Teaching & Learning

A good deal of the teaching in Oxford is provided through lectures, seminars, fieldwork and practicals within your subject department, so please do visit the course pages to find out more about what your course may offer. However, the majority of your teaching will occur through college-based tutorials and classes.



Tutorials are often like a conversation in a small group; there’s often no clear right or wrong answers to the work you’ll be discussing. Students are expected to work independently in advance, and then be expected to talk in depth about their ideas and opinions relating to that week's reading or problems. Although this might sound a bit daunting, we find that students soon grow in confidence, learning from one another and developing the skills required. Tutorials are a great way to explore new ideas and to develop your critical thinking skills.

There is at least one tutor in College for all subjects on offer, who will arrange all the teaching and oversee the academic progress of their students. Tutorial teaching allows you the freedom to push yourself academically and direct your own learning. Equally, tutors are able to monitor your progress closely, help you with any problems with your work at a very early stage, or signpost you to additional support.

Independent studying is a core part of learning at university, the college library is an excellent resource.

Oxford also offers a whole range of fascinating talks on different subjects which are available for anyone to attend. You can find out what else you might be interested in hearing about by visiting the University events listings.

We offer different ways to enhance your learning experience at Pembroke;  

  • Tutorials Plus provides access to funds to enrich your learning, supporting activities such as subject talks or visits to subject specific learning opportunities.  
  • Your academic progress is recognised through attending an annual academic review, giving you time to discuss your learning with the Master, Academic Director and your college tutor.
  • We have Study Skills tutors who will spend time with you individually or in groups to support you in developing the skills to succeed academically.
  • We value your feedback and encourage you to discuss your learning, provide feedback on teaching, and help your subject reps to develop and enhance your learning experience.
  • We celebrate your success too, with Schools’ dinners, formal dinners to celebrate the award of Scholarships and Exhibitions, and the Leavers’ Dinner as just some examples.


Student Q&A: Academic Life