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Submitting the Final 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. 

From 1st October 2017, you will also be required to submit an electronic version of your thesis

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 days before the graduation ceremony you wish to attend. 

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 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:

  • Chemical Engineering

  • 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.

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

From 1st October 2017 you will be required 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.  This is in addition to submission of a hard bound thesis.

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

At the point of uploading the electronic copy of your thesis to the University’s repository, you will be able to request that access to your thesis be restricted. Any restriction granted will apply the hard bound version, any digitisation of the hardbound version and the version submitted electronically.  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) which 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.  For further information on Intellectual Property rights please see the Research Office website.

Reasons for restricting access include;

  • Confidentiality agreement with sponsor
  • The contents constitute a trade secret, or its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person or the University
  • Disclosure would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by the owner of that information
  • Thesis contains confidential or sensitive material (e.g. patient data, animal research)
  • Making your thesis freely available may invalidate an application for a patent on a product or process described in the thesis
  • The thesis is due for publication without substantive changes to the text.

For how long can my thesis be restricted?

In the first instance, you will be able to request that access to your thesis is restricted for six months. This period can be extended further ever six months up to a maximum of two years. As the author of the thesis, you will be contacted and asked whether a further restriction is necessary.  After this two-year period, your thesis will be made available as open access unless there are new circumstances such as a publishing contract that requires further restriction.

If it is clear at the point of submission that a restriction of longer than two years will be required, you will be asked to provide a rationale at this point. Valid reasons for longer or indefinite access restrictions include:

  • Confidentiality agreement with sponsor provided this expressly requires an indefinite restriction.
  • The thesis contains confidential or sensitive material (e.g. patient data, animal research) such as that disclosure would be likely to endanger an individual's health or safety
  • 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.


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.

What about copies of my thesis held elsewhere?

If your Degree Committee requires a second copy of the thesis to be retained in the department library, you need to ask the departmental librarian about restriction of access under the FOIA.

How do I apply to restrict access to my thesis?

You will be able to request that access to your thesis is restricted when you come to upload your completed thesis to the University’s repository, Apollo. To upload your thesis, you will complete an online form, and this form includes a section relating to restricting access to your thesis.

With effect from 1st October 2017, the process for requesting restricted access has changed. Applications to restrict access are no longer made via CamSIS to the Board of Graduate Studies, but are made via the repository upload form mentioned above. Any restriction applies to both hard and electronic versions of the thesis.


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. Update your details via CamSIS Self Service