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Graduate Admissions

The MPhil programme in Nuclear Energy, provided by the department in collaboration with the Cambridge Nuclear Energy Centre and co-sponsored by a Nuclear Energy Industry Club, is a one-year full-time nuclear technology and business master's programme for engineers, mathematicians and scientists who wish to make a difference to the problems of climate change and energy security by developing nuclear power generation. The combination of nuclear technology with nuclear policy and business makes the course highly relevant to the challenges of 21st-century energy needs, whether in the UK or in countries across the globe.

The MPhil programme is part of the University of Cambridge's Strategic Energy Initiative, responding to the prospect of a nuclear renaissance in the UK and around the world. The aim is to provide a master's-level degree course in nuclear energy which will combine nuclear science and technology topics with business, management and policy teaching. Students will be equipped with the skills and information essential for responsible leadership of the international global nuclear industry.

The course recognises that, though the prospects for nuclear energy are now better than they have been for 20 years, the nuclear sector is situated within a wider market for energy technologies, and has no special right to be developed. The political, economic and social contexts for nuclear power are as important as the technical merits of the designs of reactors and systems. The course, therefore, has a multidisciplinary emphasis, aiming to be true to the reality of policy-making and business decision-making.

This course is for students who have a good degree in engineering or a related science subject and who wish to gain the knowledge and skills to build a career in the nuclear and energy sectors. Secondary career paths might include nuclear proliferation prevention, radiological protection, nuclear governance, nuclear medicine and health physics. While the prime focus of the course is to equip students for roles in industry, there is a path towards research through preparation for a PhD programme. The modular open architecture of the course allows students to tailor the degree to suit their backgrounds, needs and preferences.

The course aims to provide students with: 

  1. a thorough grounding in the engineering, scientific and safety aspects of nuclear power;
  2. a good understanding of nuclear technology policy together with relevant business and policy understanding;
  3. an appreciation of the wider policy contexts of electricity generation in the 21st century;
  4. good preparation for PhD research.

Learning Outcomes

The course will equip its graduates with a wide range of skills and knowledge, enabling them to fully engage in the nuclear sector.

Graduates will have developed a knowledge and understanding of nuclear technology, policy, safety and allied business. They will have received a thorough technical grounding in nuclear power generation, beginning with fundamental concepts and extending to a range of specialist topics. They will also be equipped with an appreciation of the wider social, political and environmental contexts of electricity generation in the 21st century, with a firm grounding in considering issues such as climate change, energy policy and public acceptability.

The programme will cultivate intellectual skills allowing graduates to engage with the business, policy and technical issues that the development and deployment of nuclear energy poses. These include skills in the modelling, simulation and experimental evaluation of nuclear energy systems; critically evaluating and finding alternative solutions to technical problems; applying professional engineering judgment to balance technological, environmental, ethical, economic and public policy considerations; working within an organisation to manage change effectively and respond to changing demand; understanding business practice in the areas of technology management, transfer and exploitation.

The programme will also develop transferable skills enabling graduates to work and progress in teams within and across the nuclear sector, including the management of time and information, the preparation of formal reports in a variety of styles, the deployment of critical reasoning and independent thinking.

Finally, graduates will gain research experience, having planned, executed, and evaluated an original investigative piece of work through a major dissertation.


Continuing

Students wishing to apply for continuation to the PhD would normally be expected to attain an overall mark of 70 per cent.


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.

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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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