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MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture, and Management

Course Description

ISMM is very different to any other academic course: it combines traditional teaching material with a series of industrial visits, some of which will take place overseas. The course members work a full industrial week and conform to business dress codes. This intensive, practical programme gives direct experience of many different industries, cultures and working environments, and the projects present real challenges in genuine industrial and business environments. The aim of the course is to equip numerate graduates with the skills, personal development and industrial experience to be immediately effective in their early careers in industry.

ISMM will broaden your perspective and experience and open the door to a wide range of industrial careers. Many blue chip companies recognise the value of the course and target our graduates. Equally, for those who want to work in a smaller company, ISMM gives the confidence to start directly in a manufacturing engineering or management role. Those with entrepreneurial flair go on to set up their own companies.

The programme is structured around taught modules, company visits and in-company projects solving live business or technical problems. An overseas study tour offers a broader international context and the individual research thesis allows greater depth of study in a specific area of manufacturing.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/egegmpimm

Course detail

During the year you will acquire a working understanding of the fundamentals of a business enterprise, with a particular emphasis on manufacturing disciplines. You will visit up to forty companies, large and small, chosen to cover all industrial sectors; you will absorb the different cultures and learn to identify strengths and weaknesses. By the end of the course you will be in a perfect position to choose your career direction.

Skills acquired during the course include:

- critical analysis;
- creativity – the generation of innovative solutions;
- evaluation of designs, processes and products;
- balancing theory and practice;
- problem identification, definition and solution;
- data gathering, evaluation and analysis;
- effective communication written, verbal and graphic;
- preparation of business and finance cases;
- presentation preparation and delivery;
- project management;
- report writing;
- a 'can do' attitude;
- teamworking;
- appreciating the responsibilities of leadership


Teaching is delivered through a variety of media. During Cambridge termtimes, there will be traditional academic lectures and interactive seminars; the dissertation is based in one of the Institute for Manufacturing's research groups and will involve normal graduate-level supervision. However, much of the learning during the course takes place during the industrial visits (of which there are approximately forty annually), and on the projects themselves. During the projects, students can expect to receive substantial 'supervisory' feedback from their line managers and colleagues. Academic assessment of the course is split into three components: examinations on module material; assessment of project reports; examination of the dissertation.


In addition to the series of industrial visits, students will undertake four two-week industrial placements over the course of the programme. During this time they will be working on live business/technical issues relevant to the company, and will be treated as an employee. These placements will terminate in a presentation to the Senior Management of the company, and in the writing of a handover report that will be examined as part of the course assessment.


All students will be required to write a dissertation of no greater than 15,000 words. Achieving a passing mark on this dissertation is a precondition for obtaining the degree.

All students are required to write four project reports, each of which will be based on two weeks of project work on an issue relevant to a host company.

Four taught modules will be assessed through written assessments under timed conditions.
At the discretion of the Examiners, candidates may be required to take an additional oral examination on the work submitted during the course, and on the general field of knowledge within which it falls.

Students can expect to receive reports at least termly on the Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System. They will have access to a University supervisor for their dissertation, and can expect to receive input from their line managers during project placements.


The MPhil is a professional practice programme and is not specifically designed to lead on to doctoral research. Nevertheless, students wishing to apply for continuation to a PhD in Engineering at Cambridge would normally be expected to attain an overall mark of at least 70%.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

Bursaries are available to two categories of applicant.

Category A: Bursaries of between £1,200 and £1,800 are available to successful applicants who either (i) have UK citizenship; or (ii) have settled status in the UK, and have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands (for a purpose other than full-time education) for the three years prior to the 1 September immediately preceding the course.

Category B: Successful applicants who have secured sufficient funding from studentship providers to cover the standard University Composition Fee rate, but not the additional cost, may receive a bursary to cover the discrepancy.

All eligible applicants will be considered for bursaries. Students in Category B may wish to contact the course email to ensure that their situation is noticed.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Industrial Systems, Manufacture, and Management page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. Successful applicants will be numerate, and are likely to have a background in Engineering, Technology, Science or Mathematics. Relevant working experience, usually in the form of internships, is required. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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