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Academic and Residency requirements

Academic requirements

Junior members of the college must apply themselves diligently to their studies in the college and university.

Graduate and research students

Academic requirements for most graduate students are separately defined for them by the board of graduate studies (see:  They differ from those for undergraduates, and new graduate students should consult their research supervisor or their graduate tutors if in any doubt.


All candidates for the B.A. degree, including affiliated students, must remain in standing for honours and shall normally be required to obtain a passing grade or "class" in all university or college examinations, as a condition of the tenure of their place in the college. N.B:  if you fail to satisfy this condition, you will have to terminate your course here.  Underlying this is the expectation that you will participate in any teaching arranged and submit any work required in a timely fashion.

Supervisions: attendance at supervisions, classes and other teaching arranged by directors of studies is compulsory and must take absolute priority over all other activities (including college or university sport).  Absence from a supervision may be excused only for illness or other serious cause. Only illness or other such serious cause may excuse a student from a pre-arranged supervision and in these circumstances they must inform the supervisor beforehand. Supervisors should be advised well in advance (wherever possible, at least 24 hours) by anyone who, for these reasons, is prevented from attending at the time arranged. If a student wishes to reschedule supervision for any reason, they should consult the supervisor well in advance, but if he or she is unable to accommodate this request, the standing arrangement for the class must take precedence.  Written work set by supervisors must be completed within the specified time.  Students will generally be expected to submit written work at a specified time before each supervision; the supervisor may make this a condition of attendance, since submission of such work allows a focused and constructive discussion of the topic.

The termly reports made by supervisors in regard to their pupils include comments on attendance as well as on ability, application and progress: these comments and the reports are open to undergraduates who may consult them online via the CamCORS system or via the tutorial office.

Supervisions must always take priority over all recreational activitiesSupervisions, classes and any other teaching arranged by the college missed without cause or adequate notice will attract a charge to cover the cost of teaching missed.  The college has a policy of fining undergraduates who miss supervisions without good cause shown.

Tripos:  students will have to read for a particular Tripos to qualify for an undergraduate degree (B.A., M.Eng. etc.).  To obtain the degree a student must pass certain Tripos examinations and also keep nine terms' residence in Cambridge (residence requirements differ for affiliated students).  The college requires undergraduates to read for honours in university examinations and to remain in standing (eligible) to do so in successive parts of the course by obtaining honours (achieving a passing grade) in preceding examinations.

Examinations:  undergraduates (and some graduates)  will be required to take examinations each year, normally in May and June, at the end of the Easter term.  In most subjects the annual examination is a part of the Tripos each time, but in a few cases, one of the Annual examinations, in the first or second year, may be a progress (or "preliminary") examination.

Course of study:  Undergraduates are admitted to read a particular course of study and the understanding is that they will continue with this for three years or four years as is the case in some subjects (e.g. Engineering, MML, and certain subjects with Natural Sciences (this will also be the understanding of Student Finance* who will assess loan and, where applicable, grant eligibility for home students and to whom home students have applied). Naturally each Tripos has some flexibility in the choice of papers and options.  However, some students, after completing the examination requirements for part of one Tripos, seek a more radical measure of flexibility by changing to another Tripos, while remaining within the normal span of the degree course.  Such changes must be subject to the regulations for the degree and no prior undertaking or agreement to such changes can be given or assumed (nor should the consent of student finance be taken for granted).
* Here Student Finance refers to Student Finance England, Student Finance Northern Ireland, Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Finance Wales

Whether or not a change of Tripos is possible can only be decided in an individual case after discussion with the Tutor and Director of Studies concerned, and can only be made with the consent of the Senior Tutor who will, at a meeting with the student, normally impose a condition of an upper second class result in the subject to which the student was admitted to read.

It should be noted that, with certain exceptions, the normal length of the degree course is three years.  Only for special academic reasons, backed by good examination performance, will the college agree to a change of course which would require an additional year of residence. The university requires that students will in the course of their undergraduate career have demonstrated academic progression, by moving from a part I to a part II of a Tripos. The Senior Tutor is always happy to advise students on the feasibility of potential subject switches.

Residency Requirements

University statutes require candidates for the B.A. and certain other degrees to "keep terms", by residence in Cambridge for a specified number of days as one of the conditions for graduation. The College must certify termly that this condition has been satisfied. Residence during any day comprises being in Cambridge for some of that day and through the following night. The minimum period for keeping term is in fact covered by the period within each term known as "full term", which is the period during which university lectures, classes (and in the Easter term, Tripos examinations) take place. In practice "full term" amounts to about three quarters of each university term.

There are also residential requirements for graduate students, which may differ slightly and will have been communicated by the board of graduate studies to those concerned.  Further information about residency requirements for graduates can be found here.

Residence in full term: the college requires its members normally to satisfy the university's regulation by being in residence throughout full term.

If for any compelling reason it should seem likely that you cannot keep full term, you must consult your Tutor - failure to do so may have serious consequences.  Days can be made up in the periods between the ends of term and the ends of full term (see dates above), but only within the same term; the university will grant dispensations only in quite exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness).

In certain subjects you may be required to take examinations or courses outside full term, in which case vacation plans must yield.  It is well to enquire ahead of time.

Absence from Cambridge during full term (previously known as requesting an exeat): a request should be made to a Tutor and dates of your absence copied to the tutorial office (Mrs Clowes) for use in case of emergencies. Nights missed because of absence on exeats must be made up after the end of full term, but this is only possible within the limited period remaining between the end of full term and the end of term. However nights kept in cambridge in the period immediately before full term may be counted towards the necessary total for the residence requirement. Exeats will not normally be given for extended periods in full term.

The beginning of term: at the start of each new term, students must collect their keys and certify that their residence has begun (or been resumed) by registering with the porters; returning students should do so by swiping their university card at the porter's lodge. In all cases this must be done within 24 hours: the day of arrival or return cannot otherwise be counted as "kept".  Students must also see their Tutor at the start of every term.

At the end of term: undergraduates must see their Tutor before going down, to certify that the term has been kept. They are required to call in person on their Tutor for this purpose.

Vacation work:  reading and study in vacation are an essential part of an undergraduate's programme of work.  Directors of studies expect specific academic work to be done and other plans for the vacation must be tailored accordingly.  It may be necessary at times to remain in Cambridge for such study, in which case you will be told by your Tutor or Director of Studies.  Grants may be available to help cover the cost of this.

There is no official University term in the summer, but instead a period known as the Long Vacation period of residence, during which courses, some of them compulsory, are held in a few subjects.  It is also possible, and sometimes required, to return to College at this time for approved private study and reading.  Undergraduates will be told about this by their Director of Studies.  Grants are also available towards the cost of study in the long vacation.  Even if attendance in Cambridge is not required, it is essential that part of the summer should be set aside in preparation for the following year's work.  Directors of Studies and Tutors will specify what must be done.

Residence out of full term: the normal period of residence is the length of full term. Permission to be in residence before or after full term may be given to make up the number of days required, or for intensive study: undergraduates applying for such additional residence out of full term should seek their Tutor’s support in doing so: do not assume that permission will be given. Normal dates of residence for each term are posted annually. In some cases the college's need of rooms on the college site for other purposes out of full term (e.g. accommodation of candidates for interview) must take priority over requests to remain in residence.