Energy Technologies

Study mode:On campus Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 30.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 53.3 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jun 29, 2025
6 place StudyQA ranking:5314 Duration:1 year

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The world faces major challenges in meeting the current and future demand for sustainable and secure energy supply and use. The one-year MPhil programme in Energy Technologies is designed for graduates who want to help tackle these problems by developing practical engineering solutions, and who want to learn more about the fundamental science and the technologies involved in energy utilization, electricity generation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy.

Energy is a huge topic, of very significant current scientific, technological, environmental, political and financial interest. The complexity and rapid change associated with energy technologies necessitates engineers with a very good grasp of the fundamentals, with exposure and good understanding of all main energy sources and technologies, but also with specialization in a few areas. This is the prevailing philosophy behind this MPhil, fully consistent with the prevailing philosophy and structure of the University of Cambridge Engineering Department as a whole.

The educational target of the MPhil in Energy Technologies is to communicate the breadth of energy technologies and the underpinning science. The objectives of the course are:

  1. To teach the fundamental sciences behind technologies involved in energy utilization, electricity generation, energy efficiency, and alternative energy.
  2. To develop graduates with an overall view of energy engineering, while offering specialization in a selected area through a research project.
  3. To prepare students for potential future PhD research.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be expected to have developed fundamental knowledge on primary and secondary energy sources, on energy transformation, and on energy utilisation technologies. They will also have developed proficiencies in project management, in research skills, in team work, and in advanced calculation methods concerning energy technologies.

Graduates from this MPhil will be excellent candidates for doctoral study (at Cambridge and elsewhere) and for employment in a wide variety of jobs (for example: in industrial Research and Development departments; in policy-making bodies; in the utilities industry; in the manufacturing sector; in energy equipment manufacturing).


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

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that all courses will be offered every year due to the availability of teaching staff and capacity limitations. The list below is not exhaustive and some of the listed courses may not be offered.

A. Core Courses (Obligatory)

The aim of the core courses is to bring everybody up to the same level, to introduce key terminology and skills, and to communicate the theme of the MPhil.  We are trying to cover each main primary energy source separately.  Each course counts as one credit.

ET-A1 Energy Topics
  Research methodology; literature search, Presentation skills, Report writing. Invited seminar from industrialists, policy-makers, power generation, case studies.
  Weekly. Offers a regular "get-together" of the whole cohort, the aim is to bring about the many different points of view in the Energy area.
ET-A2 Review of Fundamentals
  Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, numerical analysis, Matlab, programming languages, Energy, Pollution and the Environment.
ET-B1 Clean Fossil Fuel Technologies
  Carbon capture and sequestration
  Coal characteristics and combustion, power plants.
  Natural gas, oil, gas turbines, engines, fundamentals of combustion, pollution.
ET-B2 Renewable energy: wind, tide and hydro
  Wind turbines
  Tidal power
  Hydroelectric plants
ET-B3 Renewable energy: solar and biomass
  Solar panels
  Biofuels, their production and use
ET-B4 Energy systems and efficiency
  Exergy analysis, materials, energy in the manufacturing sector, systems analysis
  Efficiency measures

These courses are delivered in Michaelmas and Lent, with seminars running throughout the year. Assessment is by coursework, which may involve either 2 x 2000-word reports or one 4000-word report.

B. Electives

Each course = 1 credit = about 16 lectures

The student must select 5 or 7 courses, depending on whether a student takes the "long thesis" or the "short thesis" option respectively. The final selection of courses will need the approval of the Course Director to resolve timetabling conflicts and avoid repetition.

B.1  Courses in CUED

4A2 Computational Fluid Dynamics
4A3 Turbomachinery
4A7 Aerodynamics
4A9 Molecular Thermodynamics
4A10 Flow Instability
4A12 Vortex Dynamics and Turbulence
4A13       Combustion and IC Engines
4A15 Aeroacoustics
4B14 Solar-electronic Power: Generation and Distribution
4B19 Renewable Electrical Power
4E4 Management of Technology
4E11 Strategic Management
4I10 Nuclear Reactor Engineering
4I11 Advanced Fission and Fusion Systems
4M16 Nuclear Power Engineering
4M18 Present and Future Energy Systems
4M19 Advanced Building Physics
5R1 Stochastic Optimization Methods
5R9 Experimental Methods in Fluids
5R10 Turbulent Reacting Flows
5R18 Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Air Pollution
  • Selected courses from the MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development and from the MPhil in Nuclear Energy, if capacity permits.

Potentially, some 3rd-year courses for students with no prior experience in a particular area may be used (for example, a civil engineer who has basic fluid mechanics and is interested in wind energy may be allowed to take a 3rd-year heat transfer and aerodynamics course).

B2. Courses from other Departments:

From the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (their MPhil in Advanced Chemical Engineering):

  • Particle Technology*
  • Catalysis*
  • B2 Electrochemical Engineering

From the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy:

  • NE.10: Micro and Nano-electrochemistry

From the BP Institute / Department of Mathematics:

  • Fluids and Natural Resources

C. Research project

C1. Long thesis option:
  Runs from January until August
  20,000-word dissertation
C2. Short thesis option:
  Runs from March until August
  10,000-word dissertation

Projects will be offered at the beginning of the year; final selection to be made by middle of Michaelmas term for the "long thesis", and by middle of Lent for the "short thesis" option. Group projects (2-4 students) and projects suggested by students are possible.

* Not offered 2015-16.

D. Student Load

At Cambridge, the lectures are very intensive so the students are expected to show significant initiative and exercise very tight time management.

A student taking the "short thesis" option will have an average of 6 courses per term, (with a little more load in Michaelmas than in Lent). Typically, each course has 16 lectures, which means 2x6=12 lectures per week. A student taking the "long thesis" option will have a little more free time from courses, to be spent on the research project.

  • Magistr (Master's Degree) at Pass level. Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of good or 4/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 4/5 Bologna Bachelor's from other institutions with an overall grade of 5/5, Excellent
  • Diploma Specialista (completed post-1991) with a minimum overall grade of Excellent or 5/5 Bachelor's from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and other prestigious institutions with an overall grade of 5/5
  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0
  • TOEFL Internet Score 100
  • £50 application fee
  • First Academic Reference
  • Second Academic Reference
  • Transcript
  • Personal Reference. This is only required if you are applying for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Global Education
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
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