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Prior to an examination, students are required to ensure that the following issues are observed or relevant paperwork submitted where required.

Submission Date

When should I submit my dissertation?

You must submit your dissertation as follows:

  • Phd students should submit from the first day of the 9th term
    part-time PhD students should submit from the first day of the 15th term
  • MSc or MLitt students should submit from the first day of the 6th term
    part-time MSc or MLitt students should submit from the first day of the 10th term.
  • You may submit earlier only if you have been have been granted an exemption from up to 3 full-time (5 part-time) terms of research.

When is my 'End of Registration Date'?

You are expected to submit before your registration with the University ends; that is the date that is indicated on your CamSIS Self-Service pages. However, you may submit earlier than this date, but no later than the last day of your fourth year if you are a full-time student and the last day of the seventh year if you are a part-time student (30th September if you are an October starter), unless you have been granted permission by the Board to extend the date you remain registered. It is expected however, that MSc/MLitt candidates should aim to submit around the 7th full-time (12th part-time) term.

How is my Submission Date determined?

The day you hand in your dissertation (or the day it arrives at the Student Registry) will be the date recorded on your student record as being your submission date. This date is reported to funding bodies in response to their requests for submission statistics. The only exception would be if the deadline date falls on a weekend or during a public holiday, in which case, you should submit your dissertation before the weekend or public holiday. If you submit during these times, the dissertation will be recorded on the system as the first working day back.


Extending Your 'End of Registration Date'

Can I extend my 'End of Registration Date'?

You must submit your dissertation by the last day of the fourth year after you were registered as a full-time candidate for your degree (or the last day of the seventh year after you were registered as a part-time candidate for the degree).

You may apply to extend your 'End of Registration Date' online using your Self-Service pages. This requires your supervisor's agreement. When seeking an extension, it is important to be realistic about the date of submission. There is heavy pressure on departments for all PhDs to be submitted within 4 full-time (7 part-time) years of starting. Degree committees may not agree to grant an extension beyond 4 (7) years, except in cases of illness (supported by a medical letter) or other grave causes.

All applications are considered on their individual merits by the relevant Degree Committee in the first instance. Your progress to date will be taken into account as will the new deadline sought and the supervisor's comments. It should not be assumed that an application to defer will be approved as a matter of routine. Extension of time beyond the submission date will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

You should ensure your college and sponsor know if you are making an application to extend your submission deadline. You may also need permission from your sponsor. The sponsor's handbook will have information on this.

It is open to the Degree Committee and the Board of Graduate Studies to decline applications and remove students' names from the Register of Graduate Students. This does, however, normally leave open the possibility of being reinstated at a later stage when the dissertation is ready for submission.


Applying for Appointment of Examiners

When should I apply for the appointment of Examiners?

You should apply for the appointment of Examiners at least two months in advance of submitting your dissertation. Contact your Degree Committee for information on how to do this.

If you expect to leave the UK soon after submission you will need to return to the UK to attend the oral examination (viva). You should state on the application form for the appointment of Examiners the proposed date of your departure, allowing at least eight weeks between the date of the submission and the proposed date of departure.

The Degree Committee will do its best to arrange an oral examination as quickly as possible. A delay may result if there is any difficulty in finding an Examiner. Longer delays may be experienced during vacation periods.


Approval of Dissertation Title

When do I need a precise title for my thesis?

The research subject is provisionally approved at the point of admission to the degree and confirmed more specifically when you are formally registered for a research degree.

When you apply for Examiners to be appointed, the Degree Committee may ask for a precise dissertation title to be proposed. The supervisor may also be invited to indicate his or her support for this title which will need to be submitted to the Degree Committee for approval.


The Summary

The summary must be written in English and should consist of a piece of connected prose forming an abstract of the dissertation and be about 300 words in length. If at all possible, it should be accommodated on one side of A4 sized paper. It should bear the candidate's name and the exact title of the dissertation at the head of the page.

The summary will be considered by the examiners and, if the dissertation is approved, be deposited in the University Library for consultation and inter-library loan.

When submitting the final hard-bound copy of the dissertation you will need to provide a further loose copy of this summary, identical to that bound into the final version. This is for the University Library file.