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Graduate Admissions

The Engineering for Sustainable Development MPhil course is designed for graduates who want to help tackle pressing global problems by developing practical engineering solutions. The course is about recognising that engineers have to operate within an increasingly complex set of constraints, and therefore must be capable of dealing with a range of challenges. The subject is based on some very straightforward principles: it is about living within Earth’s finite limits and resources, helping everyone on the planet to achieve an acceptable quality of life; acting as stewards of the environment for future generations; dealing with complexity; and handling the many trade-offs which have to be made.

The programme aims to:

  • produce engineers who are equipped to lead change with the understanding and skills necessary to conceive and deliver fitting solutions to society’s needs and to address global challenges within a sustainability framework;
  • explore value frameworks for engineers which are based on the concepts behind sustainable development and which can guide the design and management of engineering artefacts and schemes, so that their impacts are addressed at every stage of planning, implementation and disposal;
  • encourage a multidisciplinary approach to problem formulation so that through a dialogue with other subject specialists suitable solutions can be developed and wider constraints on engineering activity can be understood, including awareness of natural, business and social environments; and
  • encourage an appreciation of the trade-offs and conflicts inherent in decision making and the need to seek wider and alternative solutions to engineering problems so that graduates of the course can engage in strategic thinking during their future employment within industry, business or government.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MPhil programme will be equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to meet the challenges of engineering work in a sustainable development context. By the end of the programme, they will have:

  • the ability to work with complex or ill-defined problems both systematically and creatively, including being equipped for dialogue with stakeholder groups;
  • knowledge of current and potential engineering responses and specific technologies for moving to sustainable development, of both the technical and non-technical barriers to change, and of both good and bad sustainability practice in a range of engineering sectors;
  • well-developed teamwork and two-way communication skills;
  • the ability to evaluate, using a range of methodologies, the merits and demerits of options, taking into account environmental, economic, financial and political as well as technical factors;
  • a thorough understanding of the role of value-judgements in defining problems and implementing engineering solutions;
  • an understanding of how institutions, NGOs, public policy and regulation influence the rate of progress towards sustainable development;
  • the ability to act as a change-agent and to manage change effectively in an organisation, equipped with theories about and examples of organisational structure and change; and
  • experience of planning, executing and critically evaluating an original and investigative piece of work.

Continuing

The MPhil is a professional practice programme and is not specifically designed to lead on to doctoral research. Nevertheless, students wishing to apply for continuation to a PhD in Engineering at Cambridge would normally be expected to attain an overall mark of at least 70 percent.


Open Days

The University of Cambridge will be hosting its Cambridge Postgraduate Open Day on Friday 1 November 2019, with full participation from the Department of Engineering.

 Visit the Postgraduate Open Day page for more details.

Apply Now

Key Information


11 months full-time

Master of Philosophy

Department of Engineering

Enquiries

Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Michaelmas 2020

Applications open
Sept. 2, 2019
Application deadline
June 30, 2020
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2020

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 3, 2019
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 9, 2019

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