A Guide to the Tutorial System

The idea of the tutorial system is something that most students in Oxfordshire likely already know. That said, not everyone understands the full range of benefits of tutorial teaching and what they can bring to the table for those willing to give it a try. Pursuing academic excellence can be stressful, after all, so it’s never a bad idea to have a few options to help broaden your horizons.

What is the tutorial System?

The tutorial system consists of small groups of undergraduate students, being taught weekly by college fellows as the main compulsory method of teaching. Preparing for these sessions requires reading, thinking and writing, which is where much of the learning takes place. The practise has been an integral part of Oxford University since the 1800’s, and replaces optional lectures and seminars with a tutor.

With the constant improvements in AI technology casting doubt on authenticity of coursework, it could be the pedagogical model alternative as it creates assessment opportunities in manageable group sizes.

Is the Tutorial System a better way of learning?

There are always pro’s and cons to every learning environment, but the famed Oxford and Cambridge education use the model for a reason and has spawned many key figures in society. In standard schooling, bigger schools mean students do not get the attention they may require. So a smaller classroom has long been suggested as the ideal.

The tutorial system requires 12-16 tutorials in an 8 week term, with 15 hours prep time for each session. This style of learning promotes critical thinking and research.

This can typically benefit the organised and structured students more, but this is why it’s used at A-Level and University higher education as applicants are more dedicated and motivated for the academic programme.

There debate that these tutorials do not foster teamwork, and that the academic equal standing can inflate the attendees ego and self-importance in the world.

study group
Tutorial groups with fellow student enhance academic progress

What reasons would I have to go for a tutorial system education?

There are plenty of reasons why people might want to push for a tutorial system. For example, those who want to go the extra mile and experience another perspective related to their course would do well to try a tutorial service. It’s also quite easy to suffer from burnout when going through something like an A-level course, which is why it’s often a good idea to get another perspective from inspirational tutors that can help brainstorm new ideas and perspectives.

It’s also understandable to feel like you can’t tackle specific courses independently. Fortunately, eager students don’t have to go through the trials and tribulations of studying on their own, especially when there are methods to make the learning process easier.

Are tutorial systems mandatory for students?

It depends on the education establishment and their pedagogic model. Attendees to the Oxford Tutorial College for sixth form or retaking A-Levels develop a tutorial system tailor-made educational experience.

Why would I go for a tutorial if I’m already suffering from the workload?

It’s recommended that you go for a tutorial specifically because you are suffering from the workload. Tutorials are there to offer a new perspective and a different way to solve the issues present in your current course. The tutors are also there to help you balance out your lifestyle, offering exercises that allow you to make the most out of your lessons without taking up too much of your time.

There are situations where the typical learning process for a course might not be enough for a student to succeed. In such scenarios, it’s best to have a one-on-one session with tutors to help you through your most significant issues. Tutorial services are there to help lighten the workload by offering new methods to learn.


If your studies are stressing you out, it might be a good idea to go through the Oxford tutorial system to help improve your chances of passing your courses. As stated above, tutorials also offer help for those looking to retake courses with more dedicated learning.