Like all the Colleges, Emmanuel operates within the agreed supervision norms and guidance on group sizes. However, there may be cases where those teaching them feel that a student could benefit from some variation on the norms. This may emerge from an SpLD assessment or Student Support Document produced by the ADRC or through other routes. If you think a student may need some remedial additional teaching, please contact their DoS. We would not expect you to put in additional time and effort without the DoS’s agreement and, if it goes beyond the norms, that of the Senior Tutor.

Do I need to undertake training and what are the payment arrangements for training?

New supervisors will be directed to the online training module when they register in CamCORS. Training is available on Moodle: An Introduction to Undergraduate Supervision - provided by CCTL.

You are also expected to be fully aware of the general safeguarding guidance; further questions on the College’s safeguarding policy should be addressed to the Tutorial Office in the first instance.

Payment for new supervisor training is handled centrally by the Office of Intercollegiate Services and not by individual Colleges. Payments will be made through a bulk process after the submission and approval of reports. You need not claim for this payment. The payment covers the intercollegiate training. In the rare instances where a department may offer training any issues connected to payment should be referred to the Department and not to Colleges.

How do I book a supervision room in Emmanuel College?

The College provides rooms that may be booked by Emmanuel’s supervisors. All enquiries should be submitted online. No charge will be made when supervising Emmanuel students.