The Oxford Tutorial

Many visiting students choose to study at Oxford because of the tutorial system, which is the distinctive and predominant mode of undergraduate education at the University. A tutorial is typically an hour-long meeting between an instructor and one student or a small group of students. Students accustomed to larger classes and lectures often find tutorials more rewarding precisely because they are more challenging: the tutorial format places students in close and frequent contact with experts who push them to think. 

The structure and tone of tutorials varies widely, depending on the preferences of the tutor, the nature of the material to be studied, and the way that students respond to that material. Students do a great deal of independent preparation, and are expected to show considerable intellectual autonomy, so tutorial education offers a unique opportunity for students who are passionate about their subjects to pursue their own interests at an advanced level. 

The University offers more information about tutorial teaching here.