Supervision and Course Direction
Supervision is the term used in Oxford for the teaching and other academic support that graduate students receive from their supervisors. This supervision varies according to the stage that students have reached in their course of study (Doctoral or Masters course), and according to the academic discipline in which they're working.
In the physical and natural sciences, for instance, most graduate students join a group headed by their supervisor, a senior scientist, who is responsible for the project as a whole and for their supervision in particular. Most science graduate students would see their supervisors frequently, perhaps every working day in the labs.
In the humanities and social sciences, a student’s research is supervised by a senior scholar in the area in question who meets with them on a one-to-one basis as the need arises. These individual sessions may be supplemented by seminars or classes arranged by the Faculty or Department.
In all subjects, the appointment of supervisors is arranged through the Graduate Studies Committee of the relevant University Faculty or Department. In the case of some Masters courses, of which much or all study is taught through seminars, the work of students is supervised by the professors and lecturers who run the seminars and is under the overall direction of a Departmental Course Director.
In addition to their departmental supervisors, students have the support of a College Advisor based at St John's.