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.

Postgraduate Students

A Postgraduate Mentor will be assigned to you during your course. Their role is to provide academic support during your degree. Your Mentor will arrange an initial meeting with you, and further meetings if required, and they 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. The Writing Fellow is in College two days a week during Full Term. They offer 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 makes no reports to the College on students who attend.

Claudine Toutoungi is Newnham’s RLF Writing Fellow for 2023-24, and she is based in the Helen Gladstone Room, in Sidgwick (go past the Housekeeping Office G21, up the stairs on the left, turn left at the top, and follow signs for the Sidgwick Study Room at the end of the corridor). Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11am – 7pm during Full Term. To book an appointment, please email

For more details on academic support, please read Academic Work: What to expect and what you must do