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A LaTeX document class that conforms to the Computer Laboratory's PhD thesis formatting guidelines.
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Merge pull request #6 from urbas/dissertation-rename

ISSUE #5: Replaced the declaration text with the one provided by the student registry.
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Matej Urbas urbas authored


a LaTeX thesis template for Cambridge PhD students

Want to write a thesis? Well, here is what you need:

  1. this template (just clone it with git),
  2. one of the existing samples (which can be found in the ./Samples/ folder), and
  3. and some research content.

The samples are based on other PhD students' theses.

Quicker start

Copy all files from this directory (where you found this README file) to your desired location.

Now you can start writing your thesis using the thesis.tex file.

Finally, build the PDF document by running the following in the command line:


If you're using the glossaries package, try using these:


The above scripts work around a bug in the supplied makefile (i.e., the makefile forgets to rebuild the glossary index when pages change between LaTeX build runs).

How will it look like?

Your thesis document will look something like this (using the Adobe Sabon font and the clean sample, which can be found in ./Samples/clean):

Thesis Sample (PDF)

The template also supports DVI and PS formats. All three formats can be generated with the provided Makefile.

Producing PDF, DVI and PS documents

Build your thesis

To build the PDF version of your thesis, run:




This build procedure uses pdflatex and will produce thesis.pdf.

To produce DVI and PS versions of your document, you should run:




This will use the latex command to build the document and will produce thesis.dvi, and thesis.pdf documents.

Clean unwanted files

To clean unwanted clutter (all LaTeX auto-generated files), run:

make clean

Note: the Makefile itself is take from and maintained at here.

Known issues

  1. When using the glossary, references are not pointing to the right page.

    Workaround: Build the document with:



    make && makeglossaries thesis && makeindex thesis && pdflatex thesis.tex

Usage details

Class options

cam-thesis supports all the options of the standard report class (on which it is based).

It also supports some custom options.

  • techreport: formats the document as a technical report. Here is a list of formatting points in which the technical report differs from a normal thesis (see guidelines for more information):

    • different margins (left and right margins are 25mm, top and bottom margins are 20mm),
    • normal line spacing (instead of one-half spacing),
    • no custom title page,
    • no declaration,
    • page count starts with 3,
    • if the hyperref package is used, the option pdfpagelabels=false will be passed to it.
  • times: tells the class to use the times font.

  • glossary: puts the glossary after the TOC. The glossary contains a list of abbreviations, their explanations etc. Describe your abbreviations and add them to the glossary immediately after you introduce them in the body of your thesis. You can use the following command for this:

      description={is a programmable machine that receives input,
                   stores and manipulates data, and provides
                   output in a useful format}

    After that, you can reference particular glossary entries like this:


    You can also change the glossary style. For example, try putting this on the very top of the preamble (even before you define the document class with \documentclass[glossary]{cam-thesis}):


    Further instructions can be found on LaTeX Wikibooks or the user manual at CTAN.

    Note: glossaries is the package used to create the glossary.

  • index: build the index, which you can put at the and of the thesis with the following command (it will create a new unnumbered chapter):


    Instructions on how to use the index can be found here.

    Note: the package makeidx is used to create the index.


Q1: I found a bug in the template. Where do I report bugs?

You can report issues through our GitHub repository.

You can also mail the maintainers directly.

Q2: Where can I find the thesis formatting guidelines this class is based on?

The University of Cambridge guidelines:

The Computer Laboratory guidelines:

The Computer Laboratory guidelines for technical reports:

Q3: Can I use my own Makefile?

By all means. We are currently using the very nice (and smart) Makefile built specifically for LaTeX:

Q4: But what if I don't want the template files in my thesis directory?

Put the files and folders listed below into a directory where LaTeX can find them (for more info see [1]):


[1] You can put these files either into the standard LaTeX directory for classes [2], or a directory listed in your TEXINPUTS environment variable.

[2] The location of the standard LaTeX class directory depends on which LaTeX installation and operating system you use. For example, for TeX Live on Fedora 14 it is /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/base.

In any case, after this, LaTeX will still not be able find your class. You will have to rebuild the package index. This procedure also depends on your installation specifics, but for TeX Live you have to run the texhash command.

For more comprehensive information refer to LaTeX Wikibooks.

Q5: Where can I find newer versions of the University of Cambridge logo?

The university updates its logo every now and then. You can find up-to-date logos on this page (subject to change without notice).

Download and exchange the new logos with CUni.eps and/or CUni.pdf.

Q6: My college's shield/coat of arms/crest is not included. Why u no include it?

The shields are being added on the go (when somebody, who uses them, provides them).

If you find a distributable vector-based image of your college's shield you can report it as an issue or mail it to contributors directly (refer to question Q1 above).

Q7: Where can I find extra fonts (like Adobe Sabon, Adobe Utopia etc.)?

The Computer Laboratory provides some here.

After you've installed the fonts, add somewhere in the preamble (before \begin{document}) the following command:


Q8: How should I count the number of words in my thesis?

There is a page on the Computer Lab's web site. They recommend using this command:

ps2ascii thesis.pdf | wc -w

TODO list

  • Fill out more PDF meta tags (e.g.: keywords, subject etc.).
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