Academic Matters

Intermission/Deferral/Remote Study

If you wish to intermit, defer, or pursue your course without being resident in Cambridge because you are concerned about your health and safety, please refer to this webpage: You should particularly note the criteria under which such requests can be made.

You should also discuss your concerns with your Tutor. If you are a Fresher and have not yet been allocated a Tutor, please contact

Academic and study spaces

The pressures on College space have increased considerably. Supervisions, Tutor meetings and other academic meetings must be held safely.   Where groups are larger than two or three people, you may find that your meetings are taking place in other than the normal venues.  You may find yourself having a supervision in the Chapel or in the Heong Gallery!

The need to provide a safe environment also means that we have lost some flexibility in the way we can use our space.   Communal areas such as the Butterfield Café and the Library have already been affected.   The College will continue to look at ways to optimise the amount of study and social space that we can make available; but, at least in the first term - you may find yourself working in your room more than you may have done in the past.  

Please take a look at ‘College Places and Spaces’ for the latest updates.

Supervisions and academic meetings

The College is committed to ensuring that you should have as much access to in-person teaching as is safely possible. A thorough risk assessment process has been undertaken. You can have confidence that academic meetings in Downing will be held in an environment that is operated in line with current Government and University guidance. Your meetings and supervisions will be socially distanced, with additional measures in place to minimise risks. If meetings are held in a College building, you will be expected to wear a face covering unless there is reason why this is not possible. If you are unable to wear a face covering,  you must discuss this with the person hosting the supervision or meeting at your earliest opportunity so that an appropriate arrangement can be made. More details about the conduct of supervisions and what you can expect from your supervisors and your peers will be published closer to the start of term.

Pastoral Support

The College is committed to ensuring that you have full access to support through your Tutor or Graduate Tutor. Meetings may be in person or virtually, as suits both you and your Tutor or Graduate Tutor. Tutors and Graduate Tutors will be in touch with you to explore options closer to the beginning of term.