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Exeter College Online Tutorial Programme: About the Tutorials

The Exeter College Online Tutorial Programme is a unique opportunity to experience the Oxford University’s tutorial system with the added convenience of studying when you want to, remotely from anywhere in the world.

This is your chance to challenge yourself intellectually and conduct research work under the close supervision of a specialist in your subject.

The essence of the Oxford Tutorial is the one-to-one, discussion-based learning that is central to student life in Oxford. This individual attention and the exchange of ideas that take place in conversation between tutor and student are defining features of an Oxford University education. Regular tutorials allow progress to be very closely monitored and, if necessary, for additional support to be put in place.

Exeter College offers three different types of tutorial: (1) the Oxford Tutorial, (2) the Tailored Oxford Tutorial and (3) the Independent Research Tutorial. They are distinguished from one another by both the content of the tutorial and the manner of teaching.

(1) The Oxford Tutorial
This most closely resembles the undergraduate teaching and learning experience at the University of Oxford itself. You will choose from among a list of subjects (ranging across disciplines) offered this year. There will be a set of eight tutorials that follow the prescribed course and reading list. Each course will require submission of written work (an essay or problem set, for example) for each tutorial meeting, and this work will form the basis of your assessment.

(2) The Tailored Oxford Tutorial
This tutorial follows the same structure of teaching, of eight tutorials, and requires the same amount of written work (something for each tutorial meeting) which will form the basis of your assessment. It differs from (1) in that you will propose a subject, probably more specialised than those offered in (1), that you would like to pursue over eight tutorials. Acceptance is strictly dependent on our ability to find an expert tutor to teach you.

For examples, please see our list of ECOTP 2023:4 Topics and Economics papers.

(3) The Independent Research Tutorial
This is the most specialised of our tutorial offerings. For it, you propose a specific topic that you would like to research; you receive a series of six supervised tutorial sessions that will guide you in the preparation of a single sustained written research essay (3,000-5,000 words as agreed with your tutorial supervisor). To be accepted, you must submit a research proposal, and acceptance is strictly dependent on our ability to find an expert supervisor to lead you.

Both the Oxford and the Tailored Oxford Tutorials (1 and 2) are modelled on an 8-week Oxford term, with tutorials taking place once or twice a week, whereas the Independent Research Tutorial (3) prepares you for extended research on a tightly framed topic. The 8 sessions included in the Oxford and the Tailored Oxford Tutorials provide more structure and guidance through more regular meetings with your tutor, whereas the expectation of the Independent Research Tutorial is that you will use the additional time outside your weekly tutorials to undertake research.

Tutorials last an hour, during which time your tutor will give you feedback on work you have prepared on a particular topic. At the end of the tutorial, your tutor will set a new piece of work together with suggested readings for you to get ready for the next meeting. In between tutorials, you will be expected to prepare for your next tutorial by working independently.

The Tutorials are subject to the Academic Director’s approval and the availability of an expert in Oxford to guide your research. Submission of a proposal and payment of the fee is not therefore a guarantee of acceptance. We will do our very best to pair you with a suitable tutor, but if we are unable to do so we will give you the option of either modifying your research proposal or refunding your fee.