skip to content

Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics & Chemistry


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). The form initiates the Examiner appointment process so it is very important that you remember to do this. Your intention notice will be acknowledged, and the Degree Committee Office will approach your supervisor for Examiner nominations, within 4 working days.

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. 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 normally initially submitted soft-bound with a spiral binding. 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. a CD-Rom, DVD, memory stick or video). Datasets supplied on a CD as a separate item or an additional volume connected to the printed thesis but not included within it require this permission. This process should be initiated and approved prior to you submitting your thesis.

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 paper 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 your Examiner specifically requires an electronic copy of your thesis they should make the request via the Degree Committee Office. If the Examiner makes the request to you directly please contact the Degree Committee Office; we will need you to make a formal declaration before an electronic copy can be released.

If you can't find the page you are looking for or find a broken link do let us know (please use the 'Contact us' link below).

Office closures

The DC 'remote' Office will be closed from 3pm on Friday 28 August 2020 for the August Bank Holiday. We reopen at 9am on Tuesday 1 September 2020.

Meetings schedule

Meetings of the Degree Committee and Degree Ceremonies: