The final component is undertaken between April and August when students complete an individual piece of research for their Masters Dissertation. This can involve working with companies, government agencies and other organisations and often produces work which is subsequently published in technical Journals. The dissertation of 12,000 – 15,000 words will be submitted by 25 August 2017. This aspect of the course is equivalent to 4 modules and allows the study of an aspect of engineering and sustainable development to be pursued in depth. The dissertation represents a major element of the MPhil and is the opportunity for each student to extract maximum value from their time at Cambridge.
Topics might range from the design of geothermal heat pumps or the infrastructure requirements for hydrogen based transportation systems to using sustainability criteria to prioritise asset management decisions in the water industry or how effective sustainability reporting is in an engineering sector. Students discuss their ideas with the Course Director during Michaelmas Term, and then they are assigned appropriate supervisors and agree titles for their work during Lent Term. This process allows preliminary preparation and planning to take place before the execution of the work itself gets underway around Easter.
The involvement of the Supervisor on each dissertation is a key element of success and staff are committed to ensuring that the students obtain the fullest possible advantage from the experience.
The work itself is conducted as a full time activity between April and the end of August. In mid July a Dissertation Conference is held, in which each students reports progress made to date to an invited audience of academics and industrial collaborators, and received feedback on their work.
Abstracts of completed dissertations are available by year and topic.