Department of Engineering / Graduates / Current Graduate Students / How to Submit Your Dissertation

Department of Engineering

How to Submit Your Dissertation

How to Submit Your Dissertation

MPhil in Engineering and MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Word Limit

15,000 words, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography and appendices

Final Submission Dates

Students starting in October – 31 August
Students starting in January – 30 November

Where to Submit

Graduate Studies Office, Room BEO-24, Department of Engineering, Trumpington Street.

Examination Procedure

Two soft bound copies of the final version of your thesis must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.  The typical length of an MPhil thesis is 10,000-15,000 words. The Degree Committee cannot give permission to exceed the word limit. The examiners of your thesis will want to satisfy themselves that it is clearly written, that it takes account of previously published work on the subject and that it represents a contribution to learning.  The regulations for the MPhil in Engineering also require that the thesis provides evidence that you can design and carry out investigations, assess and interpret the results obtained and place the work in the wider perspective of the subject.

You will be required to attend an oral examination on your thesis and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.  The oral examination is normally held in the Department within eight weeks of the submission date.  One-year students planning to leave the country at the end of their course may need to be examined early and should aim to submit his or her thesis well before the last possible date.  All students are encouraged to submit their work in good time.

PhD in Engineering and PhD in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Appointment of Examiners and Approval of Title

Four weeks before you intend to submit your dissertation, please email the Graduate Studies Office with the title of your dissertation and your proposed submission date. After consulting with your supervisor, the GSO will arrange for your examiners to be appointed and your title approved.


PhD dissertations must not exceed, without prior permission of the Degree Committee, 65,000 words, including appendices, bibliography, footnotes, tables and equations, and not to contain more than 150 figures. You must submit with your dissertation a statement signed by yourself giving the length of the dissertation and the number of figures. Any application to exceed the prescribed length must be accompanied by a statement from the supervisor explaining why the extended length is required. Any dissertation which, without the prior permission of the Degree Committee, exceeds the permitted limits, will be referred back to the candidate before being forwarded to the Examiners.

Where to Submit

PhD dissertations are submitted at the Board of Graduate Studies office on Mill Lane where they are checked, logged and then forwarded to the Graduate Studies Office. Providing examiners have been appointed, your dissertations will be forwarded to the examiners within 2 days of receipt.

Examination Procedure

Your dissertation will be forwarded to your examiners as soon as possible. We will write to you informing you that this has been done. An oral examination will be arranged by your examiners and you will be informed of the time and date. We ask the examiners to arrange this examination within 2 months of receiving the dissertation but this is not always possible. At the oral examination, or just after it, you will be given a list of any corrections required by the examiners. One or both of the examiners will check your corrections, usually the internal examiner. The corrections can be completed on an electronic copy of the dissertation and forwarded to the examiner, some examiners will prefer to have a printed copy. When the corrections are completed, you can go ahead and get the hardbound copies made. The Graduate Union can arrange this for you.