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Graduate Admissions

Course closed:

Future Infrastructure and Built Environment is no longer accepting new applications.

The aim of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment is to develop world-class, technically excellent, multidisciplinary engineers equipped to face current and future infrastructure and built environment challenges.

This four-year course comprises an initial MRes year, followed by a three-year PhD programme. This multidisciplinary programme aims to integrate some of Cambridge's internationally recognised strengths – in structures, geotechnics, materials, construction, sustainable development, building physics and water and waste – within the wider context of related engineering disciplines, architecture, the sciences, land economy, manufacturing, business, economics, policy and social science.

The objectives of the course are to:

  • deliver a coherent approach to postgraduate research training in civil engineering, balancing the conflicting objectives of specialisation and generalism, consistent with the Department of Engineering’s general engineering undergraduate education approach;
  • equip the graduates of the MRes course with the research skills and training to enable them to make a seamless transfer and an accelerated start to the PhD  programme;
  • develop and equip the MRes postgraduate students with core civil engineering research skills rooted in a contextual framework that includes wider engineering, social, scientific and business-related disciplines linked to professional practice by producing graduates who combine breadth of knowledge with the depth of specialist knowledge;
  • expose students to the wide range of industry-relevant research contexts, opportunities and challenges;
  • develop students’ personal, professional practice and commercial skills, including entrepreneurship;
  • expose the students to a range of complex, multi-sector, multidisciplinary problems that face future infrastructure and built environment via the mini-projects; and
  • train the students in transferable communications, business and research skills.

The key research themes of the CDT are construction design and technology; building physics; future energy infrastructure; asset management; sustainability and urbanisation; construction materials and waste minimisation; water and waste; computing technologies in engineering; and infrastructure resilience against natural hazards.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the MRes course will have developed skills and understanding in the following broad areas:

  • the fundamentals of civil engineering research methods, experimental methods and theory within the context of future infrastructure and built environment;
  • challenges and trends in future infrastructure and built environment;
  • multidisciplinary aspects of civil engineering problems, including knowledge of research and methods in related disciplines (eg architecture, land economy, management, business, social science);
  • a specialist theme chosen by the student (eg future energy infrastructure, future design and technology, construction materials, resilience against natural hazards, asset management, sustainability and urbanisation, building physics, water and waste, big data);
  • teamwork, through cohort-based projects;
  • academic research skills, gained through practical experience engaging in mini-projects;
  • external exposure via strong links with industry, including secondments as well as potential secondments to international academic centres;
  • business practice and tools; and
  • technology transfer and exploitation.

By the end of the PhD, successful students will have produced original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in the area of future infrastructure and built environment.


All students who pass the MRes year will proceed to study for the PhD if they have demonstrated adequate research potential (such potential is normally demonstrated through the MRes research project and by passing the MRes degree). Note that, as for all Cambridge PhDs, the first year of the PhD (the year after the MRes) is still probationary and students will be required to pass a first-year assessment.

Key Information

1+3 years full-time

Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Research in the first instance

Department of Engineering


Course on Department Website

Dates and deadlines:

Applications open
Sept. 3, 2018
Application deadline
June 28, 2019
Course Starts
Oct. 1, 2019

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

Graduate Funding Competition
Dec. 5, 2018
Gates Cambridge US round only
Oct. 10, 2018

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