skip to content

Department of Oncology


This page contains links to forms required for:

For further guidance and information about the procedures in this section see the Departmental Postgraduate student Handbook.

Additional information is provided on the Degree Committee for Clinical Medicine and Veterinary Medicine's Sharepoint site.

Accepting student applications

Prospective Supervisors are asked to complete the following forms if they wish to accept a student:

Back to top

Applying for changes to your student status

Information and forms for applying for changes to your student status, such things as intermission (a break from study), leave to work away from Cambridge, or an extension to your submission date are available via your CamSIS self-service account.

You can make an application to change your student status via the 'apply for things' section of your CamSIS self-service. To submit an application, navigate to this section and select the application you would like to make. Once you have followed the instructions for completing the online form and clicked 'submit request', your application will be sent to your Supervisor for consideration before being sent to the next stages of the approval process.

Applications to change your student status are considered by five approval parties:

  1. Your Principal Supervisor
  2. Your Department
  3. Your College
  4. Your Degree Committee
  5. The Student Registry, on behalf of the Postgraduate Committee (formerly Board of Graduate Studies).

When you submit an application via CamSIS, a notification will be sent to your Principal Supervisor, who will then confirm whether he/she approves what you have requested. Once your Principal Supervisor confirms his/her decision, your application will progress to each approval party in the order given above.

The final decision regarding your application will be made at the Student Registry. All applications are considered in line with the policy of the Board of Graduate Studies. The policy for each type of change of status application is available at:

Please note: the onus is on you to manage your applications, which will need supporting comments from various interested parties. Please follow the instructions for your application with care.

Back to top

Training & Development

Your Development Log is intended as a means of reviewing and recording your training and development as a postgraduate student. Its purpose is to help you to plan your own training and to record the outcomes. As well as gaining valuable skills through the training itself, you will find that the information accumulated in this Log will prove helpful when you come to writing your cv and applying for jobs. The document belongs to you and it is your responsibility to keep it up to date.

You should record all formal meetings with your Principal Supervisor and all training undertaken throughout your course, e.g. presenting at meetings and conferences, attending writing skills courses, specialist technical training, etc. 

Back to top

    MPhil & PhD Preliminary Project Plan

    One month after starting your degree, you are required to produce a brief summary of your thesis plan. This is to ensure that you have a viable project that is achievable within the timeframe of your degree course. You should meet with your Principal Supervisor to discuss your plan. Please record details of this meeting and your project plan in the form below, then return an electronic copy to the Postgraduate Education Team at: 

    Back to top

    PhD First Year Assessment

    All PhD candidates are probationary in their first year and are required to successfully complete and pass a First Year Assessment before being formally registered for the PhD degree course. This is to ensure that the study they have embarked upon suits them and that they are making satisfactory progress.   

    The purpose of the first-year assessment is to provide evidence of your suitability for registration for a PhD and involves the submission of a first year report, followed by a viva with two independent assessors. Since the first-year report involves the production of a piece of scientific writing it is an opportunity for you to reflect upon the progress and direction of your research.  The assessors will submit a report on the viva and make a recommendation to your Supervisor and Department as to whether you should be registered for the PhD degree.  The Department will then make a recommendation via CamSIS to the Degree Committee. 

    If you are a full-time PhD candidate, you must complete your first-year assessment before the start of your 4th term of study at Cambridge and preferably by the 10th month. If you are a part-time PhD candidate, you must complete your first-year assessment before starting your 7th term of study at Cambridge, preferably by the 21st month.  

    Your First Year Report should be 4000-6000 words in length (20-30 sides of A4), excluding the references. It should be written in standard scientific format, using double spacing and in font size 12, i.e., this means that it can be easily used in the Introduction, Methods and first Results chapters of your PhD dissertation. 

    The report should contain the following sections: 

    1. Title page:  Include your project title, Department of Oncology, Principal Supervisor’s name and your name, with a word count at the bottom.
    2. Contents: A list of section headings, figures and tables.
    3. Abstract: One-page summary of your report.
    4.  Introduction: This should describe the background and rationale of your project.
    5. Materials & Methods: Contains details of the experimental methods that you have used during your first year of research.
    6. Results:  This section should describe the results that you have obtained so far. Please be assured that many PhD projects do not produce many results during this period and the lack of results does not preclude writing an excellent report!
    7. Discussion:  This should contain a discussion of your results in a critical and balanced way, comparing and contrasting your findings with relevant results in the literature. You should also state how you envisage your work developing in future.
    8. References:  List of references used in your report.
    9. Development/Progress Log Book: You should include a copy of your Progress Log Book.

    You should send an electronic copy of your report to your Principal Supervisor and to the Postgraduate Education Team; your report will be marked as late if you do not do this. If you have concerns about submitting your report on time, please contact the Postgraduate Education Team as soon as possible.  


    Back to top

    PhD Second Year Assessment

    Nine months after starting the second year of your PhD you are required to submit a brief progress report to the departmental Postgraduate Education Team. The purpose of this report is to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate level of supervision and to check that you are on track for completing your PhD within your period of registration as a student.

    Back to top

    PhD Thesis Completion Plan:

    Six months before you anticipate submitting your PhD thesis, your are required to submit a PhD Thesis Completion Plan to the departmental Postgraduate Education Team. The purpose of this plan is to ensure that you can complete your PhD write up within your period of registration as a student.

    Back to top

    Submission and examination of theses

    Full information about submission of the MPhil and PhD thesis is provided on the Degree Committee for Clinical Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Sharepoint site.

    This includes information regarding:

    • The Intention to Submit form 
    • MPhil Submission Guidance
    • PhD Submission Guidance
    • The Electronic Thesis Submission site
    • Formatting MPhil and PhD Theses Guidance
    • The Oral Examination
    • Corrections Maps
    • Degree Approval and Conferment

    Back to top