Difference Between Seminar and Tutorial

Key Difference – Seminar vs Tutorial

Seminar and tutorials are two kinds of meetings or gatherings in which a transfer of knowledge take place. A seminar is a conference or a meeting for discussion or training. A tutorial is an interactive and informal class which involves a tutor and a small group of students. However, the term seminar is sometimes used in certain contexts to refer to a tutorial. The key difference between seminar and tutorial is the number of participants. A tutorial involves a very small group of students where as seminar involves a larger number of participants who are interested in that particular subject.  

What is a Tutorial?

A tutorial is a learning process which involves a college or university tutor providing tuition to an individual or a very small group of students. Tutorials are more specific, informal and interactive than lectures and often provide practical information about a subject.

The exact function and nature of a tutorial vary according to different education systems. In some universities, tutorials are led by a lecturer whereas in some other universities, they may be led by postgraduate or honors students, who are known as ‘tutors’. The number of students in a tutorial can also vary. In South African, Australian and New Zealand universities, a tutorial may have 10 – 30 students, whereas universities in the UK have less than 10 students in tutorials. Some universities also offer tutorials to individual students. Tutorials help students to complete assigned activities, discuss and clarify problems in study topics and develop specific skills.

Difference Between Seminar and Tutorial

What is a Seminar?

A seminar is a form of an interactive meeting where a group of people gets together to discuss a selected topic. A seminar is always led by a seminar instructor or leader who directs the discussion along the desired path.

A seminar can have more than one purpose. For example, a group of people might get together to discuss and academic subject to gain better knowledge and insight into the subject. But there can also be other forms of seminars that impart skills or knowledge to the participants. For example, a seminar may be on the subject of real estate, investing, web marketing, etc. and the participants will gain tips and knowledge about the topic of discussion. Seminars are also a good place for like-minded people to meet and make contacts.

In the academic context, the term seminar may also refer to an informal class where a topic is discussed by a teacher and a small group of students.

Key Difference - Seminar vs Tutorial

What is the difference between Seminar and Tutorial?


Seminar: Seminar is a group of people getting together to discuss an educational topic.

Tutorial: In a tutorial, a tutor provides tuition to an individual or a very small group of students.


Seminar: Seminars may have a large number of people.

Tutorial: A tutorial has a small number of students.


Seminar: Seminars may be organized by academic institutions or commercial organizations.

Tutorial: Tutorials take place in academic institutions such as universities.


Seminar: The topic can be related to academics, business, finance, IT, etc.

Tutorial: Academic-related topics are discussed.

Image Courtesy:

“Creative Commons Japan Seminar-200709-1.” By creativecommonsjp (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia

“Seminar Bard College Berlin, 2013″ By Irina.stelea – I took this photo on February 8, 2013, during a seminar (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia