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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Earth Sciences & Geography



The MPhil in Earth Sciences and the MPhil in Geography offer a one-year course of study on a research topic under the supervision of a research supervisor for which the output is a thesis examined in an oral ('viva') with two examiners.

The examination process is essentially the same as for the PhD, except in terms of the submission regulations, deadlines, and details of what happens after the viva.


What is an MPhil?

There is a wealth of useful information on the nature of the MPhil by thesis, thesis submission and the examination process on the Cambridge Students website as well as these pages. You are strongly advised to read this material in advance of writing up and submitting your thesis.

Before recommending award of the MPhil by thesis degree the examiners must satisfy themselves that the thesis:

  • provides evidence of a useful contribution to the field of study;

  • demonstrates an understanding of knowledge and critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in the field of study;

  • includes critical evaluation of current methodologies and wider research in the area of study;

  • provides evidence of an understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry;

  • is clearly written;

  • is of a quality and quantity to reflect what it is reasonable to expect a student to complete within one year of full-time postgraduate research and study.

The limitations implied by this advice are intended to apply to the scale and scope of the work presented in the thesis but not to its quality.

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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.