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EPSRC CDT MRes + PhD in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment

EPSRC CDT MRes + PhD in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment

Different course options

Study mode

Full time


4 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

Subject areas

Craft Design & Technology Built Environment (General)

Course type


Course Summary

The aim of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Infrastructure and Built Environment is to develop the infrastructure professionals of the future, equipped with a versatile and cross-disciplinary skill set to meet the most complex emerging challenges and contribute effectively to better infrastructure decision-making in the UK.

This four-year course comprises an initial MRes year, followed by a three-year PhD programme. Continuation on to the PhD is conditional on satisfactory performance in the MRes year. Full funding is available for eligible applicants. This cross-disciplinary programme aims to address the major threats to infrastructure and turn them into opportunities. These include infrastructure resilience against technological opportunities and environmental causes; infrastructure resilience in a world of economic, social, political and cultural change; and infrastructure resilience to support urbanisation and demographic change.

The objectives of the course are to: deliver a coherent approach to postgraduate research training in resilient infrastructure, balancing the conflicting objectives of specialisation and generalism, consistent with the Department of Engineering’s general engineering undergraduate education approach; equip the graduates of the MRes course with the research skills and training to enable them to make a seamless transfer and an accelerated start to the PhD programme; develop and equip the MRes postgraduate students with relevant research skills rooted in a contextual framework that includes wider engineering, social, scientific and business-related disciplines linked to professional practice by producing graduates who combine a breadth of knowledge with the depth of specialist knowledge; expose students to the wide range of industry-relevant research contexts, opportunities and challenges; develop students’ personal, professional practice and commercial skills, including entrepreneurship; expose the students to a range of complex, multi-sector, cross-disciplinary problems that face future infrastructure and built environment via the mini-projects; and train the students in transferable communications, business and research skills.

The infrastructure research areas of the FIBE2 CDT are grouped into six high-level interconnected research themes (RT) and four high-level cross-cutting themes (CT) of research methodology expertise at Cambridge. The research themes are: RT1 Advanced Infrastructure Materials; RT2 Rethinking Design and Construction; RT3: Digitised Civil Engineering; RT4: Whole-Life Performance; RT5: Built Environment; and RT6: Global Challenges. The cross-cutting themes are: CT1 Emerging Technologies; CT2 Performance to Data to Knowledge; CT3 Research across Scales; and CT4 Risk and Uncertainty. PhD topics will be formulated around research questions turning threats to infrastructure into opportunities. PhD project topics will be advertised in advance and allocated at the interview stage.


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.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree.