Corpus is first and foremost an academic institution and we hope that it was the prospect of studying at the highest level that drew you to Corpus and to Cambridge. The chance to study at this level only comes once in a lifetime, and you should therefore take the opportunity to benefit from it as fully as possible.
Academic success requires serious application because the volume of work is demanding; but it is also rewarding, both in the satisfaction that learning brings, and in the future opportunities that such success will make possible.
In whatever subject you choose, most of the teaching will be based around the appropriate University Department or Faculty.
These Faculties and Departments are centrally funded and organised, with libraries, lectures, a curriculum for each subject and some examinations. Members of the Faculty or Department, whether academics or students, are drawn from all over the University.
The role of Colleges
Each College, on the other hand, contains students in every (or nearly every) subject. It offers each student board and lodging, certainly; but its central role is to organise and guide an undergraduate’s academic life.
Director of Studies
Each subject has a Director of Studies, who is normally a Fellow of the College. The Director of Studies advises on courses, lectures, reading, and arranges supervisions, which are the kernel of Cambridge teaching and its only compulsory element. A supervision is a tutorial either on a one-to-one basis or in a very small group, held in College or another venue as required.
Much supervision is done in College by Fellows; but in many cases students from a number of Colleges will be sent to the same supervisor, a specialist in the particular subject, who may be in Corpus or some other College.
The precise arrangements vary according to the subject, but from one to three times a week an undergraduate meets his or her supervisor for about an hour. Often written work is prepared for discussion in the supervision. It is this focused and personalised teaching which enables the undergraduate to raise and discuss questions with a specialist in a particular topic.
As far as possible, supervisors are appointed from within the College. The Fellowship at Corpus is large in relation to the size of the College. It can therefore provide many well- qualified supervisors, and it is also in a strong position to secure good outside supervision.
The names and interests of the teaching Fellows and of the Directors of Studies can be found in the current edition of the Cambridge Admissions Prospectus.
Discussion and debate
Intellectual life in the College also thrives in less formal contexts; History, Law, Theology, Literary and Science societies are all lively and interesting (and not only for the students studying the subject in question).
“The fact that supervisions are individual or in very small groups really gives you a chance to get in close contact with a specialist in the field you are studying at a particular moment, which I find very interesting and stimulating. Secondly there is a lot of room for following your own interests.”- Sara, English