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Extending your submission date

Your submission date (thesis/dissertation)

Course Submission deadline How to apply
PhD, EdD, MSc and MLitt

four years from admission date (full-time) or seven years (part-time). You can find your submission date under 'Thesis Submission Details' on the academic tile in your CamSIS self-service.

If your submission deadline falls over a weekend you will still be required to submit by this date. 

via your CamSIS self-service account (please see below under 'Submitting your application'). 
MPhil by Thesis within one year (full-time) or within two years (part-time). Check with your Department. via your CamSIS self-service account (please see below under 'Submitting your application')
MPhil by Advanced Study/MEd/MRes/CPGS within one year (full-time) students or two years (part-time). Check with your Department. contact programme administrator in Department in the first instance.  Short deadlines which would not impact on the dates on which the marks would be considered by the Exam Board and Degree Committee can normally be considered locally.  For longer extensions, students should initiate an application for an extension via their CamSIS self-service account (please see below). 

If applying for an extension to the deadline for submitting corrections to your doctoral thesis you need to apply in the same way. 

If your course does not include a dissertation and you have an extension for other work approved by your Department which means your marks cannot be considered by the Exam Board and Degree Committee with those of your cohort, please forward the approval for your extension to recordsandexams@admin.cam.ac.uk so that we can update your record to show why this is still active beyond your original completion date.

If you don’t submit your thesis or dissertation by your submission date and you do not have an extension approved, you will be temporarily withdrawn from study. If this happens, you will be able to apply for reinstatement when your thesis or dissertation is ready for submission for examination but not to continue studying. You can find more information about the effects of withdrawal from study on the Withdrawal from Study page.

Submitting your application via CamSIS self-service

Instructions on how to submit an application can be found on the 'Applying for a change in your student status' page. If you are requesting an extension on medical grounds, you will need to upload medical evidence. Your application will be considered by your supervisor, department, College and Degree Committee before arriving at the Student Registry for the final decision.

  • Please note that applications submitted after your submission deadline will be declined.
  • For all applications made via CamSIS self-service, each case is considered in line with the policy of the Postgraduate Committee, which is set out in the guidance on this page. 
  • All requests for an extension must include the following information:
Why have you been delayed in submitting your thesis or corrections?* See below for valid and invalid reasons 
Why is it essential that you remain registered beyond your current submission date?* For example, do you need access to particular resources? If so, please specify which resources. Explanations need not be extensive, particularly where circumstances are relatively self-evident (e.g. for students currently on a taught course, or who have explained in their statement of reasons for being delayed that they are still completing lab work). Students in the ‘writing up period’ of a research degree are normally expected to provide more detail, but even here one or two sentences will normally suffice.
For extensions on medical grounds, medical evidence must be provided

You must provide sufficiently detailed contemporary evidence from a medically qualified practitioner, for example a doctor’s report. Where appropriate, evidence from an accredited counsellor may also be considered. The University is not able to cover the cost of medical documents submitted in support of an application. The evidence:

  • should provide a clear diagnosis which includes the nature and severity of the illness;
  • should state when and how the condition is likely to have affected the candidate’s ability to submit their thesis by their deadline;
  • should be precise and self-explanatory. The amount of evidence required will vary from case to case. For example, hospital admission will need a shorter explanation than will a less obvious or less serious condition where background information and details of the candidate’s medical history may be required;
  • must be in English. If the documents are not originally in English, they must be translated by a professional translating service. In some cases, it is acceptable for documents to be translated by a member of your College;
  • should be on headed paper which includes full address and role title of the practitioner, dated and signed by the practitioner (or other appropriate professional).

*For an application to be approved, valid responses must be provided to both of these questions.  
 

Valid reasons for an extension

Unavoidable delay Examples might be a lab move, equipment failure or political unrest in a fieldwork area. The delay must be caused by something out of your own control.
Academic reasons Where there is a strong academic case that you are actively working on the final stages of your thesis and need a short extension to enable you to submit. You must provide a clear timeline for your submission and explain why it is essential for you to remain registered as a postgraduate student at this stage (see above under 'Submitting your application'). 
A short delay of no more than one month due to medical issues or grave cause Students who find themselves unable to study because of medical reasons or family emergencies should normally apply for intermission. For this reason, applications for extensions based on medical grounds or grave cause are limited to one month. If your application is for medical reasons, you will need to include supporting medical documents ((see above under 'Submitting your application').
Extension due to disability If you will be unable to submit your thesis by your submission deadline for disability-related reasons, you may apply, in advance, for an extension. You may find it helpful to discuss the timing of this and the impact of your disability on your academic work, with the Disability Resource Centre. You will need to provide clear specialist evidence in support of an application for an extension. If you receive support from the Disability Resource Centre, a Student Support Document or a supporting statement from them, will be taken into account when your application is considered.
Extension due to the impact of COVID-19

It is recognised that the impact of the pandemic will have caused delays to many students' progress. Students are required to provide a clear statement of the extent and nature of the impact to explain the amount of additional time needed. Acceptable reasons for an extension on grounds of COVID-19:

  • Lack of access to facilities or resources, including University premises, premises of external partners, fieldwork sites, 
  • Lack of or limited supervision
  • Redeployment onto COVID-19 related research or activity, including voluntary activity (except for students who have taken paid employment at the Milton Keynes testing centre and have been advised to intemit for the duration of their employment)
  • Caring responsibilities 
  • Sickness (relating to COVID-19) or impact on mental health (unless students intermitted at the time)
  • International students who may have returned to their home country as a result of the pandemic

Invalid reasons for an extension

  • Visa issues
  • Medical issues or family circumstances, where a period of intermission should have been requested
  • Attending conferences
  • Writing papers
  • Undertaking further research, unless your supervisor, department or Degree Committee make a very strong academic case for this
  • Employment
  • Not wishing to leave Cambridge
  • Continued funding
  • Poor planning - it should be feasible to complete your research project within a maximum of 4 years. Therefore reasons such as having collected too much data or a change of direction (unless due to circumstances outside your control) will not normally be considered valid
  • Wanting to incorporate new material at a late stage unless there is a very strong case for this material being essential to your thesis rather than merely enhancing its quality
  • Needing time for proofreading or editing - in planning your thesis you should factor in time for this

If you don’t submit your thesis or dissertation by your submission date and you do not have an extension approved, you will be temporarily withdrawn from study. If this happens, you will be able to apply for reinstatement when your thesis or dissertation is ready for submission for examination but not to continue studying. You can find more information about the effects of withdrawal from study on the Withdrawal from Study page.

Information for students studying on a Student Visa

It is advisable to contact the International Student Office to check the implications of any change of circumstances on your visa status: (International.Students@admin.cam.ac.uk)

application to extend your submission date is approved, but you will still be able to submit your thesis and complete your examination within the validity of your current visa no further implications for your visa
application to extend your submission deadline is approved and your new submission deadline means you need to extend your visa you must contact the International Student Office for guidance on the application process and requirements as soon as possible
application to extend your submission deadline is not approved, and you submit your thesis before your submission deadline no implications for your visa
application to extend your submission deadline is not approved, and you do not submit your thesis before your submission deadline and are withdrawn from study this will have implications for your visa. You should contact the International Student Office to discuss this

Contact
If you have any questions about applying for an extension, please write to the Student Registry at recordsandexams@admin.cam.ac.uk