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Submitting the Hard Bound Thesis (Doctoral students)

Final approval for the PhD or EdD is conditional on you submitting a hard bound copy of the thesis for deposit in the University Library.

What are the requirements for the hardbound submission?

The minimum requirements for the Hardbound thesis are as follows:

  • hard bound (hand stitched and not stuck)

  • cover colour is up to you

  • your thesis title, your initials and surname reading down the spine

  • letter colour must be gold

  • a completed Deposit and Copying of Dissertation Declaration Form - this form must be bound inside each copy of the thesis as the very first page - that is, before the title page. You must sign the form to confirm that the work submitted is identical to that which was examined, excepting corrections as required by your Examiners. You can download and sign a copy for your thesis binder - if you are submitting remotely remember to sign the form and then email a scanned copy to your binder, advising that this form must be bound inside each copy of the thesis as the very first page - that is, before the title page.

  • a copy of your Summary/Abstract with your name and dissertation title on it. This must be bound inside the thesis following the title page.

What else do I need to submit?

A loose copy of the Summary, identical to that included in the final version. The summary should include the dissertation title and your name. This is for library classification.


Where can I have my dissertation bound with hard covers?

There are a number of bookbinders available; two Cambridge Bookbinders are:

Where do I submit my thesis?

Submit your hard bound thesis to the address below:

Student Registry
Academic Division
University of Cambridge
4 Mill Lane Cambridge

What if I am submitting from overseas?

The two Cambridge Bookbinders listed above accept an electronic copy of the thesis and will arrange for printing, binding and delivery to the Student Registry.

A copy of the Summary/Abstract - with your full name and the title of the thesis at the top can be emailed to

How many copies of the dissertation must I submit?

One copy is required for the University Library. However, the following Departments require a second copy, usually for their own library.  Submit both copies to the Student Registry:

  • Chemical Engineering

  • Earth Sciences

  • History and Philosophy of Science

  • Judge Business School

  • Veterinary Medicine

Is there any help with the cost of binding my thesis?

Thesis binding expenses up to £30 are available for students registered for a PhD, MSc, MLitt who are able to demonstrate financial hardship. Forms are available from the Graduate Tutor of your college.

How will the Student Registry contact me?

It is important to ensure your mailing address, email address(es) and telephone numbers are updated over the 12 months following the submission of your dissertation. We will primarily contact you by email. Following your full approval, however, you will be emailed and sent a hard copy of the Approval Letter. Update your details via CamSIS Self Service

Including a CD-Rom (or other item)

You may seek permission through the CamSIS Self Service page to submit a CD-Rom or other item with your dissertation. Datasets supplied on a CD as a separate item or an additional volume connected to the printed thesis but not included within it require this permission. This process should be initiated prior to the soft bound submission.

Uploading an electronic version of your thesis (e-thesis) to the University repository

You are encouraged to upload an electronic version of your thesis to the University repository, Apollo. You can do this using the upload form at where you will also find further information.

If you have any questions or concerns about making your thesis available online, please visit the Office of Scholarly Communication’s theses pages at, or contact

Restricted access to thesis

You may request that access to your dissertation be restricted. There are strict rules concerning restriction of access, which is affected by legislation. The University is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). The FOIA gives a general right of access to all information held by the University, including information held in the University Library. As a matter of normal practice the University will only make dissertations available in accordance with the restrictions candidates place. However, if someone specifically asks to see a dissertation, the University must give them access unless the material qualifies for an exemption under the Act.

Some exemptions relevant to dissertations are as follows:

  • the contents constitute a trade secret, or its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person

  • disclosure would be likely to endanger an individual's health or safety

  • disclosure would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by the owner of that information

  • publication would cause the candidate or third parties mentioned in the text to be open to legal challenge or racial, ethnic, political or other persecution.

    Limiting the scope for competition from other scholars to publish on the topic concerned is not generally recognised to be a valid reason - nor is preparing the thesis for publication.

What if I have signed a confidentiality agreement with a sponsor regarding the research results?

You should ask your supervisor to check whether it will be necessary to ask the examiners to sign a confidentiality agreement regarding the contents of the dissertation for the period of the examination and for any period thereafter for which restricted access may be granted. If so, the Degree Committee office will arrange for this to be done.

For how long can my dissertation be restricted?

In most cases the Board of Graduate Studies will limit the period of restriction to two years from the date of the degree being approved. However, if you are prevented under the terms of a commercial contract from making your work publicly available the Board will not expect this restriction to exceed three months. The Board also recognizes that in some circumstances, access to dissertations and summaries might reasonably be restricted for a longer period of time.

Please note: if your Degree Committee requires a second copy of the dissertation to be retained in the department library, you need to ask the departmental librarian about restriction of access under the FOIA.

For further information on Intellectual Property rights please see the Research Office website.

How do I apply to restrict access to my dissertation?

If you believe any of the above categories apply to your dissertation (or if you have another reason for exemption under the Freedom of Information Act), you should make an application through your CamSIS Self Service, uploading any relevant supporting documentation, before you submit your dissertation for examination.  If someone asks to see a dissertation, the University will use this information to decide whether or not to refuse the request.

My period of restricted access is coming to an end - can I apply for a new period of restricted access?

At the end of this period the restriction will be automatically lifted unless the Board hears from you, well in advance, giving reasons for requesting a further period of restricted access. You will need to make a manual application for a further extension by using the Restricted Access to Thesis Renewal Application Form. The form can be downloaded below. Please note that it is your responsibility to get the form signed by your Supervisor and Head of Department before taking/sending it to your Degree Committee.