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Graduate School of Life Sciences

An inspiring educational experience in a unique environment

Studying at Cambridge


Student Support

There are a number of support mechanisms open to students:


If you are experiencing problems with your research project, you should discuss these with your supervisor as soon as you can.  According to the Code of Practice, supervisors' responsibilities include establishing effective means of communication, responding to requests to meet and comments on work at various stages of development, and providing advice on personal development planning and skills development.     

College Tutor

Each student is allocated a College Tutor who is there to provide advice about any pastoral, academic, financial or emotional problems you may be experiencing, and can also be a source of general advice and support on academic matters.  You should talk to your supervisor if you are experiencing any difficulties, or if you are unwell and need to intermit your studies.  Your College Tutor will have access to progress reports submitted by your supervisor and can act as your advocate should any disputes arise.

Departmental Graduate Education Committee

Most Departments or Partner Institutions have a Graduate Education Committee, the Chair of which is the Director of Graduate Education for that Department.  Directors oversee the progress of students within their Department and can act as a first port-of-call regarding any difficulties that cannot be resolved between individuals directly and may act as an intermediary between a Supervisor and student when difficulties arise. 

Graduate Union

The Graduate Union if the University-wide representative body for all graduate students at the University of Cambridge.  GU is situated on the Mill Lane site and is staffed by a number of officers, such as the President and Student Support Officer.  Student members of the Graduate School of Life Sciences are automatically members of the GU.  General information on the GU can be found on their website. The 'Academic' section of the GU website also provides a wealth of advice on carrying out research, expectations of your supervisor and what do to when things go wrong.   

Cambridge University Student Union (CUSU)

CUSU represents students at the University, including postgraduates.  CUSU works by bringing together students from all colleges and departments to campaign for positive change in Cambridge. As well as CUSU, you also are also represented at College level by JCRs and MCRs, and by elected student reps in your Faculties.  Further information can be found on their website.

Careers Service 

The Careers Service can provide advice and support on career development.  Further information can be found on their website.

Counselling Service

The University's Counselling service is available for all students and staff at the University.  Students can meet with Counsellors to discuss issues that may be affecting them and/or can download a number of self-help leaflets.  Further information can be found on their website.  

Disability Resource Centre

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) provides advice and support to students with disabilities or learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia or dyspraxia).  Further information can be found on their website.  

Student Linkline

Student Linkline: tel: 01223 744444 7pm-7am during term time or anytime on 08457 909 090 email: Linkline is a listening, support and information service.


External Sources of support:

  • Your G. P. (Cambridge or Home)
  • Drinksense,185 East Road, Cambridge, tel: 01223 350 599 email:
  • Samaritans: 4 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge. You can call round in person between 9.00am-10.30pm or you can phone the local helpline tel. 01223 364 455, or the national helpline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 08457 909090
  • Centre 33 : Young People's Information Counselling Service, 33 Clarendon Street, tel. 01223 316448 email:

Welcome to the Graduate School of Life Sciences

We are the largest centre for research and professional training in the Life Sciences in the UK, offering a very special experience to a community of around 2000 graduate students across departments within the School of the Biological Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine and eleven University Partner Institutes in the Cambridge area.

Every year some of the world's brightest and most determined students are attracted by the opportunity to carry out research projects with renowned scientists in a vibrant, multidisciplinary environment at one of the world's most respected research-led universities.

The School co-ordinates funding opportunities within the Life Sciences for their postgraduate education, as well as ensuring students receive the highest quality supervision and training.