Preparation Submission Doctoral Dissertation

These guidelines will help you to prepare and submit your master's thesis or doctoral dissertation and its abstract for final approval by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Procedures and Deadlines

Ensure timely submission of your documents by following the steps and deadlines for your intended graduation date on Master's Degree Milestones or Doctoral Degree Milestones. If you have questions regarding your graduate program or the preparation of your thesis or dissertation, contact Graduate Studies:

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Submitting an electronic thesis or dissertation is the same as submitting one printed on paper; you prepare your document and figures using the same software you normally use. You benefit by filing electronically because you won’t need to print and submit multiple copies on paper and the academic community benefits because your work is more accessible via digital archiving and internet retrieval.

Academic Integrity

You’re responsible for adhering to the highest standards of academic integrity when submitting your thesis or dissertation. In support of those standards, the Office of Graduate Studies encourages any student with concerns or questions about plagiarism to discuss them with our Doctoral Programs Coordinator, a faculty advisor, or other qualified faculty or staff.

Plagiarism is defined as presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source) and submitting examinations, theses, reports, speeches, drawings, laboratory notes or other academic work in whole or in part as one's own when such work has been prepared by another person or copied from another person. Although most obvious in cases where text is copied word for word, plagiarism also includes copying ideas or arguments from another source, including the Internet. Plagiarism can involve as little as copying a key phrase or sentence without acknowledging the source. For more information, see Academic Integrity: Plagiarism.

You need to take action before the end of your course* as follows:

*(if you are currently 'off the register' go here to apply to be reinstated for examination)


At least two months before you intend to submit your dissertation (see 'Where and when to submit'), please complete the student's "Intention to submit a research thesis" formand email it to the Degree Committee. Your request will be acknowledged within four working days.

The Degree Committee staff will consult with your supervisor and department to identify suitable examiners. The Degree Committee office arrange for your examiners to be appointed and your title approved. If you wait till you submit your dissertation to do this, your examination will be delayed.

If you have mobility difficulties, hearing or sight impairment, a specific learning difficulty, or other problem that might affect the conduct of your oral examination, you may let us know using the appointment of examiners form.

If your research is confidential (for example if you are sponsored by industry and they claim rights over your findings), you may apply for a confidentiality agreement - contact the Degree Committee office before you submit. You may also need to apply for restricted accessto the final library/electronic copy.


You are strongly advised to check your dissertation carefully prior to submission for typing errors, spelling mistakes and poor English. The thesis, apart from quotations and recognised technical formulae, must be written in English. Number the pages consecutively.

Format: The PhD dissertation is normally initially submitted as a soft-bound copy with a spiral binding. See the Cambridge Studentswebsite for more details on all aspects of formatting the text etc.

The dissertation you submit is the document that will be examined. You should not attempt to send any additional documents to your examiner; these cannot be considered. If your examiner specifically requires an electronic copy of your dissertation they can make the request via the Degree Committee Office.

Can I include my published papers? Yes you can, but if in doubt, please ask us. You will need to make sure that they form part of the overall narrative of your dissertation by writing an introduction to each 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 dissertation 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). University guidance on including published material can be found here. Read more about this topic in Chemistry World.


The certificates you sign when submitting confirms that you claim to be the original author of the work and have kept to the word limits; these must be submitted with the dissertation.

For details of the documentation you need to submit, see the CAMBRIDGE STUDENTS WEBSITE

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