The University and the Colleges are both responsible for your education. Through its Faculties and Departments the University is responsible for the overall content and structure of courses, for setting and marking examinations, and providing lectures and classes, demonstrations and practicals, as well as laboratories and libraries. The annual schedule of lectures is published in a special October edition of the Reporter. The College provides supervisions, and in College, in every subject the Director of Studies has responsibility for all academic matters.
Your Director of Studies arranges supervisions, gives you advice about your work, checks your examination entries, and monitors your academic progress. You will have meetings with your Director of Studies at the start and end of each term to discuss your work - at the end of term you will have reports from each of your supervisors which your Director of Studies will discuss with you; for meetings at the start and end of term, there will be sign-up lists in the Porters' Lodge. During the term, you can arrange to see your Director of Studies, by phone or by email, if you have any questions relating to your work. You may also want to discuss work-related questions with your Tutor.
Supervisions are a distinctive feature of education at Cambridge (and Oxford), and are one of the most significant aspects of your education here. Supervisions are usually taught in pairs or in a group of three, and provide a regular opportunity for you discuss your own work, usually on the basis of written work you have submitted before the supervision. As well as reading your work and discussing it with you, supervisors will advise you on reading, may discuss the content of your lecture courses with you, and may advise on essay technique and study skills. The effectiveness of supervisions relies on your being well prepared for them and being willing to explore ideas and contribute to discussion.
If you cannot attend a supervision you MUST inform your supervisor in advance. If you miss supervisions without notice and without a good reason, you will be charged the cost of the missed supervision(s).