University of Cambridge Courses

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.

  • Please review your courses with your academic or study abroad advisor to ensure they will transfer back to your home school and that you are following your home school’s policies.
  • Please be flexible – we can’t guarantee specific courses. If your participation in the program depends on a particular course, be sure to make a note on your online course form.

Special Considerations

The Cambridge system of education  is very unique. You may only enroll in one department at Cambridge; no cross-registration is permitted. Please read the below carefully.

Special Nomenclature

Degree Programs and Courses
Tripos: 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.

Example: An Economics major enrolls in Part II of the Economics Tripos, which would be what a second-year Cambridge undergraduate student would take.

Papers: 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.

Classroom Teaching
At Cambridge, classroom teaching is structured into in papers (or course titles) supervisions, lectures, and exams.

Supervisions: As 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: 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: 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.

Course Restrictions

  • You must have completed previously at least three college-level courses in your area of study.
  • You must be accepted into the department in which you plan to take supervisions or papers.
  • You may not take basic-level or general education courses while at Cambridge.
  • The following departments are not open to visiting students: natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, computer science, foreign languages, law, classics, music, management or geography.
  • Additionally, within all departments, there will be papers that are unavailable to visiting students.

Choosing Your Courses

  • Select one department in which you will take all of your papers and supervisions.
  • Choose Paper preferences using the course lists on the relevant faculty and department websites. Ask your program manager if you have questions about how to find paper topics.
  • Flexibility is important, and neither Arcadia nor Cambridge can guarantee the availability of any specific Paper. Some topics are not available each term or may require previous experience.


These are the departments from which you can choose:

  • Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic
  • Architecture
  • Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
  • Divinity
  • Economics
  • Education
  • English
  • History
  • History of Art
  • Philosophy
  • Politics and International Studies
  • Sociology

Enrollment Process

When filling out the online course form on your Arcadia Passport:

  • Make sure to indicate the department to which you would like to apply.
  • List at least four Paper selections (one alternate for each preferred selection) ranked in order of preference,
  • 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.
  • Once students are admitted to the program, Cambridge will provide advice on how to choose courses. You will enroll in two papers total, one in each of the two terms which comprise the semester.

Grade Scale for the United Kingdom - AACRAO EDGE

Percentage Description U.S. Equivalent
97 – 100% First Class A
93 – 96% Second Class Upper B+
90 – 92% Second Class Lower B
87 – 89% Third Class/Pass C
83 – 86% Fail F
Intellectual property copyright AACRAO EDGE.