Study at Cambridge can be demanding, but the level of support offered to students is considerable. Whilst we aim to help you become independent learners and to develop the self-confidence to make a valuable contribution to society in whichever way you choose, we also understand the vital importance of providing a comprehensive system of help and support for all our students.
The first line of support will often come from one of the two members of academic staff appointed by your college to have a special concern for your personal progress and well-being: your director of studies and your college tutor. Your director of studies will be an art historian (or work in a closely related field) and will have the primary responsibility for your academic progress. Your tutor will usually be a fellow of your college working in a different discipline and will have primary responsibility for your pastoral welfare. You will meet with both your tutor and your director of studies regularly, they will act as your principal advisors and advocates.
Each college at Cambridge then has a substantial infrastructure of student support. Headed by the Senior Tutor, the tutorial office provides help and advice on everything from accommodation and travel grants to the resolution os any financial difficulties you might experience. In most colleges pastoral care is then augmented by a team of professionals such as college chaplains, nurses and counsellors. You will receive additional support from other members of the college staff, such as the porters and housekeeping staff, and from peer supporters drawn from the student body.
Further resources are available at a university level, whether it be in learning and teaching (so developing your foreign language skills via the Language Centre, for example), or of a more personal nature. All undergraduates are required to register with a local doctor, and the university has a free and confidential University Counselling Service for the use of all its students and staff.
Of course, the department also works hard fully to support all our students throughout their time here (and often beyond!). Being a small department, everybody knows one another. The academic and support staff are friendly and approachable and at all levels the department fosters an ethos of mutual support and encouragement.
Finally, of course, there are your fellow students. Most people find that at university they make friends for life. Your peers will come from all sorts of backgrounds and from across the world. They will challenge and support you and you will learn much from one another. The colleges and departments of the university help make Cambridge one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse centres of excellence in both teaching and research.