Cambridge University: Get world class education from top ranked institution
Updated on Nov 4, 2013 - 9:05 a.m. IST by None #United Kingdom
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When your academic week starts on Thursday, and not Monday; when your professors repeatedly say, “We will teach you how to think, not what to think” and when a fellow student asks you “what’s your reading?” which means what course are you doing not which Harry Potter series are you reading now, you must realize that you are in the University of Cambridge. The university, which is seventh oldest in the world and second oldest in the UK, is the alma mater of many scientists, Heads of Governments, mathematicians, Nobel Laureates and writers.

Yes, it is a dream come true for many students to study at Cambridge University. But before applying to the university, there are certain interesting, yet important informations that one need to know- right from the teaching methodology to getting the degree.


Graduate teaching methodology at Cambridge

The Cambridge University offers mainly MPhils, MSts and PhDs at the post graduate level. Unlike the conventional education system where there is a defined course outline and module, the university lets the students to choose their own subjects to from the course module for their full time taught graduate programmes. They can choose from four core papers and a number of full and half papers that they are interested in.

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Classes at Cambridge University

There are three terms in Cambridge University unlike the semester system that is followed by a majority of the universities. Each term lasts for three months with eight weeks classes. The terms start with Michaelmas Term, Lent Term and Easter Term.

Don’t expect your professors to make you sit in the classroom for hours and give back-to-back lectures. Most of the classes progress through active discussions, debates and sharing of knowledge and experience. Apart from the lectures given by the professors, there are student-led discussions, seminars and round tables. Obviously, you need to work really hard and it’s worth taking the pain at Cambridge University.


Cambridge University library

The students get ample time to make full use of library. The university has the world famous central library, which has more than eight million volumes of books. Apart from the central library, there are 15 affiliated libraries and college libraries. In total, the university has 114 libraries and holds more than 15 million books in different subject areas. Along with that, there are a number of online resources that the students can use for reference.


The assessment

It’s Cambridge University and the professors don’t expect you to mug up lessons and reproduce them in the exam hall. If you are planning to score well by memorizing essays, it’s not the right place for you.  Right from the introductory class, this will be something you will hear quite often from your professors, “We don’t want to read big theories in your exam papers. We need your ideas and critical analysis of theories”. Yes, here students have to use their brain to think, not to store information.

The assessment at University of Cambridge is not based on written exam only. There are various assessment methods. While some courses follow the assessment method that takes into consideration the score obtained by the student in the written exam and essays, other courses evaluate the performance of the students on the basis of the assessment of dissertation, thesis and seminars.


Graduate students at Cambridge University

It’s the university departments and not colleges that matter for the MPhil, MSt and PhD students in Cambridge as they will be spending most of their time in their respective departments. For them, the colleges are limited to providing a place and accommodation. The college will assign each student a tutor and the department, a supervisor. While the tutor acts as the person who takes care of non-academic issues of the students such as financial problems, health issues and other grievances, the supervisor provides academic guidance to the students throughout their study period.  


Matriculation and Graduation at Cambridge University

This is something that you find quite exciting and marvellous at the Cambridge University. It is one of the rare universities that holds matriculation for graduates. The matriculation formally welcomes the fresh graduates to be the part of the university. The graduation at Cambridge is also one of its kind that attracts many eyeballs. The ceremony takes place in the Senate-House. The ceremony starts with the Vice-Chancellor's procession enteing the Senate-House. The main proceedings of the ceremony are in Latin.

This is a common advice that you get from your well-wishers when you pack your bags for Cambridge, “It’s Cambridge University. Study well and get good score." But, I would say, “It’s Cambridge University, best place for you to meet people, develop your ideas, explore things and have the most memorable period of your life. So, enjoy!”

A piece of advice: You have to love your subject not the degree that you are going to get at the end of the day in order to enjoy your study at University of Cambridge. Otherwise, you will feel totally out of place here!

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Questions related to United Kingdom

Showing 3 out of 3 Questions

is it hard to get into top universities with marks around 80s in ug and will I be eligilble for scholarships?

Masira 16th Dec, 2019

The cutoffs of the top universities will be an important consideration when you think about admissions. Scoring 80's will help you get around 80% and it seems like a good score and will be able to help you get into good university. However, it purely depends on what is the cutoff of a particular university. The same goes for the scholarships. There are universities that will be providing scholarships bases on merits and you can check on the site of the college before applying to see what are their scholarship providing criteria. If you have a particular university or college in mind go through their official website to find relevant information that will help you make better decisions.

Hope this helps.

What university would be best to do psychology in United Kingdom and also with scholarship and would accept 6 months fees

Vishwaksen Gouda Student Expert 5th Oct, 2019

Hello Varun Marwah,

Here are the best universities to study the psychology where your study related to your practical work

Here it is

1. University of Oxford. of St Andrews.

3. University of Bath.

4.University of Cambridge.

5.UniversityCollege London.


7.u niversity of York.

all. The best


Is it easy to get permanent residence in UK or we should return back after completion of study post work visa.....

Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019
Dear Vinay, obtaining a permanent residency in UK is quite a lengthy process usually. Now UK has extended the stay for Indian Students post their studies by 2 years. Which means, even if you complete your studies, you can extend your stay by 2 more years.  It depends on the route you are applying through. The following visas require this time to apply for Indefinite leave to remain:

Marriage or unmarried partner to UK citizen: 2 years

Lawful stay on any basis which is a long stay: 10 years

Unlawful stay: 14 years

Tier 1 and Tier 2 work permit: 5 years

Investor, sportsperson, business owner, arts: 5 years

Ancestry: 5 years

If you manage to get a good paid job you can get permanent residency under work permit within 5 years.
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