Get started with your MRes application 

We are delighted you’re thinking of applying for the Master of Research in Management Studies. If you have a masters degree from an institution with a strong international research reputation, and wish to continue to doctoral studies, then this masters programme is for you. The MRes is an integral part of the route to a PhD. 

Take the time to review our application process and admissions requirements. Ensure you apply early to make use of available funding opportunities and increase your chances of getting your preferred College placement. Bear in mind that if you are shortlisted you will need to write a full research proposal by the end of December.

Applications now closed

Applications for entry in 2024 have now closed. Admissions for 2025 will open in September 2024.

view from the top of the Judge Business School.

Who we are looking for?

Begin your journey towards becoming a research-oriented faculty member at one of the world’s foremost business schools.  

This programme is for you if:

  • you have a UK First-Class Honours undergraduate degree (or overseas equivalent), which equates to a USA CGPA of 3.7/4.0.
  • you have a masters degree (not an MBA or MFin, or other professional practice masters) in which you were amongst the top 5% of students in your year
  • your degree is relevant to your chosen PhD specialisation and from a university/department with a strong international research reputation

Application process

The Master of Research in Management Studies is a great choice for those with ambitions to spearhead the field of management research – we’re delighted you’ve selected our programme. Here are the key steps of the application process:

Funding application

Apply for funding

Assess all your funding options. Once you have, the process is simple: 

  • apply for all those relevant to you  
  • tick the Scholarships box in the application form 
  • write 500 words about your research interests and intended research topics  
  • nominate your desired PhD pathway (specialisation)

If you want to be considered for Cambridge funding (from the Gates Cambridge Trust, Cambridge Commonwealth Trust and Cambridge Overseas Trust, and the Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme), deadlines can be found in the Postgraduate Study Funding section of the University website. Please note that an earlier deadline applies if you are a US citizen applying for Gates funding.

Programme application

Apply for the programme using the University Applicant Portal

Submit your application form and supporting documents via the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal.

All the instructions on how to complete the application are included during the online application process. It’s worth taking the time to read the instructions carefully as any mistakes in your application may make it invalid and delay the application process. 

There is no application fee charge.

Go to applicant portal

Applications for entry in 2024 have now closed. Admissions for 2025 will open in September 2024.

Receipt of application

Get receipt of your application

You will receive an email or letter of acknowledgement of receipt of your application and supporting documentation, and an ID number from the Postgraduate Admissions Office. Details on how to log into your self-service account to track the progress of your application will also be included. 

Application review

The MRes/PhD Admissions Committee will review your application

If you are shortlisted, the PhD Admissions Secretary will email you to confirm this. If your application is not accepted, the Postgraduate Admissions Office will notify you by email and self-service. 

Applications are considered on a rolling basis. You can expect to hear whether or not you have been shortlisted to proceed with your application within two to three weeks of submitting your completed application.

Fraudulent applications

The University of Cambridge takes robust action against admissions fraud. If we find that fake documents or false information has been submitted, we will withdraw the application and any others made by the same person.

Learn more about postgraduate admissions fraud

Research proposal development

Complete a research proposal

Once shortlisted, you will be put in contact with members of our faculty from the most appropriate PhD pathway. After discussion with them, you will be asked to complete a research proposal (of up to 2,000 words). This must be submitted to the PhD Admissions Secretary by 4 January 2024.

Selection for interview

After 4 January, research proposals will be reviewed by the PhD Admissions Committee and some applicants will be selected for interview.

The PhD Admissions Secretary will confirm whether you have an interview by email. Details of the time and length of your interview will be sent to you.


MRes/PhD interviews take place in late January 2024. There is a different interview panel for each PhD pathway and your interview will be based on your research proposal. 

Prepare for the interview and seek guidance from your prospective supervisor, who will know about the interview requirements and the format of your particular pathway. 

The panel will write comments on your interview and make recommendations to the MRes/PhD Admissions Committee on whether to make you an offer and who should be your Principal Supervisor.

Conditional offer

Successful candidates receive a Conditional Offer

The MRes/PhD Admissions Committee decides on offers in the first week of February. Please do not contact the PhD Office directly. You will be sent an email in due course with the outcome of the interview and, if applicable, the details of your offer. 

We then pass our decision to the Postgraduate Admissions Office. You can view and print their offer letter from your self-service account in CamSIS (it is called a ‘Certificate of Offer’).  

Your initial offer will come with conditions attached. 

  • If you are currently completing a degree, then you will normally be set an academic condition to achieve a particular grade or to provide independent evidence that you were in the top 5% of your year.  
  • There might be a language condition (proving that your English language skills are proficient) or a request to provide original documents.  

It is your responsibility to meet these requirements by providing the PAO with the necessary documentary evidence.

Funding decisions

Cambridge Judge Business School will provide funding if an admitted applicant does not secure funding through the University or external sources. The Business School will fund the difference between any bursaries obtained and a full scholarship. Our funding guarantee will be subject to your acceptance of the MRes/PhD offer within 3 to 4 weeks of receiving it. 

While waiting for the results of the Cambridge Scholarship competitions, you are expected to be proactive and search for other suitable scholarships and bursaries. 

Unconditional offer

Successful candidates receive an Unconditional Offer

Once you have met all the conditions of your admission and have the offer of a college place, you can view the online ‘Certificate of Confirmation’. This letter confirms that you may begin your MRes programme at the start of the academic year. 

Postgraduate Admissions will issue you with a Confirmation of Acceptance of Study (CAS) certificate for visa application where appropriate. 

At this stage you can start to make arrangements, such as visa applications where applicable, and arranging your accommodation in Cambridge.

Our minimum requirements

The MRes programme has limited places for exceptional individuals – here’s what you need to ensure you’re ready for the course:

All applications are made online, and you need to submit all required supporting documentation, including references and transcripts. There is no application fee for this programme. 

You’ll need an excellent degree equivalent to a UK bachelors degree from a reputable university. The minimum standard normally required is a first-class honour or a mark considered equivalent by the University of Cambridge, which translates in most countries into ‘A’ grades.

In most countries the equivalent to a UK bachelors degree is a first degree (bachelor), but from some countries a masters-level degree may be required. We consider the standing and selectivity of the university as well as the student’s rank within their class.

We expect:

  • from the UK – First Class
  • from the USA – a CGPA of 3.7 out of 4
  • from China – a mark of 95%
  • from India – an average mark of 75%, or a 4-year bachelor of engineering/technology from a prestigious institution, or a masters degree
  • from Germany – a minimum mark of “sehr gut” (1.3)

We look for students with a masters degree (not an MBA or MFin, or other professional practice masters) relevant to their intended PhD specialisation and from a university/department with strong international research standing. We look for indications that you have the calibre and training to undertake a research-focused degree.

We will ask you to provide evidence, through transcripts and reference letters, that you are among the top 5% of masters students in your year, or among the top 10% of students if your masters degree is from the University of Cambridge or a similarly selective university.

Applicants with an MBA, MFin or other professional practice masters are required to have a further masters degree with a research component.

For MRes applicants interested in the Finance PhD pathway, please note that we will only accept MRes applications from MPhil in Economic Research students at Cambridge, and we will expect your references to indicate that you will achieve at least 70% in the MPhil in Economic Research.

Work experience is not a requirement, although work experience relevant to your research interests is highly appreciated. We normally expect no more than 5 years of work experience.

We require 2 academic references, one of which should be from the supervisor most familiar with your work. If you are a student currently on a Cambridge masters degree, please provide an academic reference from the member of faculty who knows your work best on your current degree.

Automated reference requests will be sent to your referees once you have input their contact details into our online application system. Keep track the receipt of your references online. It is your responsibility to follow up with your referees if they fail to send a reference or change their contact details.

The Master of Research in Management Studies is taught entirely in English, and you must be able to read, write, speak and understand English fluently. If you are a non-native English speaker, you must provide us with evidence of your fluency in English.

You will need to provide test results that meet the requirements of one of the tests listed below. Your results must be from a test taken in the 2 years prior to starting the programme.

  • TOEFL – minimum overall score of 110, with not less than 25 in each element.
  • IELTS – minimum overall score of 7.5, with not less than 7.0 in each element.

Not yet taken a language test? Test result out-of-date or not up to the required standard? Don’t worry, you don’t have to include your English language test scores with your initial application documents; they can be forwarded on later in the process. If you are made an offer, one of the conditions of entry will be getting the required standard of language test score.

We will ask you to give a summary of your research interests and intended research topics. We recommend a maximum of 700 words, as there is a 3,000-character limit set up for this field. Note that only if you are shortlisted, you will be put in contact with a member of Faculty and asked to submit a research proposal.

We require one sample of your writing, no more than 25 pages in length (eg excerpts from a thesis), which has been assessed or peer reviewed.

If you wish to be considered for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, you will also need to provide the following:

  • Gates Cambridge Reference
  • Research proposal