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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Earth Sciences & Geography


The 'first year review' is a crucial stage in the progress of a doctoral student.

All potential PhD students in the Faculty are PROBATIONARY in the first year and progression to the second year (and registration for the PhD) depend on a successful first year review.

Details of the deadlines and assessment vary according to the department you are registered with:

  • EPSRC CDT in Nuclear Energy Futures - report deadline is 1 September, irrespective of the Department you are registered in.

In all cases, as well as reviewing your progress to date, the review pays particular attention to the future scope of your work and your future plans, especially (where relevant) for your fieldwork, including costs and safety considerations.

You may find Researcher Development courses on writing and publishing helpful, particularly 'Writing your First Year Report'.


Examination access arrangements

The Cambridge Students website provides information on access arrangements that can be made to make to examinations accessible for students with disabilities. If you have a disability or chronic illness that may require adjustment to the assessment please get in touch with your Department Postgraduate Office or the Degree Committee Office before you submit.


Successful probationary review:

  • Your assessors reports and recommendation will be made available to you.
  • Your Department Postgraduate Office will recommend registration to the PhD degree through CamSIS.
  • The Degree Committee will consider the recommendations and make a decision on registration for the PhD. Your student record will be updated.


PhD registration not recommended:

  • You will normally be allowed a second attempt within an agreed timescale.

If after that your progress and potential are not considered suitable for doctoral research, the Degree Committee will decide whether to recommend to the Postgraduate Committee that:

  • you should be awarded the Certificate of Postgraduate Study without further examination and exit;
  • or be allowed to write up your work for an MPhil within a fixed timescale (a one-year degree examined by thesis and oral);
  • or possibly be registered for the MSc (a two-year thesis of smaller scope than the PhD).

If you feel you have been unfairly treated, you have recourse to the University's Examination Review Procedure.

If you can't find the page you are looking for or find a broken link do let us know (please use the email link in the 'Contact us' section below).

Office closures

The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Earth Sciences and Geography will be closed from 5pm on Thursday 28 March 2024 and will reopen again on Tuesday 2 April 2024.
Research degree theses should still be submitted by your submission deadline even if that falls over the holiday period.