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Graduate Admissions


The MRes course is a mix of core and elective modules (some offered by other departments), group activities, presentations, project reports and an MRes dissertation. The taught and research training elements are aimed at providing research practice training at the first-year PhD level, and occur in the Michaelmas and Lent terms. Written examinations will take place at the start of the Easter term, after which work on the MRes dissertation starts.

Students will also be given extensive transferable skills and professional development training, including sessions with professionals, and will participate in an Introduction to Entrepreneurship course.

Successful MRes students will then proceed to a three-year programme of supervised doctoral research, during which time they will continue to be supported by the CDT. They will maintain participation in CDT seminars, conferences and outreach activities, and participate in the CDT industry days and events.

The numbers given below reflect the MRes year only, unless otherwise specified.

One to one supervision

Students can expect at least four one-hour supervisions during the MRes dissertation project.

PhD students can expect to attend at least eight-hour-long individual meetings with their supervisor every calendar year. This is in addition to daily contact with the research group in which they are placed.

The University of Cambridge publishes an annual Code of Practice for Master's Students which sets out the University’s expectations regarding supervision during the MRes year. Expectations for the PhD are set out in a separate Code of Practice for Research Students.

Seminars & classes

The MRes core modules are taught in a seminar format; each module is taught through a 16-hour seminar programme. (Total: 48 hours per year.)


The elective modules are taught in a traditional lecture format; teaching for each module is taught through a 16-hour lecture programme. (Total: 32 hours per year.)


Students will attend a number of site visits and study tours throughout the year. In addition, a week is devoted to an intensive Introduction to Entrepreneurship course, featuring significant practical work (approximately 40 hours).

Small group teaching

16 hours per year (research and transferable skills workshops).


Students will undertake literature reviews as part of their desktop study, mini-project, and MRes dissertation. They may also be required to undertake literature reviews as part of a coursework for core and elective modules.


There will be a number of poster sessions associated with the MRes project work. There is also an annual FIBE CDT conference at which students may have the opportunity to make a poster presentation.


With University permission, there may be opportunities from the third year of the course (second year of the PhD element) for students to undertake an industrial or academic placement.


Students can expect to receive termly reports from the course director. They 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 relevant academic and support staff.



A major part of the MRes assessment is a dissertation of up to 12,000 words. Students will be required to give a presentation on their research prior to submission.

At the end of the second year of the programme (the first year of the PhD element), students will be required to submit a report of 10,000 to 15,000 words as part of the normal requirements for probationary PhD students.

The doctoral thesis should be submitted by the end of the fourth year (the third year of the PhD element) and must not exceed 65,000 words. A compulsory viva voce examination will follow thesis submission.


During the MRes year, all students will be required to complete a concise desktop study of up to 2,000 words, to engage in a group project (as part of the Introduction to Entrepreneurship module) which will be assessed through the writing of a report, and to complete an individual mini-project of up to 5,000 words. Additionally, some of the taught modules will be assessed through coursework, and others through a combination of coursework and written examination. Some modules will require the submission of coursework for which no formal mark will be awarded.

Written examination

Some of the taught MRes modules will be assessed through written and/or oral examination, and others by a combination of coursework and written and/or oral examination.


The assessment of elective modules may also include an oral or poster display component.

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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:

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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