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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

Industrial Systems, Manufacture, and Management is no longer accepting new applications.

The aim of ISMM is to equip numerate graduates with the academic skills, personal development and industrial experience to be immediately effective in their early careers in the industry. ISMM is very different from any other academic course: it combines traditional academic teaching material with a series of industrial visits, industrial seminars, skills development and projects in the industry. ISMM is a very intensive programme that gives a direct experience of many different industries, cultures and working environments. In addition to the lectures, the projects present real challenges in genuine industrial and business environments.

ISMM will broaden students' perspectives and experiences and open doors to a wide range of industrial careers. Many firms recognise the value of the course and target our graduates. Equally, for those who want to work in a smaller company, ISMM gives the confidence to start directly in a manufacturing engineering or management role. Those with entrepreneurial flair go on to set up their own companies.

The programme is structured around taught modules, company visits and in-company projects solving live business or technical problems. An overseas study tour offers a broader international context, and the individual research dissertation allows for greater depth of study in a specific area of manufacturing. 

The programme aims to:

  • provide Industry with highly motivated and effective potential managers capable of accelerated promotion
  • provide course members with the skills and knowledge to be immediately effective in their industrial careers

Learning Outcomes

Students follow a reinforcement learning-cycle of lectures, company visits and in-company projects:  'I hear, I see: I remember. I do: I understand'. They will be supported and mentored by both academics and industrial tutors, and encouraged to reflect on their activities, seek new ways of thinking and working, and put them into practice.

During the year, students will visit a wide variety of companies, large and small, chosen to cover all industrial sectors; they will absorb the different cultures and learn to identify strengths and weaknesses. (Please note that some company visits may take place online.)

Learning outcomes of the programme include:

Knowledge and Understanding

  1. Knowledge of Manufacturing Disciplines including:
    • Manufacturing Processes
    • Manufacturing Operations and Supply Chain Management
    • Data and Modeling
    • Management of Technology
    • Innovation and Intellectual Property
    • New Business Development
    • International Business Economics
    • Research Methods

2. Context of Industrial Systems within a wide range of business/industrial sectors

3. Understanding different types of enterprise from start-up through SME to national and international enterprise

Skills acquired during the course include the following:

Intellectual Skills:

  1. Critical Analysis
  2. Creativity
    • Generate a variety of innovative solutions
  3. Evaluation
    • Evaluate designs, processes and products using information from a variety of sources and justify recommendations
  4. Balance Theory and Practice

Practical Skills

  1. Undertake problem identification and definition
  2. Research appropriate background information and theories
  3. Determine appropriate methodology for problem solution
  4. Identify, gather, analyse, and evaluate appropriate data
  5. Prepare a business and finance case to justify a recommendation

Transferable Skills

  1. Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and graphically)
  2. Presentations
  3. Written reports
  4. Project management
  5. Working with others 
  6. Networking


The MPhil combines professional engagement with a strong theoretical underpinning. Exceptional students seeking to apply for continuation to a PhD in Engineering at Cambridge would normally be expected to attain an overall mark of at least 70 per cent.

Open Days

The Postgraduate Virtual Open Day usually takes place at the end of October. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions to admissions staff and academics, explore the Colleges virtually, and to find out more about courses, the application process and funding opportunities. Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

See further the Postgraduate Admissions Events pages for other events relating to Postgraduate study, including study fairs, visits and international events.


This course is advertised in the following departments:

Key Information

11 months full-time

Study Mode : Taught

Master of Philosophy

Department of Engineering This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
May 16, 2024
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2024

Some courses can close early. See the Deadlines page for guidance on when to apply.

Course Funding Deadline
Dec. 5, 2023
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 11, 2023

These deadlines apply to applications for courses starting in Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

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