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Law at Cambridge is taught via a combination of lectures and supervisions.


1 lecture = 1 hour

8-12 lectures/week

Up to 200 students/lecture

Lectures are given by experts in the field and aim to provide a synopsis of the relevant legal rules and encourage students to engage with the law critically – for example, by examining how clear the rules are, what social objectives they should serve, and whether they are in need of reform.


1 supervision = 1 hour

2-3 supervisions/week

2-4 students/supervision

Supervisions are a form of small-group teaching at Cambridge that encourages students to engage with the material through discussion. Your supervisions will be led by an academic who is an expert in the particular topic at hand, often someone who has written books or articles on the subject. For each subject you study, you can expect to have one supervision every two weeks, meaning that in your first year, as you study the 4 required first year papers, you will typically have two supervisions each week.

For each supervision, you will typically be asked to complete some reading and use that reading to answer some questions set in advance. You will then meet with your supervisor and two or three of your peers to discuss what you have read, deal with any problems you encountered, and apply what you have learned. The small group format encourages every student to engage with discussion, and offers a unique chance to tailor the pace of your learning.

You can seek clarification on issues you’ve been struggling with, probe deeper into topics that interest you, and listen to some opposing viewpoints from your peers. Supervisions are also a unique opportunity to engage personally with academics who share your particular interests.

In addition, you will submit an average of five pieces of written work per subject to your supervisor. Although these marks will not contribute to your final grade, the regular feedback is designed to help you develop your skills ahead of your exams. The individual attention and support that students receive at Cambridge through their supervisions is one of the primary reasons why students love studying Law at Cambridge.

Will, 2nd year Law Student

Will talks about the differences between lectures and supervisions, and the way they work together to deliver the undergraduate Law degree at Cambridge.