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University of Cambridge: Nuclear Energy Futures (EPSRC CDT)

Institution University of Cambridge
Department Earth Sciences
Study type Research


This four-year doctoral training programme in Nuclear Energy is part of the multi-institutional EPSRC Nuclear Energy Futures CDT and aims to provide scientists and engineers with a broad overview of the nuclear energy sector in addition to in-depth training in a detailed area of civil nuclear energy.

The research project begins in the first year, but in this initial year of the four-year doctoral training programme, there are taught elements and required training visits to nuclear facilities in the UK and overseas in addition to research activity related to the student’s chosen research project.

The student will be able to carry out:

the systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic nuclear discipline or area of nuclear professional practice; the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication; the development of a PhD thesis for an examination that they can defend in an oral examination.

This CDT operates in collaboration with Imperial College London, the University of Bristol, The Open University and Bangor University. Learning Outcomes

After completing the taught and training elements in the first year, students will have:

  • broad knowledge of Nuclear Energy issues: fundamentals of nuclear physics relevant to reactor operation;
  • the theoretical and practical operation of bringing a nuclear reactor to criticality;
  • safety and risk in the nuclear industry;
  • generation and treatment of waste;
  • shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies; and;
  • demonstrated self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.

By the end of the PhD programme, students will have:

  • the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
  • a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry;
  • produced a thesis for examination.

PhD with Integrated Study

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