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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


CamSIS applications


In order to manage intermitting, extending the date you are registered as a student (to enable you to defer your submission date), working away from Cambridge, or any other application, you will need to apply for permission from the University - applications must be approved by your Supervisor, your Department, your College, your Degree Committee and the Postgraduate Committee

You are in charge of tracking the administration of your application and ensuring it processes through each stage.  

If you need to cancel an application whilst it is being administered, you will need to log onto your Self-Service pages to request this. If your application has already been approved, you will need to email



Leave to Work Away 


Please ensure you apply for Leave to Work Away in a timely fashion, at least 3 months before you plan to go, as it takes time to process and review each application. 

As a registered graduate student you will need to apply to work away if at any time you plan to work away from Cambridge to conduct fieldwork, undertake work directly related to your studies or "write up" prior to submission of your thesis. 

You should apply to work away for all research absences over 2 weekseven if you are returning home to do research. 

Graduate students are entitled to up to 8 weeks of holiday per academic year, with the agreement of their supervisor. This should be reserved for non-research trips, ideally - e.g. travelling home for the winter break. 

It is very important that the University has a record of where you are when not in Cambridge. For those students sponsored under Tier 4, it is absolutely essential.

You should not consider leaving Cambridge without having received notification by email from the Student Registry that your application to work away has been approved. 

If you wish to extend the dates of your Leave to Work Away period then you will need to enter a new application in CamSIS. This should state this is an extension to the already approved trip and the same Risk Assessment can be used if still relevant. You will also need to inform the Travel Insurance team so they can extend your insurance. 

You can now apply for University Travel Insurance (which is free) prior to having your Leave to Work Away approved - and for shorter trips which do not need LTWA. However, the insurance does not cover Airbnb bookings. 


University Travel Insurance website


Risk Assessment Procedure


As part of research abroad, you must undertake a risk assessment. The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that appropriate risk management is in place for the activities of graduate students; please see the links below for further information about the Department's procedures. 

PhD Students


Fieldwork Funding


PhD students who have been granted Leave to Work Away may also apply to receive funding towards their fieldwork costs; please see the link below for further information about the Department's procedure. 

More information about fieldwork funding




Intermission is an agreed period of leave from study, for medical or non-medical reasons. Students remain on the register of graduate students (so may use certain facilities) but are not actively studying. The link below contains all the information you need about intermission, including how to apply and any implications for visas. 

Change Mode of Study


Extending your End of Registration date


This is the new name for extending your submission date. If you have not yet submitted and wish to extend your 'End of Registration Date' you may apply to do so online using your Self-Service pages. This must be approved before the last day of your fourth year, else you will be automatically removed from the register. The link below contains all the information you need about extending your end of registration date, including how to apply and any conditions. 

Applications to extend your end of registration date must make a clear and convincing case of why it is essential for you to remain as a registered student, and extensions will not be granted for more than one term. 

Change Mode of Study


Ethical Approval for Research


Information about the Department's ethics procedure, how to apply for approval and the forms you will need to complete. 

All students in the Department conducting research as part of their course must apply for ethical approval or confirm that ethical approval is not required.

PhD Students

MPhil Students


Code of Practice


The Code of Practice sets out the University’s guidelines for graduate courses. There is one for Master’s students and one for Research Students (electronic versions can be found on the Cambridge students website).

It is essential that students review the Code of Practice at the start of their study so a signature page has been introduced to the booklet to help encourage this. We will not be checking on students or their supervisor that this has been completed, but please note that if you do not sign the booklet this does not mean that you will not be held against it.


Complaints and Appeals


The Office of Student Conduct, Complaints and Appeals (OSCCA) provides procedural advice, case handling and oversight of a number of student procedures, which you can find on the web pages in this section. In addition, the Office handles responses and is the point of contact  for the external ombudsman, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), with whom students can raise complaints following the completion of an internal University procedure. The Responsible Officer for POLIS is Prof James Mayall. For more information, please see the OSCCA website.




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