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Please note the information on this page is for doctoral students. MSc and MLitt students are not required to submit a hardbound copy of their thesis or upload an electronic copy to Apollo.

Please note also, this information is for submission of the final version of the thesis. Information about submitting your thesis for examination.

Submitting the hardbound and electronic (final) thesis (doctoral students)

Final approval for doctoral degrees is conditional on you submitting a hardbound copy of your thesis for deposit in the University Library and uploading an electronic copy to Symplectic Elements for deposit in the University repository Apollo. These should be the versions approved by your examiners and Degree Committee and should be identical with the exception of the 'Deposit & Copying of Hardbound Thesis Declaration' form which should not be included in the electronic version. The ‘Statement of Length and Declaration Form’ which you submitted with the thesis for examination should not be included in either the hardbound or the electronic copy of the thesis. If you received permission to submit additional materials alongside your thesis, they must be uploaded with the electronic copy of your thesis for deposit in the University repository. It is not possible to make any amendments to the hardbound or electronic thesis after they have been submitted.

Submission of the hardbound thesis, creation of a thesis record in Symplectic Elements and the uploading of a thesis access confirmation form to it are requirements for all access levels. A file representing the full thesis must also be uploaded for all access levels except Indefinitely restricted access (see below for further guidance).

If you plan to graduate as soon as possible, please note that both hardbound and electronic copies of your thesis should be submitted at least ten calendar days before the graduation ceremony you wish to attend. 

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 thesis. We will primarily contact you by email. You can update your details via CamSIS Self Service

1. Hardbound thesis submission

What are the requirements for the hardbound submission?

The minimum requirements for the hardbound thesis are as follows:

  • be typescript on A4 paper; recommended 100gsm - check with the binders if you want to use a different weight, but should not be lower than 100gsm

  • be portrait format

  • we recommend you use double-sided printing where possible; however, single-sided printing is acceptable

Cover and spine:

  • 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

Bound inside the thesis:

  1. the 'Deposit & Copying of Hardbound Thesis Declaration' form must be bound into your final hardbound thesis as the very first page. Do not include this form in the electronic version

  2.  title page, displaying: the full title of the thesis; your full legal name (as it appears on your passport, marriage certificate or deed poll); your college; the date of submission (month and year)*; and a declaration stating "This thesis is submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education etc... (as appropriate)."   *Please note - the date on the title page should be the same as on the thesis originally submitted for examination - this applies even if you were required to make corrections to your thesis. However, if your original viva outcome was to revise and resubmit you should put the month and year you submitted the revised thesis for examination. 

  3. a typewritten declaration (this is different to the declaration form mentioned above), following the title page, stating (you can copy and paste the following text): 'This thesis is the result of my own work and includes nothing which is the outcome of work done in collaboration except as declared in the Preface and specified in the text. I further state that no substantial part of my thesis has already been submitted, or, is being concurrently submitted for any such degree, diploma or other qualification at the University of Cambridge or any other University or similar institution except as declared in the Preface and specified in the text. It does not exceed the prescribed word limit for the relevant Degree Committee'.  The declaration does not need to be signed. For more information about word limits see the word limits for the respective Degree Committee.

  4. a copy of your Summary/Abstract with your name and thesis title on it. This must be bound inside the thesis following the typewritten declaration.

  5. [if applicable] the list of additional materials that were approved for submission alongside the thesis. This must be bound inside the thesis following the Summary/Abstract.

Where can I have my thesis bound with hard covers?

There are a number of bookbinders available, including:

Cambridge SU Print Shop offer self-service printing.

Where do I submit my thesis?

Student Registry
Student Services Centre
New Museums Site
Cambridge
CB2 3PT

What if I am not in Cambridge?

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. Please note that this is only a service offered by the two bookbinders directly - the Cambridge SU do not offer this service.

How many copies of the hardbound thesis 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:

  • Astronomy
  • Earth Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Judge Business School

2. Electronic thesis submission

NB: MD under Special Regulations candidates should contact the Thesis Team (thesis@repository.cam.ac.uk) for advice on uploading the electronic copy of their thesis once the Student Registry has informed them that they are eligible to do so.

NB: It will not be possible to upload theses to Apollo 5th March to 8th March 2024 due to a system upgrade.

In addition to submission of a hardbound thesis (please see above), you are required to upload an electronic version of your thesis to Symplectic Elements for deposit in the University repository, Apollo. Information can be found on the Open Access webpages. However, please see below if you choose indefinitely restricted access for your thesis.

Details of a training session can be found here.

A module on deposting your electronic thesis can be found here.

What are the requirements for the electronic submission?

  • Complete the thesis access form which can be found on the Open Access webpage (see below for information about managing access).

  • The electronic submission must be identical to the hardbound copy with the exception of the 'Deposit & Copying of Hardbound Thesis Declaration' form - do not include this form in the electronic version.

  • Upload your thesis and thesis access form to Symplectic Elements for deposit in the University repository, Apollo. If you were granted permission to submit additional materials alongside your thesis for examination, these must also be uploaded alongside the electronic version of your thesis. If you are unsure how to do this, please contact the Office of Scholarly Communication for further advice at thesis@repository.cam.ac.uk

  • Please note that it is not possible to make any amendments to the thesis once it has been submitted.

Managing access to your thesis (hardbound and electronic)

Before you upload the electronic copy of your thesis to the University’s repository, you will need to confirm the appropriate level of access to your thesis.  University Library staff will apply the access level to the hardbound and electronic version of your thesis. If your Degree Committee requires a second copy of the thesis to be retained in the department library, you need to ensure that the librarian knows which access level to apply.

Guidance on the different access levels is available on the Open Access webpage.  

  • You should agree the appropriate level of access with your supervisor, taking account of any terms and conditions of your funding or other contractual arrangements, use of copyrighted or sensitive material or patent applications. You are advised to start this discussion as early as possible following your viva. This will help to prevent delays when you submit your electronic thesis.
  • A common cause for delays to students graduating is missing thesis access forms or forms which do not have the appropriate signatures. Supervisors and Degree Committees should provide handwritten signatures or exact digital equivalents. If this is not possible, contact the thesis team (thesis@repository.cam.ac.uk) to ask about approval via email.
  • Complete the thesis access form (which can be found on the Open Access webpage) and upload the completed form (signed by your supervisor and also the Degree Committee where appropriate) when you upload your thesis. 
If you choose Time-limited restricted access

Submit your completed access confirmation form, countersigned by your supervisor, to the Degree Committee. Include the number of years that you are requesting in the Comments box. If you require more than ten, it is suggested that you consider Indefinitely restricted access instead. This access level should only be used if your thesis contains sensitive material or a patent application is involved. It cannot be used to protect research for publication purposes.

The Degree Committee will either sign your form to confirm your request for Time-limited restricted access and return it to you to upload with your thesis file(s) or recommend a different access level.

If you choose Indefinitely restricted access

Submit your completed access confirmation form, countersigned by your supervisor, to the Degree Committee. This access level should only be used if your thesis contains sensitive material which can never be released. It cannot be used to protect research for publication purposes.

The Degree Committee will either sign your form to confirm your request for Indefinitely restricted access and return it to you to upload to your thesis record or recommend a different access level. A record must be created, and the form attached, even though a thesis file is not required.

If you and your supervisor are unable to agree on the appropriate level of access You should refer the matter to the Degree Committee, who will determine the appropriate access level and send you a completed form to upload.

Students who submitted the final version of their thesis before 1st October 2017

If you submitted the final version of your thesis before 1st October 2017 and wish to extend a period of restricted access that was previously agreed, you can apply for this using the Restricted Access Extension form. You can apply to extend the period of restricted access to your thesis by a maximum of two years with each application.

Your Supervisor and Degree Committee will need to sign the form to confirm their approval of the extension of the period of restricted access. Once the form is complete and signed by all parties, it should be submitted to the Student Registry by email to recordsandexams@admin.cam.ac.uk for final approval.