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The Tutorial System
Safeguarding this unique form of teaching in perpetuity

We believe that the tutorial is the best way to challenge, stimulate and educate our students.

Over 450 undergraduate students thrive at the House, benefitting from generous grants, exceptional facilities, and support from more than 50 specialist college tutors. It is vital that political and economic pressures do not force us to compromise on this support for future generations of talented students.

Existing tutorial posts increasingly have to be solely funded by the House, rather than shared with the University, if Christ Church wishes to keep the existing number of teaching posts. We also need to invest in the development of the next generation of academics and their ground-breaking research. To continue to offer the best teaching, and encourage and back world class research, we are striving to fund the entire cost of the tutorial system and protect it in perpetuity. The General Tutorial Endowment Fund enables us to do this.

Current Subject Specific Funds


Teddy Burn

In 2019, the Governing Body agreed to establish the Teddy Burn Law Endowment Fund to honour Teddy’s great service to the House. The purpose of the Fund is to ensure the continuation of tutorial teaching of law by securing funding for one of the current Law tutorial posts. Thanks to generous contributions from alumni and friends, the current value of the fund is £1.5m. To secure a tutorial post in perpetuity, we were seeking further support from Old Members and friends of Christ Church to grow the Fund to at least £3.1m by the end of 2025, the year of Christ Church’s 500th anniversary.

Law at Christ Church remains amongst the most sought-after degree courses at Oxford and continues to thrive, thanks to:

  • one of the largest and most complete college law libraries;
  • a lively group of law students, amongst the largest of any Oxford college, whose diversity is increased by our continuing commitment to the four-year course in Law with Law Studies in Europe;
  • the advantage of three law tutors who together teach most of the compulsory subjects for the course, ensuring our students benefit from close personal supervision throughout their time.
 

Christ Church’s literary legacy spans its 500-year history: from Robert Burton to Harold Acton, Lewis Carroll to F.W. Bain, John Crowe Ransom to W.H. Auden.

Over 25 undergraduate English students thrive at the House, combining a love of reading and learning with the willingness to think hard about the ways and means of particular works and the whys and wherefores of literary history and argument. Guided by three specialist college tutors, the opportunity for our students to immerse themselves in their love for literature in such an historic environment is invaluable.

 

Over 15 undergraduate Geography students thrive at the House, benefitting from generous grants for field work and for book purchases, an excellent collection of texts in the college library, and support from two specialist college tutors.

“Geography is unique in bridging the divide between the social and physical sciences which gives new and original insight into ‘why places are as they are’ … We can be confident that anyone who has been through the tutorial system has been given the opportunity and help needed to develop their full potential, and beyond” – Emeritus Professor Judith Pallot, First Woman Official Student at the House.

 

Over 50 undergraduate Modern Languages and joint degree students thrive at the House, benefitting from generous grants and support for their year abroad, a large, vibrant community of linguists, and support from six specialist college tutors.

Language learning in schools has declined in recent years but its utility is stronger now than ever, and our students are filled with passion. The courses combine intellectual training – how to analyse, argue, read meanings that lie below the surface of language – with the acquisition of practical skills, and the tutorial system allows our students to work with a tutor who knows them, developing their personal strengths, weaknesses, and interests.

 

We are determined to preserve tutorial teaching for future generations of talented undergraduates. Over 20 undergraduate Chemistry students thrive at the House, benefitting from generous grants and support for vacation-time lab placements, a large, vibrant community of chemists, and support from two specialist college tutors.

The tutorial system allows our students to work with a tutor who knows them, developing their personal strengths, weaknesses, and interests. The experience is undoubtedly tough, but the intellectual stimulus and academic support at the House is enormous, and the rewards are great: in recent years typically 80% or more of any given cohort in Chemistry have finished with First Class Honours. It is vital that we protect this opportunity, which brings out the very best in our students.

 

If you are interested in making a contribution to a tutorial subject not listed above, please contact the Development Director at philippa.roberts@chch.ox.ac.uk or by phone, 01865 286582.

Help ensure that students following in your footsteps benefit from the same teaching experience that you received.

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