As an undergraduate student, your college is your academic hub – the place where you’ll find resources, learning support, and your personal tutor. It’s also where you’ll benefit from the distinctive feature of your Oxford education: the tutorial.

What’s a tutorial?

A tutorial is a discussion-led meeting, either one-on-one between a subject tutor and a student, or with a small group of two or three students.

They usually last around an hour and, depending on your course, you may have one or two tutorials a week. In your first year, your tutorials will probably happen with tutors here at Worcester, but as you progress through the course you’re likely to meet academics from across the University.

Tutorials allow for more personalised, in-depth teaching and supplement the things you’ll learn in your lectures and seminars. You’ll be treated as an academic equal to your tutor, which means they’ll expect you to have prepared through independent study. This could be reading, writing an essay, or working through a set of assigned questions. To make the most of your tutorial, you might have spent 10 to 15 hours on your preparatory work.

In the tutorial itself, you have the opportunity to discuss your ideas and ask for help on those things you’re struggling with. Your tutor’s job is to support and guide your exploration of the subject, tailoring the learning process to your needs and interests.

While tutorials can be challenging, they can also be incredibly rewarding. Tutorials put you in frequent direct contact with experts who push you to think in different ways. As tutorial work does not form part of your final assessment, it’s a chance to try out new ideas without the pressure to succeed every time. That means they’re a great way to improve your academic self-confidence as well as your ability to communicate and organise your ideas.

Our library facilities

Worcester has excellent library provision, available 24/7. The Upper Library has 65,000 books that you can borrow and quiet individual reading cubicles. We have a separate Law Library open to all as well as our magnificent Lower Library which provides an awe-inspiring setting for your studies and houses special collections of European importance. The Librarians regularly purchase new material and welcome student suggestions for books to add to the collection.

Read more about the Library

Supporting your learning

Our Learning Development Officer, Dr George Webster, provides support for students seeking advice with a wide range of study skills including effective time management, dealing with deadlines, note-taking, research and writing.

In addition to the support and resources you can access in College, you’ll also have your department or faculty and the wider University at your disposal. Your department or faculty will organise seminars, lectures, labs and practicals (where relevant) for students from across all of the colleges, as well as setting your exams. And through the University you’ll have access to the world-famous Bodleian Libraries (including a specialist library for your area of study), the University Language Centre, the Careers Service, and IT Services, which offers a range of free or subsidised digital training.

Read more about our academic support