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Format of the thesis

The thesis must:

  • be written in British English, apart from quotations and recognised technical formulae

  • be in A4 portrait format

  • use one-and-a-half spaced type

  • include any photographs or other illustrations scanned into the text

  • be saved in the electronic format and naming style specified by your Degree Committee

Examiners are not expected to edit work. They will deal with errors of fact and typographical errors that affect the meaning of your work, as well as larger structural issues. The extent to which the text has or has not been properly prepared may influence their recommendation concerning the award of the degree. You are therefore advised to check your thesis thoroughly prior to submission to ensure clear, formal British English has been used throughout and that there are minimal typing and/or spelling mistakes.

How and when to present the thesis for examination

You must submit an electronic copy of your thesis for examination, and any required accompanying documents, to your Degree Committee by your submission deadline (which can be found under 'Thesis Submission details' on the Academic tile in your CamSIS self-service). If you are not a self-funded student, the terms and conditions of your funding may require you to submit your thesis earlier than the date shown in CamSIS. If you are unsure what your funder-expected submission date is, you should contact your Funding Administrator. You are required to submit your thesis for examination by your deadline even if the date falls over a weekend or holiday period.

Your Degree Committee should provide you with guidance for electronic submission; please contact them directly if you require any assistance.

The thesis you submit to your Degree Committee will be the thesis forwarded to the examiners for examination. It is not possible to 'retract submission' or to send a revised copy directly to your examiners. Therefore you should carefully check the file(s) you upload when submitting your thesis.

Postgraduate students must keep a minimum number of terms of research before they can submit (for example, 9 for the full-time PhD) unless they have been granted an allowance or exemption of terms. The thesis may be submitted from the first day of the term in which this requirement is met, provided that full-time students have also met the minimum residence requirement (unless they have been granted an allowance of terms). If you attempt to submit too early and have not had an allowance or exemption of terms approved, your thesis submission will not be accepted. If you have an application for an allowance or exemption of terms under consideration in CamSIS at the time you submit your thesis, your thesis will be kept on hold until a decision on your application is made.


You must include the following bound inside your thesis:

Please ensure the pages are in the correct order. This is very important - if these preliminary pages are in a different order in your final hardbound thesis to your thesis submitted for examination, this could cause problems and delay approval for your degree.

1. A 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)

  • a declaration stating: "This thesis is submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Doctor of Education/Doctor of Business/Doctor of Medicine/Master of Science/Master of Letters (as appropriate)."

2. A declaration in the preface stating:

'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. It is not substantially the same as any work that has already been submitted, or, is being concurrently submitted, for any 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 on the word limits for the respective Degree Committees see Word Limits and Requirements of your Degree Committee)

3. An abstract/summary of your thesis

4. [if applicable] the list of additional materials that were approved for submission alongside the thesis

You must also submit the following documents (not included inside the thesis):

  1. Required: One declaration form

  2. Optional: Research Impact Statement

    If pandemic, war/conflict, or natural disaster have significantly impacted on your research, you are invited to submit a Research Impact Statement with your thesis using the template provided. The purpose of the statement is for you to describe any restrictions or difficulties experienced in undertaking your research as a result of pandemic, war/conflict, or natural disaster, and to provide details of any alternative arrangements made to complete the work for your thesis. Further details for students and supervisors can be found in the Research Impact Statement guidance and the Research Impact Statement form can be downloaded here

Inclusion of additional materials

Students other than those in the Faculty of Music must seek permission through their CamSIS Self Service page if they wish to submit additional materials for examination alongside their thesis. Additional materials are integral to the thesis but in a format that cannot be easily included in the main body of the thesis (for example, 3D graphics). You should refer to the 'Policy on the inclusion of additional materials with a thesis' before making an application to include additional materials. This process should be initiated prior to the thesis submission. If a thesis is submitted with additional materials and without permission to include them, it will be held by the Degree Committee until approval is confirmed.

Please bear in mind that if you are granted permission to submit additional materials, you are required to upload the same materials to the University repository, Apollo, when you submit your approved thesis post-examination (doctoral candidates only). Therefore, the inclusion of additional material that contains uncleared third-party copyright or sensitive material may affect the access level that is most appropriate for your thesis.

Submitting a revised thesis

If you are resubmitting your thesis following a viva outcome of being allowed to revise and resubmit the thesis for examination for a doctoral degree, you need to follow the same procedure as for the original thesis submission.

What happens following submission of the thesis for examination 

When you submit your thesis for examination the Degree Committee will check the submission, acknowledge receipt, and inform Student Registry you have submitted. The Student Registry will update your CamSIS record.

The Degree Committee will forward your thesis to your examiners. If you have not received confirmation of the date of your viva (oral examination) within six weeks of submitting your thesis, or if you have any questions with regard to your thesis at this stage, you should contact your Degree Committee. 

Your Examiners should not ask you for a printed copy of your thesis or other material in advance of your viva (oral examination). If they do, please seek advice from your Degree Committee.