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Extending your submission date

Please note that applications submitted after your submission deadline will be declined.

Doctoral, MSc and MLitt students please note that applications received any earlier than 3-6 months before the thesis submission deadline will be declined and you will be asked to reapply at the appropriate time.

Applications should only be submitted if you know that you need additional time and not 'just in case' you do.

Extension requests for coursework other than the thesis or dissertation (for example, essays, portfolio coursework, the First Year Assessment) should not be submitted via CamSIS - please contact your Department for advice on how to apply.

For taught courses, 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 - see below under 'Your submission date and how to apply'. 

Note that a longer extension may result in you completing and graduating later than the rest of your cohort, so you should seek clarification on the impact of this from your Department, Faculty or Degree Committee, particularly if the timing of your degree completion will have an impact on your future plans, such as further study, employment or visa applications. 

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. 

Instructions on how to submit an application can be found on the 'Applying for a change in your student status' page. Please check the guidance below before applying.

If you have any questions about applying for an extension, please submit a query here: University of Cambridge Student Registry Office (


Information which must be included in your application and guidance about medical evidence

All requests for an extension must include the following information:

Why has submission been delayed?

See sections 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. if reason for needing an extension is you are still completing lab work).

For extensions on medical grounds, medical evidence must be provided. The medical evidence, including your Student Support Document if you choose to submit this in support of your application, will be referred with the rest of your application to Medical Advisors, who will confirm whether the extension is warranted.

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).
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 (doctoral, MSC and MLitt students only) 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. 
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, extensions based on medical grounds or grave cause are normally limited to one month. If your application is for medical reasons, you will need to include supporting medical documents.
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 Accessibility and 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 Accessibility and 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 pandemic, war/conflict, or natural disaster

It is recognised that pandemic, war/conflict, or natural disaster may have a significant impact on some 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 pandemic, war/conflict, or natural disaster:

  • Lack of access to facilities/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 took paid employment at the Milton Keynes testing centre and were advised to intermit for the duration of their employment)
  • Caring responsibilities 
  • Sickness (relating to COVID-19 or other pandemic) or impact on mental health (unless students intermitted at the time)
  • International students who may have to return to their home country for a period as a result of a pandemic in the UK
Invalid reasons for an extension
  • Visa issues
  • Medical issues or family circumstances, where a period of intermission should have been requested or a break from study is currently needed
  • Attending conferences
  • Writing/publishing papers
  • Undertaking further research, unless your supervisor, department or Degree Committee make a very strong academic case for this
  • A safety net 'just in case' additional time is needed
  • Employment 
  • Job applications
  • Not wishing to leave Cambridge
  • Continued funding
  • Poor planning - it should be feasible to complete your research project within the maximum time-frame for your degree (for example, 4 years for a full-time PhD). 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, editing or support with academic writing or wanting more time in order to improve the quality of your thesis - students are expected to produce a thesis to the required standard within the normal time-frame for submission. In planning your thesis you should factor in time for proofreading/editing. 
Consequences of not submitting by your deadline

Research students who do not submit their thesis by their submission date and do not have an extension approved, will be withdrawn from study. They may be able to apply for reinstatement when their thesis is ready for submission for examination but not to continue studying. Temporary withdrawal may not always be possible. You can find more information about the effects of withdrawal from study on the Withdrawal from Study page.

Students on taught Masters courses should contact their Department for information about the penalties applied for late or non-submission of work. 

Information for students studying on a Student Visa

PhD students are advised to read the information outlined on the International Student Office webpage:

 It is advisable for MPhil students to contact the International Student Office to check the implications of a change to your submission deadline. Some considerations include:

  • Graduate visa eligibility – you may no longer be eligible if your new deadline means that degree approval would not be considered on the same timeline as the rest of your cohort.
  • Student visa extension –   Masters students are not normally eligible for a student visa extension.
  • ATAS requirements – If ATAS is required for your course and nationality, a change in your course dates may mean that a new ATAS certificate is necessary.

The International Student Office can be contacted by emailing

Your submission date and how to apply

Your submission date (thesis/dissertation)

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

4 years from admission date (full-time) or 7 years (part-time). Your submission date is 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. Instructions can be found on the 'Applying for a change in your student status' page. 

You should apply no earlier than 3-6 months before your submission deadline. Applications received any earlier than this will be declined and you will be asked to reapply at the appropriate time.

MPhil by Thesis within one year (full-time) or two years (part-time). Check with your Department. via CamSIS self-service account. Instructions can be found on the 'Applying for a change in your student status' page. 
MPhil by Advanced Study/MEd/MRes/CPGS within one year (full-time) 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 (Instructions can be found on the 'Applying for a change in your student status' page).

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 so that we can update your record to show why this is still active beyond your original completion date.