skip to content

The University does not require electronic copies of Masters Theses to be deposited in Apollo, which means that the Thesis team does not deposit individual Masters Theses via Symplectic Elements.

However, there is a batch upload arrangement in place for faculties/departments who wish to deposit their Masters Theses in Apollo. Interested faculties/departments should contact the Thesis team for further information (

Key features of the batch upload arrangement

  • All Theses deposited via the batch upload will be made immediately open access in Apollo;
  • Faculties/departments will be provided with a shared drive, which they will use to provide electronic copies of Theses, Deposit Licence Agreements and metadata;
  • Faculties/departments create their own local policies to determine the number and frequency of their uploads to their shared drive;
  • Batch uploads are run once per term, at the end of each term by Repository staff.

Guidelines for faculties/departments

As all Theses that are deposited into Apollo via the batch upload arrangement will be immediately available (open access) in Apollo, it is only suitable for Theses that do not contain:

  • uncleared copyrighted material and/or
  • unauthorised confidential/sensitive information.

However, Faculties/departments may instead opt provide a redacted version of any Theses that do contain such content. If this option is chosen, Faculties/departments should deposit the original, unredacted Thesis and a redacted version. We have further information on our website about redacting material from theses.

It is important that these issues are resolved in advance of uploading the thesis to their shared drive, because depositing these items into Apollo may breach copyright or GDPR laws. If in doubt about a thesis, faculties/departments are advised not to include it in the batch upload request.

Should a Thesis have supplementary data files, the data should be uploaded separately via Symplectic Elements by the faculty/departmental administrator.

Third party copyright

Copyright held by someone other than the author is known as third party copyright. If an author has used third party copyright material, they should ascertain whether or not they need permission to use it in their thesis.

We recommend that authors obtain permission to include material as they are researching. Clearing permission can take a long time, so unless a redacted version is supplied, it is not appropriate to include Theses for batch upload where permissions have been sought but are still outstanding. It is also not appropriate to include theses where permission has not been sought, or where permission has been denied.

Please be aware that different copyright rules apply to the hardbound copy that is deposited in the library for reference and the electronic version that is deposited in the repository. This is because the hardbound copy is considered unpublished and the electronic version, if made available as open access, is considered published. The thesis must credit the copyright holder(s) and source(s) of all third party copyright material.

There is more information on third party copyright on our website.

Sensitive information

Sensitive information is data that must be protected for the privacy or security of an individual, group, or organisation. The kinds of sensitive information most likely to be included in theses are:

  • Commercial (trade secrets or information which could damage commercial interests)
  • Health and safety (information which could damage the health and/or safety of an individual)
  • Information provided in confidence Personal (as defined by the Data Protection Act 2018 - GDPR)
  • Culturally sensitive material (information or arguments which some cultural groups might find offensive or upsetting)
  • Content referring to legal cases

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 sets out the types of sensitive information to which legally enforceable restrictions may be applied. The University of Cambridge is bound by this Act. It may decide to apply restrictions to other types of information, including theses deposited in the University Library or Departmental and Faculty libraries, but they are not legally binding if not falling under the Act.

Unless a redacted version is supplied, it is also not appropriate to include theses for batch upload that contain sensitive/confidential information without authorisation from whom the information relates.

There is more information about sensitive material on our website