The University of Cambridge is unusual in being one of a handful of collegiate universities in the United Kingdom – Selwyn College is one of the constituent colleges. The atypical structure of the University can seem strange and forbidding to newly arrived students. The majority of our postgraduates have not previously studied in Cambridge and approximately half are from outside the United Kingdom. Not only must new postgraduates engage intensively with their studies, but they must also settle into this unusual academic environment within which almost everyone else seems to be at home! Fortunately, most postgraduates do settle in well and this is partly because Colleges are small and welcoming and there are many people and places to turn for helpful support and advice.
Cambridge offers many exciting opportunities, but also substantial challenges, both academic and personal, and these can bring stress and strain to our students. Most postgraduates cope admirably through their own efforts and with the support of family and friends. However, in Selwyn there are several important sources of support and advice for our graduate students and these are explained in more detail in this section.
Academic support is usually provided by a named Departmental or subject-specific Supervisor. The role of the Supervisor varies between subjects and will not be covered here, although it is clear that a healthy relationship between postgraduates and their Supervisors is essential for the success of our students. However, your relationship with others, in particular your College Postgraduate Tutor, is also very important. Your Tutor is there to help you in any way and will often be a first port of call for any queries.