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Postgraduate Study


The taught element comprises two module types; 'core' modules which cover all essential aspects of environmental data acquisition and analysis as well as modelling the climate and the environment, and 'options' modules which aim to deepen knowledge in climate and environmental science. Students will be required to take:

  • 4 core modules
  • at least 2 options modules (from a list of a minimum of 6 modules)

The core modules will be taught in the Michaelmas term (Autumn). They will cover the main material that all students are expected to master, covering three topic areas: environmental modelling, laboratory experiments, data collection and data analysis. These core modules will equip students with the essential skills for top-level scientific research and analysis.

The options modules will be taught primarily in Lent and Easter terms. The selection of options modules offered will be updated annually to respond to changes in the research landscape. These will cover the application of the techniques taught in the core modules to specific scientific research problems.

The research project will focus on topics in Climate and Environmental Sciences.

The programme will also feature non-assessed content designed to broaden the students' knowledge.  This may take the form of short modules on specialist topics, communication workshops, weekly seminar series and modules on industrial applications led by our industry partners.

One to one supervision

Students are under the general direction of the course director. Each student is assigned an academic advisor who guides the student's choice of courses and responds to the student's requests for supervisory guidance. Each student is assigned an academic supervisor who will guide students during the Research project.

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

Seminars & classes

The course has a seminar programme which to which academic and industrial speakers are invited.


Students will have lectures equivalent to around 56 hours for core modules (on essential skills for interpreting and modelling climate and environmental processes) and a minimum of 32 hours for options modules (on more specialized modelling skills or applications to more specialized areas).


Students will have taught practicals in fluid mechanics experimental techniques, numerical methods and field data acquisition and analysis.

Small group teaching

All modules will propose demonstration classes accumulating to around 32 hours for core modules and around 16 hours for option modules.

Literature Reviews

A Literature review will form part of the research project report.

Posters and Presentations

The students will be required to give presentations (or equivalent) on their research project as part of the project assessment.


Feedback on the student’s performance on their written examination, their oral presentation and their coursework results will be provided by the module leader; feedback on their research  project progress will be provided by their research project supervisor.


Thesis / Dissertation

The research project will be focused on topics in Climate and Environmental Sciences. Projects will be assessed based on the written dissertation and the oral presentation of the project.

The dissertation must not exceed 10,000 words in length and presents a research topic including an appropriate review of the existing literature, describe the methodology used, and present and discuss the results.  The dissertation may contain either original research, or a critical summary and assessment of a research topic.

The oral presentation (or equivalent) of 10 minutes will be used to confirm the candidate’s understanding of the project and to develop their presentation skills.


Each Core and Options modules will be assessed by one or more of the following modes of assessment:

  • Written exams will be closed book and will primarily test students' knowledge via calculations, short answer questions and essays.
  • Written Reports will be submitted to demonstrate the knowledge of field data and analysis and/or laboratory and numerical methods.

In the MPhil in Quantitative Climate and Environmental Sciences, the weighting of the assessed course components is as follows:

  1. The Research Project will represent 40% of the final grade
  2. The taught modules examination will represent 60% of the final grade where :
    • The four core modules will count for 40% of the final grade (10% for each module).
    • The options modules will count for 20% of the final grade. 

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Key Information

10 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics This course is advertised in multiple departments. Please see the Overview tab for more details.

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Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2024

Applications open
Sept. 4, 2023
Application deadline
April 2, 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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