skip to content

Graduate students, Department of Engineering


Before submitting

Word limit

The word limit is 15,000 words, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography and appendices. The Degree Committee cannot give permission to exceed the word limit.

Format and presentation

Please see the information on the Cambridge Students website.

Submission deadlines

Students starting in October – 31 August (2pm)
Students starting in January – 30 November (2pm)

If these dates fall on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, we will accept the thesis by 12 noon on the next working day.

Extensions can only be granted in limited circumstances; see Extending your submission date. If you do not submit by your deadline, you will be removed from the register of graduate students, which will result in you losing access to resources. However, if this happens, you will still be able to submit your thesis at a later date.

If you are planning to leave the country at the end of your course, or if you are intending to commence a PhD shortly after completing your MPhil, you may need to be examined early and should aim to submit your thesis well in advance of the last possible date.

Preparing to submit

Four weeks before you intend to submit your thesis, please complete the online Intention to Submit Form. After consulting with your supervisor, the GSO will arrange for your examiners to be appointed and your title approved. The GSO will also add you to the Moodle site so that you will be able to submit your thesis when it is completed.

Where and what to submit

Details of what you must include can be found on the Cambridge Students website. 

You should submit an electronic pdf copy of your thesis via the Engineering Degree Committee thesis submission Moodle site. Please name the file "MPhil_Your CRSid.pdf" so that it is identifiable.

The MPhil in Engineering is examined by dissertation only. You will be required to take two modules and take part in a Researcher Development Course but the results do not count towards your final degree.

After submitting

The oral examination (viva)

We will email you when your thesis has been forwarded to your examiners. You should expect to wait at least 6 weeks for your oral examination. In most cases the viva will be between you and two examiners, usually one internal and one external. 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.

If you wish to notify examiners of any disability or request adjustments on account of such disability for your viva voce examination (either for your first year assessment or final examination), you can do this via your Degree Committee by completing and submitting the voluntary disclosure form.

After your oral examination, you may be asked to make some corrections to your thesis. If your examiners do not provide you with a list of corrections, please contact the GSO and we will arrange for a list to be sent to you.  When the corrections are complete, you should show them to your internal examiner (and/or your external examiner in some cases).

After the examination

Your examiners' reports will be considered at a meeting of the Engineering Degree Committee. Following this meeting, you will receive an email from the Graduate Studies Office informing you of the outcome, along with copies of your examiners' reports.


No corrections needed, or corrections completed and approved before paperwork considered by Degree Committee

If you were not required to make any corrections, or you have already completed your corrections and they have been approved by your examiners before your paperwork is considered by the Degree Committee, then you will receive an email from the GSO informing you that you have passed.

Corrections required

Examiners can recommend that you need to complete some corrections to your thesis. These can be either minor, which you will be given three weeks to complete, or major, which you will be given six weeks to complete. These timings start from the date that your examination paperwork is approved by the Degree Committee, and you will receive an email from the GSO informing you of the relevant timeframes following that meeting.

You remain on the register of graduate students during this period (unless your corrections are approved sooner), however the working restrictions for graduate students do not apply during this time. You should still apply for leave to work away if you are completing your corrections away from Cambridge. After completing your corrections, you should send them to your internal examiner to approve, who will then confirm to the Degree Committee, via the GSO, when they have done so. Approval of corrections does not need to go through any further committee meetings. The GSO will then notify you when your degree is approved.

Other outcomes

Although the most common outcome is that corrections are required before you can be awarded an MPhil (or occasionally an outright pass), it is also possible that you may be asked to Revise and Resubmit your thesis for a new examination. In rare cases, outright failure is a possible outcome. You can find the full list of potential outcomes in the Code of Practice.

After degree approval

After your MPhil, including any corrections required, has been approved by the Degree Committee, you will be notified by the Graduate Studies Office, by email, within a few days of the Degree Committee meeting. You can then make arrangements to attend a congregation, or have your degree awarded in absentia.