In year 3 you are likely to once again present your findings at the Postgraduate Student Symposium.  Most students are then ready to submit their dissertation.  It is imperative that you keep the Department informed of your plans with regards to this. You should email the Education Team when you start thinking about submitting your dissertation.

The steps to take are:

About two months before you are due to submit your dissertation, you will need to apply for examiners to be appointed.   Normally two examiners are appointed, one from within the University (internal) and one from another institution (external). You should Complete the  Intention to Submit Form  and email it to the Degree Committee together with a copy of your dissertation summary.  The form can also be downloaded from your Camsis self-service pages.  The Degree Committee will then set in motion the process of appointment by asking the Head of Department to make nominations.  Your Supervisor will be consulted at this point. The summary is used to inform the Head of Department and potential examiners about the content of your work.  Students are not expected to nominate potential examiners themselves.

The Student Registry will log in your dissertation and send it to the Higher Degrees Office, who will then send it out to your examiners with instructions about conducting the examination. The Internal Examiner will contact you in due course about the date, time and place for the viva (which is arranged by the Internal Examiner).

Coronavirus/COVID-19 update

Please note that until further notice Student Registry will be closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak and will therefore not be in a position to receive softbound submissions. During this period of closure students will be required to submit their thesis to their Degree Committee electronically. Please refer to this Degree Committee issued Electronic Thesis Submission guidelines. While Student Registry is closed we will not require you to submit the thesis submission checklist or the loose copies of the abstract.

We appreciate that the current situation may affect your ability to submit your thesis.  If the preparation of your thesis has been or is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak and you need additional time, you should apply for an extension to your submission deadline.  You can do this via your CamSIS self-service account.

Submitting the Softbound Thesis

The thesis you submit to Student Registry will be the thesis submitted for examination.  It is not possible to ‘retract submission’ or to send a revised copy directly to your examiners.You may be asked by your Degree Committee to provide an electronic copy of your thesis – this must be identical to the submitted softbound copy. 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). 

The Department of Psychiatry recommends that students use the APA style of referencing however you should discuss this with your supervisor.  For more details about APA style please visit:

Style of the dissertation –  please visit information issued by the Student Registry on the style and format of the dissertation:

The completed form and dissertation summary should be sent to:

Elizabeth McIntyre
Secretary of the Degree Committee
School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge
Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 0SP
Tel: 01223 (3)36720

*** Please make sure that you copy the Psychiatry Education Team into this email.

The form also contains a section for voluntary disclosure of any disability which you may wish your examiners to be made aware of. If you tick any of the boxes, you will be put in touch with the Disability Resource Centre who will then provide the necessary advice and guidance. If appropriate, the Degree Committee will advise the examiners accordingly. Your supervisor will be advised whether the nominations have been approved by the Degree Committee. You should then complete your writing-up and endeavour to submit 2 soft-bound copies of your dissertation to the Student Registry as soon as possible, and definitely before the end of your registration date. Information on the submission process can be found at:

At the examination you will be told about any necessary corrections, if these are minor, you may be issued with a set of required corrections. Once you have done these you must get them checked by the internal examiner. If you do not receive a list of corrections from the internal examiner at or after the viva, you will need to wait until after the Degree Committee has met to consider your reports. A copy of the reports and corrections will then be sent to you by the Student Registry.

You must submit your dissertation for examination within the maximum period of your study.  For full-time students this is 48 months (4 years) from the initial date of registration (taking into account any periods of authorised intermission).  Students who do not submit by this date will be removed from the University’s register of students.    Students who are unable to meet their submission deadline must apply to extend their registration date (see link below). If you are not able to submit before your final ‘end of registration date’ (as shown on CamSIS), you must talk to your supervisor to discuss whether there are grounds for you to apply for an extension or whether you should come off the Register of Graduate Students temporarily, until ready to submit. All such applications must be made before the end of your registration date. You must inform the Education Team in the first instance if you are unlikely to submit on time to ensure that you receive the appropriate advice and guidance.

You should not be emailing your internal or external examiners directly with electronic copies of the theses.  The only copy of the thesis that an examiner should receive prior to the viva is the paper copy which you formally submit via the Student Registry.  Should the examiners request an electronic copy, the Education Team will ask you for this and we will pass it onto the examiner(s).

For more details, please refer to these useful links and websites: 

We have been informed that more advice on how to set up a thesis in Word would be useful as your thesis may be too big to be one document.  This website provides some solutions to the problem:

Also, here are some articles on tips for writing a thesis which may be useful:


Your viva will take place soon after your submission date, usually within 3 months.  The Postgraduate Education Committee have created a document which contains some useful tips to help you prepare for the viva – VIVA TIPS.

How to prepare for your viva tips have also been published by the Researcher Development Office – Preparing for your Viva | Researcher Development (