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MPhil by Research Thesis (1 Year)


Most of our graduate students apply for PhD admission. However, we do offer an MPhil by research thesis course (i.e., no taught content), which lasts for a year and involves doing an original piece of research.

We would not normally admit more than 2–3 MPhil applicants per year, and these applicants are usually from countries that operate shorter degree courses than in the UK.

More information on this course is available on the University Graduate Course Directory pages.


Applications should be made using the University's Applicant Portal, details of which can be found on the University Graduate Admissions pages.

The research section of the application form allows you to provide a 250-word research summary of your intended project. Before applying, please use the Department Research pages to identify a member of our academic staff working in your area of interest, and contact them to discuss your interests and ideas.

Use the 250-word research summary to briefly explain the focus of your proposed research, bearing in mind that this summary may be read by a potential sponsor (perhaps from the Gates foundation or similar), who is unlikely to be a specialist in Earth Sciences.


Please note that applicants will need to raise their own funding by applying for appropriate studentships, usually from their country of nationality, as the department has no funds to support this course.

Costs for overseas students (in 2019/20) are:

  • £27,828 for fees
  • £14,130 for maintenance

Information about graduate funding opportunities can be found on the University Graduate Admissions pages. Funding opportunities include: the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, departments, Research Councils and central University funds.

If you have any questions, please contact our .