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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Earth Sciences & Geography


1. Notice of intention to submit

At least two months before you intend to submit your thesis you need to inform the Degree Committee of your proposed title, expected submission date and provide a short summary. Your expected submission date should be on or before your submission deadline (you can find this in your CamSIS self-service or talk to your Department Postgraduate Office if you are unsure of your submission deadline). You will also have the opportunity to state your preference for an in-person viva (default) or viva by video conference at this stage.The intention to submit form initiates the Examiner appointment process and will open the submission portal to you, so it is very important that you remember to do this.

Your intention to submit notice will be normally be acknowledged within 4 working days. The acknowledgement includes a link to the Moodle course to which you will submit your thesis. The Degree Committee Office will then approach your supervisor for nominations of potential examiners.

If you do not give any/sufficient notice before submitting your thesis your examination will be delayed.

Online form: Intention to submit a research thesis


2. Examination access arrangements (optional)

Should you wish to make a voluntary disclosure of any disability/chronic illness that might affect the conduct of your viva please complete and email the disclosure form to the Degree Committee Office before you submit. We invite you to do this up to two months in advance to allow us time to consult with the DRC and make appropriate access arrangements. Please download the form, complete and sign it, then email back to us in the Degree Committee office.

Form for download: disclosure form


3. Confidential Research (optional)

If your research is confidential (e.g. you are sponsored by industry and they claim rights over your findings), you may apply for a confidentiality agreement to be put in place for the examination. Contact the Degree Committee Office at least one month before you intend to submit your thesis. You will also want to give consideration to the appropriate level of access that should be applied to your final hardbound and e-thesis when depositing to the University library (see Cambridge Students information on Final thesis submission).


4. Complete your thesis

Word limit: Be aware of the word limit and what is/is not included. The limit is a maximum, not a target. Well-written theses are often shorter. Candidates are often confused as to how to include equations and formulas in the word count. We recommend you count them as as having the same number of words that text occupying the same area would have, using an average of 13 words per line or 350 words per page (at the 1.5 line spacing).

Format: The PhD thesis is submitted electronically in A4 portrait format. See the Cambridge Students website for details on all aspects of formatting the text etc. You are strongly advised to check your thesis carefully prior to submission for typing errors, spelling mistakes and poor English. Number the pages consecutively and ensure work is fully referenced. Remember, the Examiners must be left in no doubt as to which parts of your submitted work are your own original work and which are not.

Including additional material: You may seek permission though your CamSIS Self-Service page if you wish to submit additional materials alongside your thesis (e.g. video files). Datasets supplied as a separate item or an additional volume connected to the thesis but not included within it require this permission. This process should be initiated and ideally approved prior to you submitting your thesis. If you submit additional material without permission your examination will be delayed.

Published papers: University guidance on including published material can be found here. If you are unsure please discuss with your supervisor who should be able to advise you how to present your published work in context or contact us for advice. You will need to make sure any included publications form part of the overall narrative of your thesis by writing an introduction to each included paper to show how it fits in to the thesis, states where it was published, and makes clear exactly what your own contribution was if there is more than one author. Your final approved thesis will be available through an online repository so you must ensure you have appropriate copyright to include any published material, including part or all of any manuscript where you are the sole or co-author (see the Apollo website for more information). 

Compulsory inclusions: the Cambridge Students website details what must be included in the thesis, and in what order.

Electronic copy: Please remember the electronic version of the PhD thesis you submit is the only document that can be examined. You should not attempt to send any additional documents to your Examiners as they cannot be taken into consideration. If the Examiner makes any request for additional documents to you directly please contact the Degree Committee Office.

COVID-19: If your progress was impeded by coronavirus, please see Research Impact Statement and extension information on our Coronavirus pages.

Ukraine: If your progress was impacted by the situation in Ukraine, please see Research Impact Statement and extension information on our Coronavirus pages. The guidance only refers to COVID-19 but now also applies to the situation in Ukraine.

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.