This section contains information for postgraduate students. Information for all students is available in the guidance for all students section.

On this page:

Postgraduate taught students

Postgraduate research students

International postgraduate students


Postgraduate taught students

Teaching and assessment

There will be no face-to-face teaching in Cambridge in the Easter Term. All teaching will move online. During this time you will have access to the same teaching that you would have been provided in Cambridge, but remotely. 

No additional teaching will be provided outside of this normal teaching period. This remains the case even if you take your assessments in the second assessment period outside of Easter Term.

The alternative assessments will not require additional supervision or teaching, although your Faculty or Department may offer additional planned supervisions or teaching if they wish. 

The assessment page has all the information on the alternative assessment arrangements, including specific guidance for postgraduate taught students.


We understand that your progress may have been impeded by the coronavirus and closure of University buildings and that you may need more time to work on your dissertation.

If you need an extension you should contact your Department in the first instance. You may be asked to submit an extension request through your CamSIS self-service.

Please remember that your College Graduate Tutor can be a useful source of advice and support on this, to complement or clarify advice from your Supervisor.

Degree approval

Degree Committees and the Board of Graduate Studies will meet remotely over the coming months to consider the approval of degrees and other individual student matters.

Further guidance

If you need further advice or guidance please contact the Student Registry.

You can also contact your Supervisor, Course Director or Graduate Tutor as appropriate. 

Postgraduate research students

The University recognises that the closure of University buildings may have a severe impact on your ability to continue with your research.

You should discuss with your Supervisor what work you can do during this time. This may include background reading, online language learning or drafting chapters. 

Your College Graduate Tutor can also be a useful source of advice and support during this time.

Options for continuing research

If you are able to work on your research and have left Cambridge

If you are no longer in Cambridge but still working on your research, you need to apply to work away from Cambridge. This is the case even if you are unable to work at your normal rate or carry out your normal research activities. We are asking you to do this so we are aware of your location as you will continue to be a registered student.

You do not need to have applied before you left Cambridge and you do not need to provide a risk assessment with your application.

Further information on applying to work away >

If you are able to work on your research and have remained in Cambridge

If you have remained in Cambridge and are able to undertake any work on your research (including background reading, drafting of chapters or similar activities) you do not need to take any action. 

If you are unable to work on your research from home

If you are unable to undertake any work on your research from home, you should consider applying for non-medical intermission. This will ensure that you do not lose the time that you cannot spend on your project. You should discuss this with your Supervisor before making an application.

Please be aware that this may have implications for your funding and for your visa if you are a Tier 4 student. You should seek advice from your funding body and the International Student Office before making an application.

Further information on non-medical intermission >

If you have been given permission to return to Cambridge to continue your research 

As the lockdown is eased, some postgraduate research students have been given permission to return to Cambridge to continue with their research from June 2020 onwards. 

If this applies to you, you need to follow the advice from your Department or place of research. For further guidance you should read the University's protocol for the return of postgraduate research students to conduct research on University premises.

If you are intending to take up College accommodation or to use College facilities in the coming months, you need to read the guidance for returning to College.

Extending your submission date

We understand that your progress may have been impeded by the coronavirus and that you may need more time to work on your research and prepare your thesis for submission. 

If you need additional time, you can apply to extend your submission date. 

For doctoral students, we recommend you apply around six months before your submission deadline when you will have a clear idea of the amount of additional time needed.

Before you submit your application to extend your submission date you need to:

  • Discuss the situation with your Supervisor
  • Ask you funding body whether it is possible to extend your period of funding

Students on fieldwork

If you are on fieldwork, you should continue to follow Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice, even if you are not a British national, and make/change your arrangements accordingly. 

If you are coming to the end of your fieldwork, you should consider returning home rather than coming back to Cambridge.

You need to inform us by emailing if:

  • You need to extend your period of fieldwork
  • You are unable to continue with your fieldwork
  • You have come to the end of your fieldwork and decide to return home rather than back to Cambridge
  • Travel restrictions prevent you from leaving your fieldwork location

Travel insurance

If you need to stay in your fieldwork location you should sign into the Chubb portal using the link in your original travel insurance cover confirmation and extend your cover. Do not make a new application as this will be invalid.

Students who are planning fieldwork will need to make alternative insurance arrangements as new trips will not be covered by University insurance. This is the case even if a certificate of insurance is obtained. 

Further guidance on travel insurance >

Maintenance stipends 

University-managed funds

Students who currently receive a maintenance stipend from funds managed within the collegiate University (including Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Harding, Departments and Colleges and UKRI DTPs and CDTs) will continue to receive their maintenance funding as normal until the end of September 2020 as long as they are continuing to study and have not reached their funding end date. 

External funders

We are in close contact with external funders and will provide further guidance about applying for extended funding when known. The UKRI and the Wellcome Trust have provided guidance to the University on funding extensions, which is being taken forward. For other external funders, students will need to make contact with their own funder to enquire about the possibility of funded extensions.

Some funders also provide financial support for other incidental costs – students should contact their funding body for more details.

Financial hardship

If you are in financial hardship, please see the general student page for information on the help available, including the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. Students should approach their funder in the first instance to request additional funding and will need to show that they have done this before applying for University hardship funds, for which self-funded students are normally prioritised.

Submitting your thesis

Softbound thesis

We are working with the Degree Committees to receive your thesis electronically. You will receive more details from your Degree Committee shortly.

Once you have submitted your softbound thesis, your Degree Committee may arrange for your viva voce examination to be held via video conference. 

Hardbound and e-thesis

The Student Services Centre will not be open to receive theses. 

We have arranged with JS Wilson Bookbinders that they will store any hardbound theses bound by them until such time as the Student Services Centre re-opens. JS Wilson will let us know when your thesis has been bound and we will take that date as the date of submission of your hardbound thesis.

Contact JS Wilson >

If you do not use JS Wilson you may need to apply for an extension for the submission of your hardbound thesis. You can do this by emailing

You should submit your e-thesis unless informed otherwise by the Student Registry.

Degree approval

Degree Committees and the Board of Graduate Studies will meet remotely over the coming months to consider the approval of degrees and other individual student matters.

Further guidance

If you need further advice or guidance please contact the Student Registry.

You can also contact your Supervisor, Course Director or Graduate Tutor as appropriate. 

International postgraduate students

Tier 4 visa holders

The Home Office recognises the exceptional circumstances of the current situation and the University will continue to sponsor a current student’s Tier 4 visa during a disruption to studies resulting from the coronavirus outbreak and whilst continuing studies remotely. This is the case whether you are currently overseas or in the UK.

New students who are starting their studies in Michaelmas Term 2020 butare given permission to study remotely for reasons of disability or susceptibility to infectious disease should contact the International Student Office for guidance on the appropriate time to make their Tier 4 visa application. 

Advice for research students

Research students should consider whether an application for Work Away or Intermission is appropriate to their circumstances. Tier 4 sponsorship continues during an approved period of ‘Work Away’, in accordance with usual procedures. 

As the current circumstances are exceptional, the University will continue to provide Tier 4 sponsorship during a period of intermission of up to four months or until 30 September 2020, whichever is later. Where a disruption to studies means a research student’s submission deadline is extended past their current Tier 4 visa expiry, a visa extension may be required in future and the International Student Office can provide further guidance at the relevant time.

Making your Tier 4 visa application from outside the UK

Most UK Visa Application Centres have now re-opened across the world but appointment availability may be more limited in some locations. Priority and super priority services are also temporarily suspended.

Some UK visa services remain closed at this time and re-opening will be subject to local restrictions.

Making your Tier 4 application from inside the UK

If you are eligible to make your Tier 4 application from inside the UK, you may find that when you apply you are unable to book a biometrics appointment. These services have resumed but with reduced availability at this time.

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) may reuse the fingerprints you have already provided with a previous UK visa application. If this is applicable, you will be emailed after you apply with instructions on how to send a facial image and your supporting documents. This will mean you do not have to attend a biometrics appointment.

Otherwise you will be able to book a biometrics appointment when more appointments become available.

If you make an in-time application and are waiting for a decision, you can start your course at Cambridge whilst this is pending. You will need to provide your College with evidence you have submitted an application within the relevant timeframe. UKVI advises that if your application is eventually rejected as invalid or refused you must stop your course or studies.

If you currently hold permission in an immigration category other than Tier 4, we would advise you to contact the International Student Office to check if you are eligible to switch inside the UK.

Further guidance

For further guidance on student immigration matters, please contact the International Student Office.