MPhil in Nuclear Energy
The MPhil in Nuclear Energy recognises that though the prospects for nuclear even after Fukushima are now better than they have been for twenty years, nuclear works in a market for energy technologies and has not special right to be developed. The political, economic and social context for nuclear power is as important as the technical merits of the designs of reactors and systems.
Nuclear technology is challenging because it is still relatively new being less than 70 years since the first controlled chain reaction. Also, it is challenging because of the multi-disciplinary nature of problems that often involve physics, materials and engineering at the same time.
To be successful, nuclear energy requires both high levels of technical and business competence together with unremitting attention to high standards of current safety and continuous improvement of tomorrow's safety.
The special nature of nuclear energy makes the industry global in its scale and its effect. Nuclear problems in one country have the potential to set-back the industry in many countries. Also, the high cost of developing and producing systems mean that only a few reactor systems can be economic and these will be built and operated around the world.
Who is it for?
Potential students with a good degree in engineering or related science subject wishing to gain the knowledge and the skills to build their career in the nuclear and the energy sectors.
While the prime focus of the course is to equip students for roles in industry, within the flexible area of the course there is a path towards research through preparation for a PhD programme.
Because nuclear energy involves a broad range of technologies and its success depends on public acceptance and sound economics, the course is multi-disciplinary in nature. It will provide core nuclear technology and policy teaching supported by a broad range of management and technical electives that allow students to tailor their education to suit their interests.
What is the MPhil in Nuclear Energy
The course will provide:
- knowledge and understanding of nuclear technology, policy and allied business;
- intellectual skills to engage with the issues that the development and deployment of nuclear energy poses;
- transferable skills to work and progress in teams within and across the nuclear sector
A one-year intensive full time Masters with a research project and dissertation, starting in October comprising:
> Five core technology teaching modules:
- Reactor Physics
- Reactor Engineering & Thermal-hydraulics
- Fuel Cycle, Waste & Decommissioning
- Nuclear Fuels & Materials
- Advanced Systems & safety
> Nuclear Technology Policy teaching delivered by the Judge Business School:
> Supporting business management courses & seminars, plus a broad range of elective technical courses of which students are required to select four;
> Long research project and dissertation over a period of six months;
> Engagement with industry through its industry club links with EDF, NDA, Atkins, AREVA, Serco, AMEC, Fraser Nash, Aubert & Duval and AWE and research through projects/dissertation, visits & use of simulators, and sponsorship;
> Use of Cambridge's international and external research links with Battelle NW, MIT, KKK, CEA, CCFE, TWI and NNL;
> An option of continuing research training by entering a follow-on PhD programme.
The course will be taught by staff from CUED, the School of Physical Sciences and the Judge Business School. These will be supplemented by leading practitioners each with experience of industry and national laboratories including: Rolls-Royce, TWI, UKAEA, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, AWE & Atkins - to provide specialist knowledge and to give context for the science, technology and business teaching of academic staff.
The course has been designed for top engineers and scientists with some experience post degree, not necessarily in the nuclear industry, or new graduates who want to equip themselves with the knowledge and the skills to build a career in nuclear energy.
The MPhil is part of the University of Cambridge's Strategic Energy Initiative in response to the prospect of a nuclear renaissance in the UK and around the world. The aim is to provide a masters-level degree course in Nuclear Energy which will combined nuclear science and technology topics with business, management and policy teaching.
Students will gain:
- a thorough grounding in the engineering, scientific and safety aspects of nuclear power;
- a good understanding of nuclear technology policy together with relevant business and policy understanding;
- an appreciation of the wider policy contexts of electricity generation in the 21st century.