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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Thesis Submissions: 

The oral examination will normally take place in-person in Cambridge, but you may choose to be examined remotely by video conference. You should inform your Degree Committee of your preference when you notify them of your intention to submit/apply for appointment of Examiners. Please also make your supervisor aware of your preference as it may affect the choice of available Examiners.

Arrangements where you and one Examiner are co-located in Cambridge, with the second Examiner participating by video conference, or where both examiners are co-located and you participate by video conference, are permissible provided all parties agree.

In-person oral examination: Appropriate Government or University guidance related to social distancing and COVID-19 in force at the time of the examination must be adhered to. In-person examination may be delayed if restrictions prevent face-to-face meetings. Students who are overseas and returning to Cambridge for their viva should contact the International Student Office for visa advice if their student visa has expired or will be expiring soon.

Video conference oral examination: A guide to conducting vivas by video conference can be found here.

The choice of in-person or video conference viva does not constitute procedural irregularity grounds for complaint should you fail the examination.


Please submit your thesis to the POLIS Degree Committee electronically via the Course Moodle page. Please submit your thesis in Pdf format through the course Moodle page, at the tab below.

Please also email to confirm that you have made your submission. If you have any questions, please email the PhD administrator. 


  • Default viva format will return to in-person examination held in Cambridge, but students should have the option to choose an online viva if they wish.
  • In-person examination will be expected to follow all relevant University and Government guidelines for social distancing in place at the time. Students should be aware there may be a delay in arranging an in-person examination if COVID-19 restrictions prevent face-to-face interaction.
  • The intention to submit form, will ask the student’s preference (in-person, video conference, or no preference)
  • Students and supervisors should be mindful when selecting examiners from overseas, that they are aware if travel to Cambridge is required. Usual travel expenses rates/restrictions apply for in-person vivas (including limits on non-EU international travel).

Nomination of Examiners will need to be be approved by the Degree Committee in the usual way. 

The thesis you submit will be the thesis submitted for examination.  It is not possible to 'retract submission' or to send a revised copy directly to your examiners.  Please note that you must submit before 5.30pm on your submission deadline (which can be found under 'Thesis submission details' on the Academic tile in your CamSIS self-service) unless your deadline falls over the weekend in which case you must submit your thesis by 5.30pm on the Friday before. 

If you are resubmitting your thesis following a viva outcome of being allowed to revise and resubmit the thesis for examination for the PhD or EdD degree, you need to follow the same procedure as for the original  thesis submission.

Examiners are not expected to edit work. They will deal with errors of fact and typographical errors that affect the meaning, as well as larger, structural issues. The extent to which the text has or has not been properly prepared may influence their recommendation concerning the award of the degree.

What format does my thesis have to be in?

The thesis must:

  • be written in English, apart from quotations and recognised technical formulae

  • be thoroughly checked to ensure clear, formal English has been used throughout and that there are minimal typing errors and/or spelling mistakes

  • be typescript on A4 paper

  • be portrait format

  • use double-sided printing where possible

  • use one-and-a-half spaced type

Any photographs or other illustrations should be scanned or printed into the text. 

How do I present my thesis?

You must submit an electronic copy of the thesis for examination.  

You may submit a hard bound thesis as your first submission, along with all the paperwork listed below for a first submission. However, if corrections to your thesis are required, you will need to produce a new, corrected, hard bound edition. Should you decide to submit a hard bound thesis at this stage please also follow the guidance on the minimum requirements for a hardbound copy of thesis for Hardbound Submission.

Further information and guidance about printing and soft binding your thesis can be found on the website of the Graduate Union.

What paperwork is needed?

Bound inside the thesis you must include the following:

1. A title page displaying:

  • the full title of the thesis,

  • your full name (as it appears on your passport),

  • your college,

  • the date of your submission (month and year)

  • and a declaration stating: "This thesis is submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy/Master of Science/Master of Letters (as appropriate)."

2. A declaration in the preface stating:

  • This thesis is the result of my own work and includes nothing which is the outcome of work done in collaboration except as declared in the Preface and specified in the text.

  • It is not substantially the same as any that I have submitted, or, is being concurrently submitted for a degree or diploma or other qualification at the University of Cambridge or any other University or similar institution except as declared in the Preface and specified in the text. I further state that no substantial part of my thesis has already been submitted, or, is being concurrently submitted for any such degree, diploma or other qualification at the University of Cambridge or any other University or similar institution except as declared in the Preface and specified in the text

  • It does not exceed the prescribed word limit for the relevant Degree Committee.  For more information on the word limits for the respective Degree Committee. Please see Word Limits and Requirements Page. 

Loose with the thesis(not attached) you must provide the following:

  1. One completed thesis submission checklist

  2. One copy of a Summary/Abstract of about 300 words in length, with your name and thesis title on it.

  3. One completed statement of length form 

  4. One signed Declaration Form

Return completed forms to the Student Registry.


I have submitted my thesis to the Degree Committee, what happens next?

When you submit your thesis, the department send a copy to the Student Registry and your CamSIS records are updated. The department will then forward it on to your examiners. If you have not received confirmation of the date of your oral examination within six weeks of submitting your thesis, contact your Degree Committee/course administrater. Any questions with regard to your thesis at this stage should be directed to the department.

When do I need to submit by?

You will be have a date and time by which your thesis must be submitted to your Degree Committee - see your CamSIS self-Serve for more details.

When will I find out my results?

Results are usually posted after your Degree Committee has met and this can vary widely, as such you should contact your Degree Committee for further information.