Study Abroad at Cambridge University

University of Cambridge Course Registration

The Cambridge System

Cambridge has a very unique system of education. Each degree program, or “Tripos” is divided into parts. Visiting students enroll in one part of the Tripos and take the same supervisions and exams as full-degree students. For example, an Economics major may enroll in Part II of the Economics Tripos, which would be what a second-year Cambridge undergraduate student would take.

In order to choose which aspects of a Tripos you will take, you will choose from amongst the different Papers (similar to American courses) offered from each degree program.

At Cambridge, classroom teaching is structured into in papers (or course titles) supervisions, lectures, and exams. Supervisions are the hallmark of the Cambridge educational system. A supervision consists of one professor and one to four students focusing on a specialized aspect of your subject of study. Supervisions are highly participatory and you will be responsible for reading and preparing for each supervision you attend.

Lectures are larger, often university-wide presentations on a particular subject. You will be expected to attend lectures but not necessarily to participate in them.

Exams are held at the end of the semester, and most or all of your grade will likely be determined by the exams you take. Exams at Cambridge typically take the form of several essay examinations, lasting three hours each.


Credit System

Visiting students at the University of Cambridge will receive credit based on the number of supervisions undertaken, with Spring students receiving approximately 24 credits. The total may vary depending on the department in which you enroll.


Selecting Departments

At Cambridge, you will choose one department in which you will take all of your papers and supervisions. You will work out the individual topics you will study within the broader subject upon your arrival at Cambridge.

You should have substantial academic experience in your area of study (it is strongly recommended that you have taken at least three college-level courses in your area of study).

In order to take supervisions or papers within a department, you need to have been accepted into that department.

It is not possible to take basic-level or general education courses while at Cambridge.

You may only enroll in one department at Cambridge; no cross-registration is permitted.

These are the departments you can choose:


Paper Selection

When Selecting Papers:

Please choose the Papers you would like from the list below.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If there are topics you need to study that are not listed below, contact your program manager.

Topics can vary considerably from year to year according to student interest and college/tutor availability and expertise. Flexibility is important, and neither Arcadia nor Cambridge can guarantee the availability of any specific Paper. Ask your program manager if you have questions.

When filling out the online course form:

  • Make sure to indicate the department to which you would like to apply.
  • List at least six Paper selections.
  • It is not necessary to indicate the term in which you would like to take each individual Paper.
  • Note that there are no pre-set course codes for Cambridge tutorials. Simply type “Cambridge” where a course code is required.



For assistance with any part of the application process, call Katharine Reinhart, your Senior Program Manager, at 1-866-927-2234, or email

Please review your course choices with your academic or study abroad advisor, and submit the online course registration form on your Arcadia Passport