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Student Support


Studying at Cambridge can be very challenging, but there is lots of support available. It can take time to adapt to new ways of working and to develop the skills your course requires.

Undergraduate students

For undergraduate students, Colleges usually assign a Director of Studies, commonly referred to as a DoS. Your Director of Studies is responsible for your academic welfare, and you can get in touch with them if you're finding you're having difficulties with your course.

Regular ways Directors of Studies provide academic support

  • Regular oversight and review of progress
  • Advice on study methods, and support in the event of difficulties with courses or supervisors
  • Initial careers advice and provision of references
  • Liaison between student and supervisor/Department

Sometimes pastoral matters are difficult to distinguish from academic problems. Your Director of Studies, supervisor or Course Director should be prepared to offer help in circumstances that affect your attendance or performance on your course. They may consult with your College Tutor or a member of the College welfare team where there is a pastoral issue impacting your studies, and would normally do so having sought your consent first.

Postgraduate students

For postgraduate students, the faculty or department will usually be the primary source of academic support. 

For taught master's courses, your course director or course administrator will be able to help with any academic problems. For research students, an honest and healthy relationship with your supervisor will enable you to navigate challenges with a positive mindset. Sometimes it takes a bit of work to establish a good professional bond with your supervisor. 

You can also approach your College Tutor for support. You might speak to your College Tutor about mental health issues, financial worries, problems with your academic work, or anything else that is making life difficult. They can provide you with listening support and signpost you to relevant services in your College, the University and beyond. Your College Tutor is also the one who supports your applications for help from the University, for example financial support or extending deadlines.

Academic resources

The University also has a range of resources to help you develop academic skills, such as research skills, time management and note-taking.