MPhil/PhD Engineering

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
  • Engineering
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April


As a PhD or MPhil student in engineering you will be a member of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences. The current research activities in engineering cover a wide range of interests within civil, electronic, mechanical, manufacturing and materials engineering, as well as in engineering management.

Research funding is obtained from a range of sources such as the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Department of Trade and Industry, the South West Regional Development Agency, the European Union and local, national and international industry.

Research areas

A summary of our main areas of research focus is provided here. TheCollege's research webpages provide more comprehensive details about current research projects. Details on individual staff research interests and publications can be found on our staff profile pages.

Engineering research is organised into three main areas: Materials and manufacturing, Functional materials and Water and environment. Each brings together the world-leading research activities of our Engineering academics and researchers.

Materials and manufacturing

• Additive Manufacturing 
• Multi-Functional Materials
• Low-carbon Manufacturing and Sustainable Technologies 
• Bio-medical Engineering 
• Strategies, Operations and Engineering Management 
• Manufacturing Systems, Supply Chains and Logistics

Exeter Advanced Technologies (X-AT)

Operating as a not-for-profit organisation, X-AT provides a link between academia and industry, offering access to the wealth of expertise within the University. X-AT works closely with a host of regional, national and international partners to bring companies the latest solutions to help make them more successful.

Exeter Manufacturing and Enterprise Centre (XMEC)

XMEC is a multidisciplinary research centre carrying out advanced research in manufacturing technology, systems and management. It also provides vital support to local industry by identifying and transferring best practice and techniques in agile, lean and e-business/e-manufacturing to companies in the South West, particularly SMEs.

CALM – Centre for Additive Layer Manufacturing

The £700,000 Centre  for Additive Layer Manufacturing (CALM) is an industry facing business technology centre (BTC) based at the University of Exeter. CALM BTC provides technical expertise in Additive Layer Manufacturing to businesses across all sectors. CALM BTC is also partnered with Exeter Advanced Technologies who have a long and successful history in delivering world class research and development in materials technology.

Functional materials

• Nanomaterials and energy materials
• Memory materials
• Biomaterials and instrumentation
• Atomistic modelling
• Graphene devices

Centre for Graphene Science

The Centre for Graphene Science brings together highly motivated and skilled people to build internationally leading teams in graphene research. At its heart are the Universities of Exeter and Bath. Together they provide state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality research environments. The Centre is also the hub of an international network of leading institutions working on graphene as well as industry.

The research is highly interdisciplinary, encompassing elements of Physics, Engineering, Chemistry, Biology and Medicine. The centre focuses on:

• production and nanofabrication methods; 
• experimental and theoretical studies; 
• new electronic, optical and mechanical devices.

Water and environment

Centre for Water Systems

As the expansion and development of the world population continues, it brings with it increased industrialisation, intensive agriculture, increased pollution and climate change, putting severe pressure on natural water resources. The provision of a reliable and sustainable supply of safe, clean water, appropriate treatment and disposal of wastewater and the safeguard of our natural environment are high priorities for all countries. The internationally-leading Centre for Water Systems provides vital research into water systems planning, design and operation.


Engineering is housed in a purpose-built centre with comprehensive laboratories, workshops and computing facilities. There is an extensive range of equipment and facilities supporting the activities of postgraduates including an advanced manufacturing suite, a class 10,000 clean room, laser laboratories, materials characterisation laboratories, scanning electron and scanning probe microscopes, DSP and microprocessor laboratories, wind tunnels, wave tanks and geotechnical laboratories. We also provide a wide variety of computing equipment, including fully networked personal computers, workstations, 3D visualisation suite and computer-intensive central facilities, all connected to other regional and national facilities. We have access to the University’s EPSRC-funded IBM Supercomputer SP3 system and to a Beowulf parallel computing cluster.

Research students at Exeter are allocated a desk and computing facilities in newly refurbished offices and provided with a PC on arrival. The College has access to state-of-the art facilities for remote collaboration and advanced training and there is wireless network access at several points in the building.


A degree in Engineering from Exeter opens many career doors. You will develop a wide range of highly employable skills such as project management, time management, IT and communication alongside specific engineering knowledge. Many leading employers actively target our engineering graduates. Most choose to enter a technical career in industry after their degree, however some prefer to use their skills in more generalist areas such as finance or general management.

In addition to the College's Employability Officer, Career Zone gives access to a wealth of business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.

Entry requirements 2018

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.0. No less than 6.0 in any section.


Overall score 87 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

55 overall with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,400 full-time; £2,200 part-time
  • International: £23,000 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.


The College offers funding opportunities for postgraduate students throughout the year including studentships funded by the research councils, charities, industry partners and the College. All are offered on a competitive basis to suitably qualified applicants.

Any potential University of Exeter funding for this programme will feature below when available. You may also wish to investigate if any external funding is available. Our Postgraduate Funding webpage provides links to further information.

Contact us

Postgraduate Research Admissions
Phone: +44 (0) 1392 722730
WebEnquire online