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Local:$ 26.1 k / Year(s) Foreign:$ 49.5 k / Year(s) Deadline: Jun 29, 2024
6 place StudyQA ranking:1047 Duration:4 years

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The University of Cambridge Department of Engineering is one of the leading centres of engineering in the world, renowned for both its teaching and its research. Since its foundation in 1875, it has grown to become the largest department in the University, and the largest integrated engineering Department in the UK, with approximately 150 faculty, 260 contract research staff and research fellows, 900 graduate students, and 1200 undergraduates.

By the end of the PhD, students are expected to have produced original work making a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of engineering. At the same time, the Department expects that students will leave with the wider skills necessary to be successful in either an academic or a non-academic career.

The Department of Engineering offers PhD studies in a wide variety of subjects:

Energy, Fluid Mechanics and Turbomachinery

Building on research in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics to develop a systems view of energy generation and utilisation, particularly in ground and air transport, to mitigate environmental impact.

Electrical Engineering

Pursuing fundamental electrical, electronic and photonic research at the material, device and system levels with a focus on creating integrated solutions in the fields of nanotechnology, sensing, energy generation, energy conversion, displays and communications.

Mechanics, Materials and Design

Extending fundamental and applied research in mechanics, materials, and design, exploiting cross-disciplinary partnerships across the University; and building on existing strengths to develop excellence in bioengineering and healthcare systems research.

Civil Engineering

Advancing the mechanics of civil and structural engineering systems within the broader context of the design, construction and operation of sustainable infrastructure and the stewardship of Earth's resources and environment.

Manufacturing and Management

Developing new understanding of manufacturing technology, operations, strategy and policy, in close partnership with industry, in order to improve industrial performance.

Information Engineering

Developing fundamental theory and applications relating to the generation, distribution, analysis and use of information in engineering and biological systems.

Although the course is a research degree, PhD students are entitled to attend all lecture courses within the Department. They should discuss with their supervisors which courses would be most beneficial to their research.

Additionally, first year students are normally required to take two Master's-level taught modules (selected from a list of over 100 modules) as part of their first-year assessment, and will participate in a regular seminar which will equip them with essential skills in research practice and communication. 

All doctoral research takes place in University of Cambridge facilities. However, the Department and its supervisors have strong links to other institutions both in the UK and around the world. After their first year, students may therefore apply for permission to undertake research in other institutions for extended periods of time. All necessary practical arrangements are the responsibility of students and their supervisors.

One to one supervision

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.

Seminars & classes

Over the course of the first year, students will attend approximately 24 hours of seminars targeted at developing their research and communications skills.


Most students will attend two 16-hour lecture courses in the first year.


The Department is flexible in permitting students, with the support of their supervisors, to undertake research in an industrial setting. Permission to work away from the University is required. However, students may not undertake any paid work in an industrial setting during the course of the PhD.


Throughout the PhD, students can expect to receive feedback from their supervisors, who they will meet for regular supervisions, and assistance from those working in the same research group. Supervisors will also submit a termly report on students' progress.

Every student is also allocated an Advisor, who is available for consultation alongside the supervisor. Additionally, in the first year, students will receive feedback from coursework assignment and the Research and Communications Club leaders in the first year.



The PhD is assessed through the examination of a dissertation, including an oral ('viva voce') examination. The dissertation must not exceed 65,000 words (including appendices, bibliography, footnotes, tables and equations), and must not contain more than 150 figures.

  • 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.
  • TOEFL Internet Score 100
  • £50 application fee
  • First Academic Reference
  • Second Academic Reference
  • Transcript
  • Sample of Work 
  • Research Proposal. Applicants are encouraged to upload a brief research proposal in addition to the information given on the application form, but are not required to do so.
  • Personal Reference
  • Global Education
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarships
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