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Postgraduate Study

Course closed:

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


Teaching is delivered through a variety of media. During Cambridge term times, there will be traditional academic lectures and interactive seminars; the dissertation will be based in one of the Institute for Manufacturing's research groups and will involve normal graduate-level supervision.

Much of the learning during the course takes place during the industrial visits, and during the projects themselves. During the projects, students can expect to receive substantial "supervisory" feedback from their line managers and colleagues. (Colleague engagement may be more limited if projects need to take place online). The academic assessment of the course is split into two components: the first comprises five project reports and the assessments of the six taught modules; the second comprises examination of the research dissertation. To pass the course overall, students are required to pass each of these components separately.

One to one supervision

47 hours per year: this figure includes meetings with industrial supervisors during the industrial projects, discussions with ISMM core staff around industrial visits, and one-to-one sessions with the student's dissertation supervisor during the dissertation-writing period.

Seminars & classes

73 hours per year (This is an approximate figure; teaching for most ISMM modules is split fairly evenly between more didactic teaching and sessions with significant levels of class participation).


73 hours per year. This is an approximate figure; teaching for most ISMM modules is split fairly evenly between more didactic teaching and sessions with significant levels of class participation. In addition, there are about 60 hours/year of workshops outside of the normal module seminars.


Students spend about 258 hours/year embedded in industrial projects. Depending on the nature of the project, this may or may not involve daily contact with others in the firm.

Literature Reviews

Students undertake a literature review as a substantial component of the dissertation-writing period. This will consume approximately 200 hours of working time.

Posters and Presentations

At the end of each of four projects, students are required to deliver a 30-minute presentation to the senior management of the company in which the project was based. Some of these presentations may take place virtually, reflecting current industrial practice in multinational companies and during the pandemic.


In addition to the series of industrial visits, students will undertake four industrial projects over the course of the programme. During this time they will be working on live business and technical issues relevant to the company and will be treated as an employee. These placements will conclude in a presentation to the senior management of the company, and in the writing of a report that will be examined as part of the course assessment. Some of these projects may take place online in cases where that is desirable and accurately reflects the industrial experience.


Students can expect to receive termly reports from the course director. They will have access to a University supervisor for their dissertation and can expect to receive input from their line managers during project placements. Students will also receive feedback on the written assignments and project activities from supervisors and staff.


Thesis / Dissertation

All students will be required to write a dissertation of no longer than 15,000 words.


All students are required to submit assessed assignments for each of the six modules, typically between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Students also submit a written report to the company following the industrial projects for discussion and assessment by supervisors.


At the discretion of the examiners, candidates may be required to take an oral examination on the work submitted during the course, and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.

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.

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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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