FAQ's page title



Who should I talk to if I’m struggling?
  Every student has a Director of Studies (DoS) and Pastoral Tutor who work at/for their college. Your DoS largely looks after your academics and your Tutor supports your pastoral care, including your general wellbeing, finances and accommodation. Often if you have a problem you can talk to one of these, but really any staff member you trust will be able to help you!


I have a disability, is there somewhere I can go for support?
  Yes! The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) is the main source of support for students who require reasonable adjustments as a result of a disability, physical or mental health condition or injury.


I think I want to change course, is there someone I can talk to about that?
  Yes, the SU Advice Service offers free, confidential, and impartial advice and support to all Cambridge University students. You can come to the Student Advice Service with any issues or problems you might experience as a student, from making friends to working relationships, from exams to intermission, and from welfare concerns to finance.


Is there support available in my college if I am homesick?
  Many people experience homesickness during their time at University. If you’re struggling with the transition to University or with moving away from home, there is help available. The University Counselling Service offer a selection of helpful resources for you to access, including some useful self help tips for homesickness. At your College, you should speak to your Tutor about problems you are having, who will be able to help you or signpost you to other people who can. Finally, if homesickness is contributing to more serious mental health problems, you can access professional support from the University Counselling Service or in some cases from your College.


Will there still be a Freshers’ Fair?
  This year we will be hosting an in person Freshers’ Fair event open to all students. You’ll be able to get your (free) ticket from the 1st September on our website, in order to gain access to the event. You will be able to visit the stalls of different clubs and societies at the event. You can read more about the Freshers' Fair on the SU website.


Will there still be opportunities to socialise and make friends?
  Yes! The SU alongside colleges and departments will be making sure that all students have access to socialising and non-work opportunities throughout the year. Colleges and societies will be doing lots of welcome events, so keep an eye out for these and make sure to keep checking the SU website to stay up to date with updates.


What if I don’t make friends straight away?
  Everyone makes friends at different times and in different ways. There’ll be a variety of events you can go to meet course mates and new friends. If you’re struggling to make friends try reaching out to your college Welfare Officer to find out what different types of events there are. There are also seven SU campaigns you can get involved with.

Health and Covid-19


Do I need to bring a mask with me?
Probably - mask wearing will be generally expected in many parts of the University and Colleges. You should expect to receive more information about how this will affect you from your college and faculty, which will give more detailed guidance. Remember that mask wearing is required in shops and on public transport in England, but there are exemptions which you can find on the Gov.UK website.


What changes does Covid-19 have on teaching for this year?
  The balance of the blend will depend on the stringency of social distancing and other regulations in force at the time. Where possible, teaching by seminars, practicals, and supervisions will be delivered in person, and it may even be possible for lectures to smaller groups to be given on this basis. In any case, all lectures will be recorded and made available online. If large-scale lecturing in person becomes permissible, the University will reintroduce it as soon as possible. More information can be found on the university website.


What happens if I become unwell whilst at university?
  If you develop Coronavirus symptoms at University, support is available from your college and from the University. The University is offering testing to students, and you will be able to access care from the NHS, normally from your GP or NHS 111. 
For non-coronavirus health issues, most colleges have a nurse who can help with minor illness and injury and signposting you to other support, and there is mental health support available from the University and many colleges. More information about support for your wellbeing at University is available on the Student Wellbeing site.


What will my course be like?
  Everyone’s course is different. You’ll be expected to do different kinds of work and have various types on contact hours (any teaching time). You can find more general information on the studying pageof the website.


What will teaching be like this year?
  The plan is for as much in-person teaching as possible to go ahead for Michaelmas 2021. The University is preparing contingency plans to revert to online provision at short notice if need be. Lectures will be available in person, but will also be uploaded online and available to all students. Supervisions will be in person, but there is definitely scope to request online supervisions if this is more suitable for you and/or if it would make you feel more comfortable. Contact your Director of Studies (DoS) if this is something you think applies to you and they can help you alert your supervisors and/or lecturers.


Will the workload be overwhelming?
  Cambridge courses can be really demanding, so it’s okay if you struggle to adjust at first. For most subjects and supervisors it is absolutely fine to sometimes hand in incomplete work (like a plan instead of a full essay, or even to just do the reading), ask for extensions and sometimes not hand in assignments. Supervisors are usually very friendly and flexible and would much rather you weren’t suffering in silence. If you feel like a supervisor is not being receptive to concerns around workload, or you consistently struggle to meet deadlines, this is something to take up with your Director of Studies (DoS) who can advise you as to the best way forward.


Do I need to do all my summer work before arriving?
  If you’ve been sent a scarily long reading list or an assignment to do, rest assured that lots of people won’t complete it. Do what you can, but don’t worry if you can’t get through much of the work or reading as well as you would like. You will be absolutely fine to get started in most subjects without doing all the recommended work. The most important thing is to arrive well rested and excited for the course!


Michaelmas | Tue 5th Oct – Fri 3rd Dec
Lent | Tue 18th Jan – Fri 18th March
Easter | Tue 26th April – Fri 17th June

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