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UG CamGuides: getting started with CamGuides

Information about what it is and how to get the most from it.

What is most relevant for an Arts, Humanities or Social Sciences (AHSS) student?

A student with notepad outside English FacultyIn suggesting sections of this resource for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) students, we acknowledge that there are different types of academic skills required by the many subjects that fall into this group. For Music students, it will be useful to to know about practicals, less so in other disciplines; a Linguistics essay is written very differently to one in the English Faculty. Your department will give you lots of subject-specific resources when you arrive, but we have suggested a few key areas you may wish to focus on to help you prepare for studying in Cambridge.

If you are an offer-holder you will be sent resources lists by your college for your subject to look at in advance of coming to Cambridge. All the lists are also available through the Wolfson College Library offer-holder page. 

Welcome to Cambridge

This whole section is relevant to everyone, regardless of discipline. It includes a map of the city to help you work out how to get from your college to your department, explains the different types of libraries you will have access to here and discusses using online timetables to work out where you need to be and when.

How will I learn in Cambridge?

The mixed modes of learning in Cambridge apply to all students: you will attend lectures and supervisions, as well as study online and independently. We hope too that you will continue to learn by taking part in one or more of the extra curricular activities on offer.

What skills will I develop as an undergraduate?

There are skills that are relevant to all students irrespective of discipline such as self-directed learningtime management, note making, verbal and online communication, and dealing with feedback

In addition, you may find the pages on critical reading and academic writing useful to help you think about how studying at university may be different to school or college.

How do I find books and articles from a reading list?

Almost all AHSS students will need to learn how to use reading lists and recognise the different types of references on them. This will enable you to find the resources you need for your course on iDiscover, the library catalogue, whether in a physical library or online.

You will have an offer-holder reading list sent to you with links to online material. If you have any problems accessing this list just email us at

How do I reference and avoid plagiarism?

As it is very likely that you will be writing essays as part of your course, you will need to learn how to keep track of what you have read and be able to cite works appropriately, both in-text and in a list of references or bibliography, so that you can distinguish your written ideas from those belonging to others. At some point you will be required to reference these works in the correct format for your department as part of good academic practice and to avoid plagiarism: passing off others' work as your own.

Subject-specific skills

There is lots of subject-specific advice on departmental webpages. Depending on your discipline, you may find the following online resources helpful too. This list is not exhaustive and your department will point you to resources that they specifically want you to look at. Many online resources are only available through Moodle; the University's Virtual Learning Environment, which you'll get access to shortly before or when you arrive.


Significant support for essay and exam writing.


Covering lecturers, supervisions, essays, solving short-answer problems, exams and feedback.


Resources to support every stage of the essay writing process.


Detailed information about how to write essay in both human and physical Geography.


Transitional information about studying History at Cambridge including time-management, lectures and supervisions, plus essay writing and revision.


Resources to support answering problem questions, how to use cases and statutes and referencing.

Modern and Medieval Languages

In addition to the resources on the Transkills pages for writing History essays and Literature essays, there is also an online toolkit especially for Linguistics. Aimed at supporting the transition to writing university-level essays, it is released when you are a few weeks into your course. It provides practical models in different areas of linguistics, as well as ways of improving study skills.

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Sir Cam/ University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.