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Course content

The course's main aims are to give students relevant experience, the opportunity to carry out focused research in their discipline under close supervision, and the opportunity to acquire or develop skills and expertise relevant to their research interests. The MPhil is a research degree, and the qualification may count towards the entrance requirements for PhD study. (Please note, however, that the MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology does not "convert" to a PhD. The course leads to a Master's degree only, and students wishing to pursue a PhD must reapply for admission as a PhD student.)

Students progress their research projects under academic supervision for one year, and at the conclusion of their studies, they are examined by thesis and oral examination. 

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

  • a comprehensive understanding of techniques and a thorough knowledge of the literature applicable to their research;
  • demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
  • demonstrated some self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


This degree results in an MPhil only. Students who wish to pursue a PhD will need to submit a new application for PhD study.


The MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology is a research-based degree. Students will carry out research under the supervision of the principal investigator.


In most cases, students should expect at least four supervisions per full term across the duration of their course. Each student’s supervisor will provide a supervision report each term.



Students will submit a 15,000-word thesis and are examined orally by two examiners – one internal and one external to the University.


All MPhil CEB students complete a literature review and compile their findings in a short report that is submitted three months after the start of their course.

Approximately nine months into the course, all MPhil CEB students present their work to the Department during our first-year presentations. These are usually held in April and May, and attendance at all sessions is compulsory.

 Funding Opportunities

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, and ideally before the Gates and Cambridge Trusts deadlines. There are limited places available for this course, and it tends to fill quickly.

General Funding Opportunities

Apply using the Applicant Portal

The Apply Now button on the right will take you to the Applicant Portal, where you can create and submit your application and supporting documents, and request references.

An application is only complete when:

  1. you have submitted your application and supporting documents via the Applicant Portal
  2. you have paid the £60 application fee
  3. your referees have provided their references.

If you miss the deadlines specified in this section, you will not be able to submit your application.

On your application, you may choose to enter the name of the supervisor with whom you wish to work. If you do not enter a supervisor's name, your application will be "pooled". Please note that there is a lower acceptance rate of applications with no named supervisor. We suggest you contact potential supervisors before submitting an application; please visit the MPhil Research page on our website to view research groups that are able to take on MPhil students, as many are unable to do so. You should not submit an application to a group that is not listed on our MPhil Research page.

A degree of flexibility on both sides (the Department and you) is helpful. Students frequently come to the Department and work in a slightly different area to their original preference.

Selection Process

Applications are considered as they are received, and applicants should please be aware that that the process can often take two or three months. Decisions on applications are updated on CamSIS, and that should be applicants' first point of call for the latest news on their applications. The University requires that candidates are interviewed before an offer of admission can be made.

Further information on How To Apply

Visit the MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!