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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


Types of correction

Most PhD candidates have some corrections to make after the oral. They tend to fall into three categories:

  • very minor (typos) - these can be completed and approved by the Examiners within a few hours, and the Examiners can then recommend a pass when they submit their reports. You will need to submit your hardbound and electronic final version before the degree can be conferred.
  • minor, straightforward corrections - you usually have up to 3 months to complete these; they are usually checked by the Internal Examiner. The Examiners send in their reports before the corrected thesis has been approved so you will be given conditional approval for the degree. You will only be formally approved for the degree once the corrections have been checked and found to be satisfactory and your hardbound and electronic final version submitted
  • substantial, less straightforward corrections - you usually have up to 6 months to complete these; they are usually checked by both Examiners. You will be given conditional approval for the degree. You will only be formally approved for the degree once the corrections have been checked and found to be satisfactory and your hardbound and electronic final version submitted


Making corrections

Once you have received the Examiners' reports and know what corrections you need to make, you can start work on them. Do discuss with your supervisor if you need additional guidance. If necessary they can discuss your questions with the Examiners.

The time you have to complete your corrections starts from the date your official result email is sent to you by Student Registry, not the date of your oral. If you do not complete the corrections within the permitted timeframe you will be withdrawn from study. You can still hand in the corrected work for approval when you're ready - you will normally be reinstated for the purpose of degree approval when your Examiner(s) inform the Degree Committee that they approve your corrections.

We know it is often the case that Examiners provide a list of corrections directly to the candidate so they can be worked on immediately after the viva. They are not required to do so.


Submitting corrections

You are expected to make all the corrections required by your Examiners. If a change has been suggested, rather than required, you should indicate, as part of the list of corrections made, the extent to which you have taken account of such suggestions.

When you have made all the corrections the Examiners requested you should prepare a corrected version of the thesis and a separate a list of the corrections made, including the original and new page numbers. For the convenience of the Examiner, the list of corrections should describe precisely how the earlier text has been amended - with page, paragraph and line references. The list should be in page order.

The joint Examiners report (PhD2) will tell you if corrections need to be approved by the Internal, External or both Examiners. Submit the corrected work and the list of corrections directly to the relevant Examiner(s). Student Registry ask that you copy them in if you are submitting your corrections to your examiners by email, so they can update your record.


Correction approval

Your Examiner(s) will check that the corrections have been made to their satisfaction. Corrections are usually approved first time but if the Examiner(s) are not content they can ask you to have another attempt (they will never require additional corrections they had not previously identified). The degree will not be awarded until the Examiner(s) are satisfied.

When the Examiner(s) are satisfied they will inform the Degree Committee of their decision. If your examination reports have already been considered at meetings of the Degree Committee your corrections can normally be accepted as approved without further consideration at a Degree Committee meeting. 

We will let you know when your corrections have been approved. If your Examiner(s) have indicated to you that they are happy with the corrections but you have not heard from the Degree Committee within 10 days please get in contact with us.

You should wait to make the hardbound copy until after the corrections have been approved.


Student Status while making corrections

University working restrictions do not apply to you while you make corrections, although students on a student visa are still expected to comply with the working conditions laid down by UK Visas and Immigration at all stages (see Working on a student visa). You will need to apply for leave to work away if you are planning to complete the corrections outside Cambridge.

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

There are no imminent closing dates.
Research degree theses should still be submitted by your submission deadline even if that falls over the holiday period.

Meetings schedule

Meetings of the Degree Committee and Degree Ceremonies:

2023-24 Degree Committee dates:

20 October, 17 November 2023.

9 January, 16 February, 15 March 2024.

26 April, 7 May, 14 June, 13 September 2024.

2023-24 Degree Ceremonies:

20,21 October, 25 November 2023

26 January, 24 February, 23 March, 6 April, 27 April, 17,18 May, 18,19,20 July 2024.