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Fri 14 Feb 2020
10:00 - 12:30

Venue: Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG18

Provided by: Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning


Bookings cannot be made on this event (Event is in the past).

Other dates:

Fri 3 Apr 2020

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Effective Undergraduate Supervision (Life Sciences)

Fri 14 Feb 2020


Looking back at your experience of education you can probably remember those teachers and lecturers who were excellent. We remember the ones who were good because they have left a lasting impact on us; shaping both our learning in the past and our approach as teachers. Supervising undergraduate students at Cambridge can be one of the most rewarding activities for PhDs and Postdocs and this course is designed to make sure that you can offer your best and hopefully be one of those memorable teachers for someone else.

This blended workshop incorporates personal reflection on teaching practice, discussion of real teaching scenarios, a chance to ask questions of an experienced supervisor and access to practical information about organising and carrying out your supervisions.

This training is required by many colleges before you can carry out supervisions and is always a popular course.

Target audience

Life Sciences PhD Students and Postdocs
Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here.


Completion of Pre-Workshop Online Materials

  • A short online package will be sent to all participants in advance of attending the workshop
  • This on line package will provide some background information on Cambridge undergraduate teaching and the role of the supervisor in enhancing student learning
  • This package is interactive in nature and you will be asked to consider your own perceptions about what it means to be a supervisor of undergraduate students

You should expect to spend 1-3 hours on this preparation. The amount of preparation time will vary, depending on whether you are familiar with the information in the module on UK secondary education and undergraduate supervision at Cambridge.


Number of sessions: 1

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Fri 14 Feb   10:00 - 12:30 10:00 - 12:30 Student Services Centre, Meeting Room CG18 map Dr Sam Byers

By the end of this course you will know:

  • the purpose of supervisions at Cambridge
  • how to deal with common supervision scenarios
  • how to provide effective feedback
  • the practicalities of starting to supervise

Topics covered:

Stage 1 – Online

  • Introduction to supervising (including what supervisions are, format, preparing for them)
  • Background information for those who need it (British education system, Cambridge undergraduate system)

Stage 2 - Face-to-face workshop

  • What good teaching looks like
  • Role of a supervisor
  • Dealing with different supervision scenarios
  • The purpose of feedback
  • The content of supervisions

Stage 3 – Online

  • Summary of what you have learnt
  • Practical tips and advice
  • Resources for ongoing support and information

A highly interactive workshop, involving group discussion, activities and Q&A components.
Come ready to contribute!

Post-workshop online package
  • After taking part in the face-to-face workshop, you will be given access to a permanent online resource which will include outputs from the workshop session, as well as more detailed information about aspects of supervision practices at the University of Cambridge.
  • It will provide information on topics such as effective feedback practices, reporting to college(s) on your supervisions using CamCORS, supervising students with disabilities, and effective questioning strategies.
  • In addition, the package will include links to useful discipline-specific materials such as departmental marking criteria and supervision guides.

Introductory online module sections 1-5: approximately 1-3 hours
Face-to-face: 2.5 hour session
Follow-up online module sections 6-10: approximately 1 hour


Multiple instances in Michaelmas and Lent


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