Teaching and Learning

Teaching in College is centred on weekly or twice-weekly tutorials. Students meet their tutor for about an hour and, in a group that typically includes one or two other undergraduates, present prepared work and have it analysed and discussed. Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and questions, and are supported and guided in their exploration of the subject. In this way individuals deepen their understanding and improve their ability to communicate. In most cases, College tutors are also on the University teaching staff and so are engaged in research. Students are therefore taught by those who are research-active and experts in their field. Oxford students are expected to be keenly interested in their subjects and strongly motivated in studying them. You can read about some of our students' experiences of the tutorial system on the subject pages of this site.

In addition to tutorials, students attend lectures, seminars and classes, and carry out practicals, as provided by the University. Tutorials and practicals are compulsory, but lectures generally are not - though in many cases attendance is strongly recommended, particularly in the sciences. Examinations are set on the printed syllabuses, not specifically on the content of the lectures. The aim is to encourage a broad and independent approach to studying the subject.

Each student has assigned to them one particular tutor who has special responsibility for overseeing their academic progress and personal welfare.