First few weeks at Cambridge
- In this section
Roles of University and College - Teaching & Learning
The University and colleges share the teaching of students, with colleges also providing help and support for those non-academic aspects of student life. The pages linked to below include, amongst other things, overviews of what a Director of Studies does, what you can expect from your Tutor, the differences between lectures and seminars, and what a supervision is.
We have a very effective support system for students across the Colleges and the University to ensure that you are well looked after; you will be advised to register with a local GP surgery when you arrive, and you are able to use the University's Dental Services whilst you are a student.
The University does advise that you check that your vaccinations are up-to-date before you arrive. Check the advice for new students for further information.
More information about health, welfare and general support can be find on the Health and Welfare web pages.
One of the most important items you will receive during your first few days in Cambridge is your University Card.
Your card will have many functions during your time at the University, including Library borrowing, door access, purchases in buttery, photocopying etc.
If you provided a photo with your application you will receive your University Card from your Card Representative upon arrival at your College. If you did not supply a photo with your application contact your college's Card Representative.
More information is given on the University Card web pages.
Email Address & Passwords
You should receive your University email address, Raven (authentication) password and Desktop services (public computing) password when you arrive in Cambridge.
You should be provided with a handbook from your faculty, department or institution providing information on the facilities and services offered locally, in addition to information on the courses offered, the teaching approach, the assessment methods, marking criteria and advice on good academic practice, a.k.a. plagiarism. These may be available in hard copy, but more usually they are available as on-line resources.
Graduate students should receive a handbook specific to graduate students in the faculty, department or institute, which they are expected to read and refer to as needed throughout the course (the 'Course Handbook', although the title may vary); this may be in hard copy, or be entirely or partly web-based.
Glossary: learn the lingo
Like any large organisations, the University has many customs, words and acronyms that can seem overwhelming until you learn 'the code'. A useful glossary has been compiled to help you decipher some of these.