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Graduate students, Department of Engineering


All research students are required to attend a Researcher and Development Course and to take two modules during their first year. Modules can be chosen from the approved list of Part IIB (fourth year Engineering undergraduate) modules, modules from fourth year courses in other Departments or certain MPhil courses, and specialist research modules and reading clubs. You should choose your modules in consultation with your supervisor within the first two weeks of your course.

Please note that all students at the University of Cambridge are entitled to attend all lectures, so you do not need to have registered for a module before you can start attending lectures.

Choosing modules

Available modules

Modules should be selected from the approved list of Part IIB courses and the specialist research ("5R") modulesA reading club can be taken in place of one module, unless you are only taking one module.

Relevant Master's level courses in other Departments are acceptable alternatives to those offered by the Department of Engineering. If you wish to take a module that is not on the list of approved modules, your supervisor should obtain permission from the department concerned for you to sit the examination, or arrange alternative assessment, and you should inform the Graduate Studies Office by the Meteor registration deadline (see below).

Timetables and syllabuses

The timetable and syllabuses for the IIB courses (those where the module number starts with a '4') can be found on the Engineering Undergraduate Teaching website. Teaching for Michaelmas Term starts on 5 October 2023. All teaching will be in person for 2023/24, unless notified otherwise.

Arrangements for non-IIB lectures may vary. Please check the Moodle site for the module, or email the course leader. Note that access to Moodle sites is granted overnight following registration for a module on Meteor.


The Graduate Teaching Committee strongly recommends that all research students take two modules; however, exemptions can be applied for under certain circumstances:

Reason Exemption permitted
Student holds a Merit on the Cambridge MEng One module
Student holds an MPhil from the Cambridge Engineering Department One module
Student meets both of the above criteria Two modules
Student holds an MRes from the Cambridge Engineering Department Two modules
Students is on the Nuclear Energy Futures CDT Two modules
Lent Term starter One module

In some cases it may be possible to apply for exemption from one or two modules based on prior study at Cambridge that does not fit the criteria above. This will need to be supported by a strong case from your supervisor. Exemptions are not permitted based on previous study outside of Cambridge.

Applications for a module exemption can be applied for by completing the Module Exemption Application Form, which must be returned to the GSO by email, by the deadline for registering for modules (see below). An exemption request must have initial approval by your supervisor. Please do not assume an exemption will be approved by the Graduate Teaching Committee. If you are approved for exemption from one module, the other module must be assessed by either coursework or examination - reading clubs are not permitted.

Registering for modules and RDCs

Register via Meteor

You must register your module choices and for an RDC online, via Meteor, by 19 October 2023 (for Michaelmas Term starters) or by 1 February 2024 (for Lent Term starters). If you cannot access Meteor, please email the Graduate Studies Office. You can change your choices freely up until this deadline, but this will not be possible after this date.

To register for one of the modules in the "Additional borrowing" section of the approved modules list, please forward confirmation from the named person that they agree to you taking the module, and the GSO will manually register you for the module on Meteor.

If you agree with your supervisor that you should take a module that is not on the approved list, please ensure that you or your supervisor emails the Graduate Studies Office to obtain permission. The GSO will then manually register you for the module.

Resources via Moodle

When you register for a module on Meteor, you will automatically be added to the course's Moodle site. This happens overnight, so you should not expect immediate access. De-registering on Meteor (eg if you change modules) will unsubscribe you on Moodle. 

If you wish to attend modules other than the two that you have registered for, you may do so; this is known as auditing. If you need access to a Moodle site for a module that you are auditing, you can self-enrol as a student observer on the site using the Moodle self-enrolment key available on the Teaching Office website.

Changing your choices

If you wish to change your choices within the first two weeks of term, you can do this yourself via Meteor. We discourage you from making changes after this date, but if you do need to change a module after the first two weeks, please email the Graduate Studies Office.

Meteor will re-open for two weeks at the begining of January, and during that period Michaelmas Term starters will be able to amend their Lent Term choices, if they wish.

Assessment of taught modules

Module results are part of the First Year Assessment process for PhD students. MPhil by research students are required to take modules and their assessments, but the results do not count towards your final degree.

Written examinations take place at the beginning of the Easter Term. The module leader will inform you when and where to submit coursework assignments. Past papers for exams borrowed from Part IIB of the Engineering Tripos website can be downloaded from the Undergraduate Teaching Office website.

The pass mark for all modules is 50%. Most results are released via CamSIS following the Part IIB examiners' meeting in June, however non-Part IIB module marks may not be available until later in the summer.

Extra time and other examination access arrangements

The information under the taught course students section of this site is also relevant to research students undertaking taught modules.

When will I get the results?

All marks have to first go through an examiners’ meeting, which will take place in late June. You can therefore expect to receive the results, via your CamSIS Self-Service account, by the beginning of July.

What if I fail?

Modules are only one element of the First Year Assessment. As such, a marginal fail in a module can be compensated by an exceptional First Year Report.