How you’ll study
We’re proud of our high quality teaching and research and Hertford. You’ll be at the heart of our small and supportive academic community.
Some of your teaching will be organized by your faculty or department, such as lectures or seminars which are open to students at all colleges. Drawing on expertise from across the University and beyond, this teaching will often be delivered by leading international experts in their field. If you study a science, you’ll also learn in laboratory-based practical work organized by the University.
Most of your teaching, however, will occur through college-based tutorials and classes. These small-group settings are a great way to engage with your fellow students and have high-quality contact time with tutors. Your Hertford tutors will normally teach the core subjects for your course. Where we do not have the relevant expertise – such as when you choose specialist options – academic experts based in other colleges will teach you.
Tutorials are often like a conversation; there’s often no clear right or wrong answers to the work you’ll be discussing. Normally you will have prepared an essay or sheet of problem questions in advance, working to a reading list drawn up by your tutor. The tutorial will provide you with an opportunity to explore difficult concepts that you have encountered in your reading or work beforehand, and to develop and refine your arguments and ideas. Tutorials normally last for around an hour and – although you might have some on your own – will normally be with one or two other students.
Independent study is really important if you want to get the most out of tutorials. If you’ve done the reading and thinking in advance of the tutorial, you should expect it to be an intellectually challenging experience. You should also expect it to feel like hard (but rewarding) work, where your arguments improve through being tested in discussion and debate. Successful tutorials are those to which students and tutors both contribute, and are both challenged.