Academic Support

Undergraduate Students

Your Director of Studies (DoS) is responsible for providing academic support during your degree. Your DoS will meet with you regularly, at least twice a term, and will be able to arrange extra supervisions or further academic support if needed. They will also receive termly reports from your supervisors, which they will discuss with you, offering constructive feedback. It is important to work collaboratively with your DoS: they are there to help you do the best that you can.

Graduate Students

A Graduate Mentor will be assigned to you during your course. Their role is to provide academic support during your degree. Your Mentor will meet with you regularly, at least once a term, and will be able to offer academic advice if needed. They will also have access to any graduate supervisor reports. It is important to work collaboratively with your Mentor who will be a source of academic support at Newnham College.

Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows

The College has the benefit of a Royal Literary Fund (RLF) Writing Fellow who offers help with writing to all students of Newnham.

There is a Writing Fellow in College two days a week during Full Term. A Writing Fellow offers one-to-one assistance in confidential supervisions. They can give advice on all aspects of writing and structuring essays, dissertations, applications and reports; on aspects of English grammar and syntax; on strategies for planning and revising work; and on writing fluently and cogently. Supervisions with a Writing Fellow will help you to develop your writing skills. Many students find supervisions helpful; they can boost your confidence and your grades. A Writing Fellow does not offer an editing or proofreading service, but will help you to improve your writing yourself and to understand how to write effectively and well. (A Writing Fellow cannot give specialist help with dyslexia or English as a Second Language, though non-native speakers are very welcome to come for assistance on the same basis as native speakers.)

You don’t need to be referred by a member of the teaching staff; you can make an appointment with a Fellow directly by email. The Writing Fellow is funded by the Royal Literary Fund and make no reports to the College on students who attend.

For 2020-21 Zoe Howe is our Royal Literary Fellow. Zoë is a respected music biographer and novelist, known particularly for her work in support of women and marginalised cultural figures. The author of 13 books, her debut novel was shortlisted for the Virginia Prize, and UK music writing festival Louder Than Words announced her as their ‘Luminary’ in 2015.