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Faculty of Mathematics



Supervisions are the means by which small-scale undergraduate teaching takes place in the University of Cambridge. Elsewhere such teaching is sometimes referred to as tutorials. In mathematics, the typical supervision consists of a supervisor - normally a College or University lecturer, a research worker in one of the University departments (not always the mathematics departments), or a research student - going over mathematical problems with a pair of students. This scheme is almost unique in British universities, and maybe even in the world. Each mathematics student receives roughly two hours a week of tuition.

Tips for Students

The Faculty of Mathematics distributes a leaflet called Study Skills in Mathematics that contains tips for students to help them make the best use of supervisions. Pages 5-7 of the Study Skill Guide are particularly relevant to supervisions.

A Guide for Supervisors

The Faculty of Mathematics publishes a guide on undergraduate Supervision in Mathematics. A one-page summary is a useful reminder of core Faculty guidelines, but all new supervisors are expected to read the full guide carefully before they supervise. 

The full guide is primarily intended to help new supervisors give good supervisions that are of maximum benefit to the student. It also describes the responsibilities of the supervisor to the College and deals with some practical details, such as how to go about finding supervision work (see also below), and when and how to get payment.

The Faculty also publishes a Guide for Lecturers (see also the Faculty page on Lecturer Guidelines).

Training for new Supervisors

There are training sessions every year for new supervisors, run jointly by Graduate Development and the Faculty of Mathematics. For further information please contact the Graduate Office,

Match-Making Directors of Studies with Potential Supervisors

The Directors of Studies run a "matchmaking" site that helps to match potential supervisors with Directors of Studies offering supervisions.  To use this site you need to login to the Cambridge Moodle system.  Clicking on the "matchmaking" link should take you direct to the relevant page; alternatively when logged in to the Cambridge Moodle system

  • click on the "Courses" menu at the top and scroll down to "Find a course" and click on it;
  • in the search box enter "Matchmaking";
  • click on the course "Matchmaking site for Supervisors and DoS in Mathematics";
  • you should then see an "Enrol me" button that allows you to enrol.

Alternatively, clicking on this enrol link might work. (Please report any infelicities in these instructions to

Once enrolled you will be able to see those looking for supervisors, as well as being able to add details of the supervisions you have to offer.