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Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


If, after examining your thesis and conducting the oral, the Examiners cannot recommend that you pass (even if you were to correct your work), they will in most cases recommend that you should be allowed to revise and resubmit your work for a second examination.

Should the Degree Committee decide that you should revise and resubmit your work, you will be allowed up to 12 months from the date of Student Registry's email confirming that decision. Shortly after the Degree Committee meeting Student Registry will notify you of the decision, provide you with the revision advice supplied by the Examiners, and will give you a deadline for letting them know whether or not you wish to do this.

You may be asked to conduct further labwork/fieldwork/collect more data as part of the revision. If so, you might want to weigh up the pros and cons of accepting the invitation to revise the work for the PhD. If you chose not to revise your thesis you will not receive a PhD degree. However, you might be offered the option of accepting a lower degree instead (MSc or MPhil). If you have not been offered you this option, but you wish to pursue this possibility, please contact the Degree Committee.


Submitting a revised thesis

It is important to recognise that being permitted to revise your thesis for re-examination is not the same as making corrections.

We ask that you follow the same procedures as when preparing for the original submission (i.e. give us advance Notice of your intention to submit, make any voluntary disability disclosure).

If you have not submitted within the time allowed you will be withdrawn from study. Reinstatement will be considered when you are ready to submit.



The Degree Committee will normally appoint the same Examiners to examine the revised thesis. If you have good reason to object to the reappointment of the examiners, you should tell your supervisor before you resubmit the thesis and you should also inform the Degree Committee office at the point of submitting your Notice of intention to submit form. Bear in mind that if the same Examiners are appointed, they are best placed to judge whether or not you have made the revisions at the level required for the PhD. If new Examiners are appointed, they will know that the work is revised and they will be aware of what you have been asked to do to bring it up to doctoral level.

If you have the same examiners and they both agree that your revised work is of PhD standard, they can waive a second oral. However, if they differ in their opinions or are not sure whether you have met the requirements for the degree, they will hold a second oral. If either of the examiners is new (i.e. did not examine the original thesis), an oral must always be held. An Independent Chair will also be appointed to be present at an oral exam.


Results of re-examination

Your Examiners send their reports and your candidature will be considered at the next available meetings of the Degree Committee.

The Degree Committee is the awarding body for the PhD Degree. Decisions to fail a candidate, or award a lower degree, are ratified by the Postgraduate Committee. Shortly after the Degree Committee meeting your result will be entered in CamSIS. You will be sent an email informing you of the result and advising you on what to do next. Your Examiners' reports will be attached to the email. Outcomes of the examination are:

  • pass (subject to submitting a hardbound copy and copy to Apollo);


Student Status

If you are required to revise and resubmit your thesis you are expected to be studying full-time in Cambridge from the date you are notified of your result unless you have applied for and been granted permission to work away. If you have already taken up employment you should temporarily withdraw from the University while you work on your revisions as it is not possible to be a student and be working at this stage.

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Office closures

The Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry 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.