The Oxbridge Tutorial System


The Oxbridge Tutorial System

An important and distinctive aspect of studying at Oxbridge is the tutorial system. Tutorials (or ‘supervisions’, as they are known at Cambridge) are study sessions held in small groups usually consisting of a tutor and up to three students. They provide a conversation-based setting in which students can discuss course material with and receive personalised feedback from experts in the field. Usually, they take place after the students have completed an essay, problem sheet, or other assignment, which the tutor will discuss and use as a starting point for deeper discussion. 

Tutorials often take place in the professor’s office. The tutor and tutees might sit in sofa chairs around a coffee table, in what might be considered a much more intimate setting than a lecture hall or classroom environment. 

One benefit of this style of teaching is that it encourages critical thinking, and provides a space in which students might be directly confronted with questions or counter-arguments to which they must respond immediately. Tutorials are therefore generally regarded as more rigorous and challenging than lectures or classes.

Many students find tutorials quite intimidating at first, because they are forced to defend their ideas on the spot – there is nowhere to hide in a tutorial! However, they do provide a very valuable opportunity for students to receive direct support and advice from leading academics, and to bounce ideas off their peers in a highly concentrated learning environment.

Overall, the tutorial system allows students to delve much deeper into specialized areas of their subject, and it is what sets the Oxbridge learning experience apart from that of other universities. 


・study sessions・・勉強会
・up to three students・・3人の生徒まで
・conversation-based setting・・会話を中心とした環境
・problem sheet・・問題集
・as a starting point for deeper discussion・・より深い議論の出発点として
・critical thinking・・批判的思考
・be confront with ・・直面する
・at first・・最初は
・defend their ideas on the spot・・その場で彼ら自身の考えを擁護する
・there is nowhere to hide in a tutorial!・・チュートリアルで隠れる場所はありません!
・a very valuable opportunity・・とても価値のある機会
・leading academics・・第一線で活躍する研究者
・bounce ideas off・・意見を交換する
・in a highly concentrated learning environment・・非常に集中した学習環境の中
・delve into・・掘り下げて考える





彼らはその場で自分の考えを守ることを余儀なくされているので、多くの学生は、チュートリアルを最初は非常に威圧的に感じるでしょう – チュートリアルで隠れる場所はどこにもありません!しかし、チュートリアルは非常に貴重なものを提供します。しかし、チュートリアルは学生にとって、第一線で活躍する研究者から直接サポートやアドバイスを受けたり、非常に集中した学習環境の中で仲間とアイデアを交換したりすることができる、非常に貴重な機会を提供してくれます。



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