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Postgraduate Study


Students will spend most of their time on research for their thesis, but will also take two master's-level lecture courses (on which they will be examined either through written examinations or coursework), and participate in a seminar series which will equip them with vital research and communication skills. The marks for these modules do not form part of the formal assessment for the MPhil degree.

Like all Cambridge students, students will additionally be entitled to attend any non-restricted lecture courses in the University (but will not be able to take the corresponding assessments).

One to one supervision

Students will be part of a research group, with which they will usually have daily contact. In addition, students will have at least eight one-on-one meetings with their principal supervisors.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision.

Seminars & classes

Eight hours per term.


32 hours per year.

Literature Reviews

The writing of a thesis normally involves undertaking a literature review in the relevant area.


Students may, with the support of their supervisors, undertake research in an industrial setting in the city of Cambridge. Please note that the University has strict rules on undertaking paid employment while engaged in a full-time research degree.


Students will have access to a University supervisor, who will be responsible for supervising their thesis, and from whom they can expect to receive reports termly via an online system.  Students also have the opportunity to submit a self-evaluation report in the Michaelmas term, on which their principal supervisors may comment.

Additionally, students who take coursework-assessed modules will receive comments on their coursework submissions. Participation in a researcher development course will also allow students to get feedback on their research and presentation skills.


Thesis / Dissertation

The outcome of the MPhil programme is determined through the submission and examination of a 15,000-word thesis. Examination will include an oral examination on the thesis and the general field of knowledge within which it falls.


Although these examinations are not determinative of the final outcome of the programme, all students are normally required to take two master's-level papers (one of which may be substituted for a reading club) from a list of approximately 80 modules.  Most of these modules are taken from the Department's Master of Engineering course.  Many of these papers are examined either by coursework or by a combination of coursework and written examination.

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Key Information

12 months full-time

24 months part-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Engineering

Course - related enquiries

Application - related enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

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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