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Extending your submission date

Your submission date
For PhD, EdD, MSc and MLitt students
your submission date is set at four years from your admission date for full-time students and seven years from your admission date for part-time students. You can find your submission date under 'Thesis Submission Details' on the academic tile in your CamSIS self-service. All applications to extend the submission date for these programmes must be made via your CamSIS self-service account (please see below under 'Submitting your application').

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

For MPhil and MEd students, your dissertation/thesis submission date is set within one year for full-time students and within two years for part-time students. You can find the submission date for your course on the submitting and examination page of the Cambridge Students website.

Students on the MPhil by Advanced Study, Master of Education (MEd), Master of Research (MRes), Master of Studies (MSt) and Certificate of Postgraduate Study (CPGS) who need to apply for an extension to a submission deadline for their thesis or dissertation, should contact the programme administrator in their Department in the first instance.  Short deadlines which would not impact on the dates on which the student’s 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). For extensions for coursework other than the thesis/dissertation, students should contact the programme administrator in their Department.

For the MPhil by thesis and oral all applications must be made via your CamSIS self-service account regardless of the length of the extension.

For all applications made via CamSIS self-service, each case is considered in line with the policy of the Postgraduate Committee/Board of Graduate Studies, which is set out in the guidance on this page. 

If you don’t submit your thesis by your submission date and you do not have an extension approved, you will be withdrawn from study.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

Submitting your application

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.

Please be aware that if your submission deadline falls over a weekend you will still be required to submit by this date. 

Your application will be considered by your supervisor, department, College and Degree Committee before arriving at the Student Registry for the final decision.

All requests for an extension must address two key questions:

1. Why have you been delayed in submitting your thesis or corrections?
2. Why is it essential that you remain registered beyond your current submission date?

For an application to be approved, valid responses must be provided to these questions.  
Please note that applications submitted after your submission deadline will be declined.

Valid reasons for an extension

  • Unavoidable delay: Examples of this 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. If you need to keep access to University resources, you must be specific about which resources these are and why they are essential to the completion of your thesis. Your department and Degree Committee will need to provide the Student Registry with a detailed case if they wish to support 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 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 from your medical practitioner or from the University’s Counselling Service.
  • 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 to your final registration date. If you intend to apply 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, for example a report by a medical professional. If you receive support from the Disability Resource Centre, a Student Support Document or a supporting statement from them, will also be taken into account when your application is considered.
  • Extension due to the impact of COVID-19: Although students have been encouraged to continue working on their research as much as possible, it is recognised that the impact of the pandemic will have caused delays to many students' progress and that they may therefore need to apply for an extension to their submission deadline. It is suggested that students apply 3 to 6 months before their submission deadline. Extensions will be granted only in cases where progress has clearly been impacted by the pandemic - students are required to provide a clear statement of the extent of the impact, providing details of the amount of additional time needed. Acceptable reasons for an extension on grounds of COVID-19:

a) Lack of access to facilities or resources. This includes University premises, premises of external partners, fieldwork sites, access to resources at home which are essential to continue with research

b) Lack of or limited supervision

c) 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)

d) Caring responsibilities for children, adults or other dependants

e) Sickness (relating to COVID-19) or impact on mental health (unless students intermitted at the time)

f) International students who may have returned to their home country as a result of the pandemic

Medical evidence

If you are requesting an extension on medical grounds, 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 evidence should provide a clear diagnosis which includes the nature and severity of the illness; it should state when and how the condition is likely to have affected the candidate’s ability to submit their thesis by their deadline. The evidence 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. 

The medical evidence you submit 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.

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

Information for students studying on a Tier 4 sponsored visa
If your 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, there will be no further implications. 

If your application to extend your submission deadline is approved and your new submission deadline means you need to extend your Tier 4 visa, you must contact the International Student Office for guidance on the application process and requirements as soon as possible.

If your application to extend your submission deadline is not approved, and you submit your thesis before your submission deadline, there are no implications for your Tier 4 visa. If however you do not submit your thesis by your submission deadline and are withdrawn from study, this will have implications for your Tier 4 visa. You should contact the International Student Office to discuss this.

It is advisable to contact the International Student Office to check the implications of any change of circumstances on your visa status: (

If you have any questions about applying for an extension, please write to the Student Registry at