How we Learn

How We Learn

At Cambridge we try to encourage each student to find their own voice and way of interpreting the ancient world.

Alongside lectures from world-experts in the field and larger classes, you get the opportunity every week to discuss your ideas in small groups of 2 or 3 with one of our teaching staff.

There’s no better way of working out exactly what you think.

“On the same day you might have a Greek language class and a lecture on Roman Art in the morning and a 1-to-1 supervision on Latin poetry in the afternoon.”


The supervision system is one of the most distinctive things about studying at Cambridge. Every week you meet with an academic and one or two other students for a “supervision”. This offers you the opportunity to study a particular issue in depth and to work out what you think about a particular aspect of the ancient world.

“Supervisions give you the chance to be challenged by others and scrutinise yourself. The three-way conversation really enables your ideas to evolve.” - Isabella

Language Classes

Learning Greek and Latin is a major part of the Classics course at Cambridge. We have an experienced team of dedicated language teachers who specialise in teaching the ancient languages at all levels from beginners to advanced students.

Art & Archaeology

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At the centre of the Classics Degree at Cambridge is private study. Each week you will be asked to prepare one or two essays about the topics you are studying, giving you the opportunity to delve into the primary sources and what other scholars have written for yourself, and to form your own opinions. In order to help you with this, your supervisor will give you a list of recommended reading with some starting points for thinking about the question you’re working on.


Cambridge is lucky in having a large enough Classics Faculty that we have teaching staff who specialise in all the major areas of study in the ancient world. You will often find yourselves in a Lecture being taught by the person who is the world expert on what you are studying. All lectures are open to all students so that, in addition to those directly relevant to your course, you are welcome to attend any of those that interest you.


Elishna & Isabella

Being at the same college, Elishna O’Donovan and Isabella Luta are regularly supervised together.

Isabella writes:
‘Supervisions give you the chance to  be challenged by others and scrutinise yourself. The three-way conversation really enables your ideas to evolve. I expected supervisions to be competitive, but they are actually about collaboration. I enjoy the different dynamics with different supervision partners.’