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for Undergraduates

UG CamGuides: How will I learn at Cambridge?

Different learning environments, both physical and online


In addition to face-to-face learning in lectures, supervisions and practicals, it is very likely that you will be learning online too: reading books and articles, completing problems or exercises, writing essays and communicating with staff by email. 

This section introduces some of the main modes of online learning; Online Communication is dealt with in the Skills section.

There is also lots of advice on working remotely

University Information Services

From email to software to storage, University Information Services (more commonly referred to as UIS) will provide a comprehensive support service.

Your college may also have an IT office with staff available to help you by email and/or in person. 

mac devices from IT matters guide

Before you arrive in Cambridge you should be issued with a CRSid, a unique identifier, which will form the basis of your email and be your username for most online resources provided by the university. If you haven't heard anything by the time you start university, ask your DoS or tutor for advice.

It is advisable to get your email set up as quickly as possible so that your college and department/faculty can contact you. This will be their primary mode of communication and you must check it regularly. 

lightbulb iconIT matters


Have a look at this quick start guide: Getting started with IT @ Cambridge, which will hopefully answer any questions you may have. For more information see their IT matters booklet.

See if you can find similar information about IT support on your college website.



Moodle is the university's Virtual Learning Environment or VLE. This is the place used by many courses to store information about your course, the papers you are studying and resources to support you in your learning. Some or all of these might be available to you:

  • Screen shot of Moodletimetable
  • handbook
  • lecture slides
  • audio recording of lectures
  • handouts
  • reading lists
  • digitised (scanned) readings
  • sample exam questions


Moodle is available to all University of Cambridge staff and students using their CRSid and Raven password. You may not have this until shortly before starting your course. Once you have access to Moodle, there are videos and documents available to help you get started. All you need to access Moodle is a computer, tablet or smartphone with an appropriate browser. Moodle supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer, but certain facilities will work better in more up-to-date versions.

You can only see the login page of Moodle when you have your username and password (CRSid). However, it might be worth bookmarking the link now, so that you know where to go to login when you start your course.


With thanks to:

Vamsi (Economics)

Sean (Computer Science)

Library resources

Huge numbers of books and most journal articles are available electronically, which means that you can carry out much of research at a distance from the physical library. There are exceptions to this but, in the main, you can can benefit from the added features such as:

  • full text searching,
  • bookmarking,
  • highlighting,
  • and downloadable references, wherever you are in the world.

Sometimes having a physical text in your hand is preferable. You may find it easier to read large chunks of text in this way and to move between sections. But the breadth of online resources gives you the flexibility to choose how and where you study.

Most are paid for by the university and so you need to have your CRSid before accessing resources online. You will need to connect to them through iDiscover, the Cambridge University Libraries catalogue, rather than search for them on Google.

Find out more on the How do I find books and articles from a reading list? pages.

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Sir Cam/ University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.

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