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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 STEMM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) students?

Engineering student with a robotIn suggesting sections of this resource for STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) students, we acknowledge that there are different types of academic skills required by the many subjects that fall into this group. For Biological Sciences, for example, the academic writing section will be important, while for Maths and Engineering, this may be less relevant. 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. As a STEMM student it is likely that you will also have practicals, labs and/or classes. We hope too that you will continue to learn by taking part in one or more of the extra curricular activities on offer here.

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.

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

As a STEMM student, you will probably need to consult a smaller number of texts than Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences student. It is still useful, however, to learn how to use reading lists and recognise the different types of references on them. This will enable you to find the key texts that are recommended for your course 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

Subject-specific resources

In addition to the generic advice we provide on CamGuides for Undergraduates, there are lots of subject-specific advice on departmental webpages. For example, the Department of Engineering give their students tips on report writing. Depending on your discipline, you may find the following online resources helpful too. This is not an exhaustive list 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; you'll get access to this shortly before or when you arrive.

Please note that these links will open in this tab and take you out of CamGuides for Undergraduates:

Biological Sciences

Lots of tips and advice provided for first year students in response to feedback from supervisors within the Biological Sciences at Cambridge.  The resources are designed to support transition from school/college into academic and exam writing at University.


Isaac Chemistry is a new and developing site. It contains problems designed for understanding at a level for students about to start Chemistry at university. Please note that to access the remainder of the content, you can buy a hard copy of the book at a cost.


Resources are available those studying maths and for scientists using maths. There are generic materials and those specialised for specific disciplines on the Transkills site.


Isaac Physics, created at the University of Cambridge, offers lots of interactive problems to help you prepare for studying the subject at university. It recommends that you revise and precise your skills over the summer and with this resource you can check your answers online.

Image credits

Sir Cam/ University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.