A foundation year for PhD students with prior research experience at masters level in any relevant subject 

Designed as a foundation programme to prepare students for PhD studies, the MRes is a specialist research masters, consisting of 5 or more taught courses and a dissertation, based on your research proposal. Over 9 months at Cambridge, you will receive training in research methods and expand your academic knowledge in your chosen discipline. Lectures with world-leading faculty of Cambridge Judge Business School, one-to-one meetings with your supervisor, research seminars and independent academic literature reviews are part of your weekly schedule on the MRes.

During the programme, you will: 

  • gain knowledge of research methods used in management research
  • develop a strong awareness of the current academic debates in your chosen discipline, and knowledge of the underlying theories of management
  • understand the imperative of societal impact with management research
  • gain auxiliary professional skills, like communication, presentation, writing, project management and literature review skills
Cambridge Master of Finance students.

Programme outline


During your MRes, you take 5 or more taught courses. The portfolio of courses is tailored to your needs, taking account your research interest, prior training and requirements of your chosen PhD. 

Prior to the start of the academic year, your MRes/PhD Programme Director will choose the initial set of courses for you, in consultation with your supervisor.  

Your tailored course portfolio is drawn from a list of research courses offered by Cambridge Judge Business School or other University departments. For example, see the courses from the: 

Please note, some courses are only offered every other year. In addition, you might be able to take some courses not listed here, run by other departments within the University of Cambridge. 

Learning experience

Engage with expert faculty across the Business School and University of Cambridge. Learn through inspiring weekly lectures, independent reading, research coursework and research seminars, organised by the subject group pertaining to your field of specialisation.  

As a student on the MRes, you will be fully integrated into the research culture of your subject group and you will be assigned a faculty member as a supervisor, who will provide you with general academic, subject-specific and research training advice relating to your thesis.  

Take advantage of informal opportunities to develop your research skills further, through mentoring by fellow research students and other faculty members. Depending on your course portfolio, you will share some of your classes with an international cohort of students from the Business School’s MPhils, enabling you to grow your network.


Your MRes dissertation is based on the research proposal you will develop working closely with a faculty supervisor prior to admission to the programme. 

While the time available for the MRes dissertation and its word length are recognised to limit the depth and scope of the research that can be undertaken, the dissertation is nevertheless expected to be an original piece of work that advances knowledge in its field. 

The MRes dissertation serves as a demonstration of your research capabilities and can be the foundation for PhD studies. The dissertation contributes 50% to the final mark and should not exceed 16,000 words.


Your performance on the taught courses will be assessed by essay, coursework, individual presentation or group presentation. The 16,000-word dissertation counts for 50% of the final mark. 

The pass mark for obtaining the MRes degree is 60% overall.

Continuing to PhD

The programme accepts applicants for all PhD pathways; however applicants for the Finance PhD pathway must be students on the University of Cambridge’s MPhil in Economic Research. 

Continuation to the PhD is subject to performance on the MRes programme. You must achieve 70% overall (modules and dissertation combined) and at least 70% in your dissertation.


The Master of Research (MRes) route to our PhD is designed specifically for students with experience at masters level in a subject relevant to one of the following PhD pathways: