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Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision Engineering

Studying at Cambridge



Why apply here?

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision Engineering is recruiting postgraduate students for a one-year MRes, applying at either Cambridge or Cranfield, leading to a three-year PhD.

Many industrial sectors require a high level of precision, such as aerospace, medical, automotive, energy, communications, security and defence. Students completing the course will be central players in the ultra high precision manufacturing economy.


The MRes programme covered a wide range of subjects - this allowed me to propose a PhD topic in the area I found most interesting, as well as preparing me for research work. 

George Meakin, PhD

The Centre

The Centre focuses on the creation of next generation ultra precision devices, materials and advanced manufacturing systems and technologies. These underpin developments in commercial and scientific areas as diverse as rapid manufacturing, nanoscience, graphene / CNT devices, precision laser manufacturing and MEMS.

The Course

The programme trains students in advanced ultra high precision techniques and processes, including: high energy laser micro/nano processing, ion beam machining, reactive atom plasma processing, nanofabrication, graphene engineering, printed electronics machine design, and advanced metrology systems.

Cambridge MRes

This is achieved by having a first-year MRes course consisting of six months of taught courses ranging from technology to entrepreneurship and laboratory exercises giving hands-on experience of the technologies; the primary assessment criteria being coursework. The remaining period focuses on the mini and long individual projects


Cranfield MRes

Full-time students register to study on the course for 12 months. The MRes starts in October each year. Students are asked to select six taught modules from a total of fourteen modules. Three modules are compulsory and three are electives. Nine are taught one-week intensive modules. Five modules are delivered through laboratory based learning activities. In addition students develop their professional skills through activities such as presentation skills, writing skills, entrepreneurial talks and conference organising.


Following successful completion of the MRes, students progress to the PhD stage. This covers a vast range of topics that has included: optical sensor development, laser based graphene processing, high speed/precision rapid manufacturing, CNT field emitter design, in process laser control systems, ultra precision machine design (laser, roll to roll, milling), novel manufacturing processes and ultra high speed holographic imaging techniques. Typically these projects are industrially sponsored with students working closely with commercial partners.


The first year of the MRes course is based in Cambridge or Cranfield, dependent on where the student wishes to study for the majority of there time, with additional course content provided at the National Physical Laboratory. The student must apply to the institution they wish to study at.

The three-year PhD research programme is typically based at Cambridge or Cranfield, but this can also be another UK university through the National Centre Programme.


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