A note from the Senior Tutor
Progress: The College will obviously take a keen interest in your academic progress. This is monitored both through the termly reports of your Supervisores to the Directors of Studies and Tutors, and through the annual University or College examinations. Serious underperformance may entail an appearance before the College's Education Committee. Anyone who fails to meet College and University requirements in academic matters may be required to go out of residence.
Directors of Studies: Directors of Studies will wish to see you at specified times and will be available for consultation at other times. These details will be found either on the notice boards, or your Director of Studies will write to you at the beginning of term with this information.
Examination entry: Members of the College are responsible, in collaboration with their Director of Studies, for entering themselves for the correct examination papers. Examination entries have to be completed early in the Michaelmas Term. As a student, you will log on to CamSIS, the University database, and enroll directly on-line. You will do this in consultation with your Director of Studies, who will then need to approve your entry. Early in the Lent Term it will be necessary to check and sign an examination verification form. Once published, you will be able to view your examination timetable on-line. Students must ensure that they respond promptly to Praelectorial notices. There are no fines for incorrect entries, but no alterations will be accepted by the University Registry after mid-March.
Prizes: Scholarships and Prizes are awarded in June to those who are placed in the First Class in an examination.
Libraries: Access can be obtained to the College Libraries at all hours. They are designed as working libraries for all junior members. Requests for new purchases may be made direct to the Librarian or through Directors of Studies. Library books may be borrowed for short periods, on the understanding that Library rules are properly observed.
Computing: Computers for use by junior members are avalable in the Libraries and in computer rooms on the main site and at St Chad's. All undergraduate rooms have sockets allowing connection to the main University network (which, in turn, allows access to the internet). Students may need to purchase an appropriate card before their own computers can be connected to this network; for further details refer to the note from the Computer Officer.
Those who achieve First Class results or the equivalent at the end of any academic year will be elected into a scholarship to the value of £100. They will also be awarded a College Prize, again to the value of £100. They will be invited to the Gostlin Dinner for Scholars, held in the Michaelmas Term each year.
Those who achieve First Class results at the end of their first year will be placed in a preferential section of the Room Ballot for Third-year accommodation in College [second-year accommodation is already allocated by the time the results are available].
Those who achieve First Class results in three or more years will be elected Senior Scholars of the College.
Those who fail to be classed with Honours (ie, fail to achieve at least a Third Class Honours Pass) in any year will be required to withdraw from the College and the University, unless there are judged to be compelling medical or personal reasons for this failure.
Those who are placed in the Third Class will be as a matter of course asked to meet with the College's Education Subcommittee on Academic Performance, even though in many cases there may well be compelling medical or personal reasons involved. This Subcommittee is not a disciplinary institution and its role is to encourage and support better academic progress rather than offer negative criticism.
Those who are believed to have significantly underperformed expectation (even though not placed below the Second Class) may also be asked to see the Subcommittee, with the same constructive end in view.
Medical and Veterinary Sciences Tripos (MVST) The first year students (Part IA) be aware that they must not only pass their examinations, but they must gain exemption from the second MB examination. They are permitted one resit if they fail to qualify in their Part 1A examination. Failure to obtain the qualifying mark will necessitate the removal of the candidate from the course and consquently their transfer to another Tripos. Similarly, failure to qualify in the Part 1B examinations will result in removal from the MVST course.
It is very much in students' interest to recognise that their priority at University must be academic success. Excellent results in later years of the course are built one upon another, and there is no 'final' degree result as such; the degree certificate you will receive at the Senate House on Graduation day reads 'Bachelor of Arts', nothing more. You will also be provided with an Academic Transcript listing all of your results, in all years and in all papers, so consistent excellence (or a rising curve of achievement) are obvious advantages.
For some students, first- or second-year results will determine their available options in their Part II subjects or even whether they may progress to a fourth year. For others, excellent results will enable Directors of Studies to persuade the best supervisors in the University to teach them, on the grounds that their mutual effort will be rewarded. For all, the results will determine whether they get the postgraduate place (and - equally important - funding) which they may want, or that they are able to out-compete their rivals in the job market.
Commitment to academic excellence is therefore your best investment in your own future. I am not in any sense trying to argue that you should do nothing but work; quite the contrary, because a broad but manageable range of interests will benefit you in many ways, even academically, but you must retain a proper sense of priorities and in particular not overcommit yourself too soon to a myriad of attractive extracurricular activities which turn out to be incompatible with academic success. Your Director of Studies and your Tutor are here to help you get the balance right.
Work hard and you will enjoy your work; enjoy your work and you will want to work hard.