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Postgraduate Study


The course is centred around taught courses in core areas, covering basic revision and skills needed (such as communication and organisational skills, mathematical and computational skills, review of basic energy concepts, and research topics), various energy technologies (such as clean fossil fuels, solar, biofuels, wind etc), and energy efficiency and systems-level approaches.

Elective courses may be chosen from a broad range, which includes topics such as turbulence, acoustics, turbomachinery, nuclear power engineering, solar panels, and energy efficiency in buildings. Elective courses are delivered mainly by the Department of Engineering, with input from other departments in Cambridge.

Research projects are chosen from a list offered by members of staff and are linked to the principal areas of energy research in the respective departments.

One to one supervision

20 (including contact hours with project supervisor) hours per year.

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

Seminars & classes

20 hours per year.


160 hours per year for students taking the long dissertation option; 192 hours per year for students taking the short dissertation option.


10 hours per year.

Literature Reviews

Literature reviews during the course (predominantly at the beginning of the dissertation) will take approximately 20 hours.

Posters and Presentations

Students are required to give a presentation on their research prior to submitting their dissertation and are required to give a second presentation after submission. Both of these presentations are assessed, each counting for 10 percent of the total dissertation mark.


Students can expect to receive termly reports from their course director, via an online system, and will be able to submit an online self evaluation report in the first term. Students will receive comments on items of coursework and will have access to a University supervisor for their dissertation. All students will also have personal access to the course director and the other staff delivering the course.


Thesis / Dissertation

All students write a dissertation: with a word limit of either 20,000 words (long option) or 10,000 words (short option). Ten percent of the marks will be assigned through a pre-submission presentation, and ten percent of the marks will be assigned through a post-submission presentation.


Students will take six core modules. Additionally, students taking the short dissertation option will take six elective modules, whereas students taking the long dissertation option will take four elective modules.

All core modules are examined purely by coursework (which may include a written test under timed conditions). Some of the elective modules are also examined wholly or partly by coursework.

Written examination

Some of the elective modules are examined wholly or partly by written examination.


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.

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Key Information

11 months full-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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