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Current Postgraduate Students


Appointing examiners

About two months before you expect to submit your thesis, you should give the Degree Committee notice so the process of appointing your examiners can begin.


our MPhil thesis must be prepared in accordance with the University regulations. The scheme of examination for the one-year course of study in Chemistry for the degree of Master of Philosophy shall consist of a thesis, of not more than 15,000 words in length, including summary/abstract, tables and footnotes, but excluding table of contents, photographs, diagrams, figure captions, list of figures/diagrams, list of abbreviations/acronyms, bibliography, appendices and acknowledgements (Notes 1–3) on a subject approved by the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry. The Degree Committee will not normally accept any reports that go over the word limit and some of the best reports are well under; 15,000 is a maximum, not a target.

The MPhil thesis is submitted electronically in A4 portrait format. There is no requirement for a hardbound copy at any stage in the examination for the MPhil. 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. 

The examination that follows shall then include an oral examination (viva) on the thesis and on the general field of knowledge. The thesis shall provide evidence to satisfy the examiners that the candidate can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained, and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject. You may be asked about your training and any lectures attended by the Assessors.

Note 1: Derivations, code and spectra should routinely be included in the MPhil thesis as Appendices, unless they form part of the connected argument presented in the report. 

Note 2: Experimentalists who find that their experimental section is taking them over the 15,000 word count should retain only the key compounds in the Experimental Section (part of the main report body, i.e. included in the word count); all other compounds (including preparation method and experimental data) should be moved to an Appendix entitled 'Supporting Information', i.e. rendering them excluded from the word count.

Note 3: Occasionally, it may be necessary to submit information electronically that it is not possible to include in the printed version, e.g. datasets, movies/simulations or computer code.  If you need to take up this option, please make a case to submit a CD-Rom or DVD by filling out the application form (your Supervisor also need to approve this) and submit to the Degree Committee at least two months in advance of your actual submission deadline.

Further Information and Relevant Links Regarding Submission

Submission of additional materials: You may seek permission through the CamSIS Self Service page to submit additional materials with your dissertation. Datasets supplied 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 prior to the soft bound submission.

Submission of a digital thesis: You can find information on how to do this on the Cambridge Student Registry website.

After the viva

Your Examiners will complete the Reg2 form after your viva, which provides a recommendation to the Degree Committee as to whether you are approved for MPhil with minor or major corrections (the most common options selected), without corrections, if you need to revise and resubmit or if you fail (very rare).  For further information, please see the Degree Committee for the Faculty of Physics and Chemistry.