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Apply to the MRes

Applications closed

Admissions for entry in 2023/24 have now closed.

Applications for entry in October 2024 will open in September 2023.

Entry to the MRes in Management Studies programme is very competitive, so we advise candidates to apply early. Bear in mind that if you are shortlisted you will need to write a full research proposal by the end of December.

All MRes/PhD places are fully funded (fees and maintenance) through University of Cambridge scholarships, ESRC studentships, and CJBS scholarships and bursaries. To be considered for admission you must apply for any and all funding for which you are eligible and tick the Scholarships box in the application form.

The application form requires you to write 500 words about your research interests and intended research topics. You will also need to nominate your desired PhD pathway (specialisation).

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.

If you are shortlisted, you will be put in contact with a member of CJBS faculty and asked to complete and submit a research proposal (of up to 2,000 words) by 5 January 2023.

Interviews, either in person or online, will take place in late January 2023. We expect to make offers in the first week of February.

Admissions requirements

Undergraduate achievement

The minimum standard required is a First Class Honours or equivalent. This equates to a CGPA of 3.7/4.0.

Graduate achievement

A masters degree (not an MBA or MFin) in which you were amongst the top five per cent of masters students in your year. The masters must be relevant to your intended PhD specialisation and from a university/department with a strong international research reputation.

English proficiency

English as your native language
IELTS minimum overall score of 7.5, with not less than 7.0 in each element
TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) minimum overall score of 110, with not less than 25 in each element

Undergraduate achievement

An excellent degree equivalent to a UK bachelors degree from a reputable university. The minimum standard normally required is a first class honours 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.

From the USA we expect a CGPA of 3.7 out of 4. From China a mark of 95% is usually required. From India a minimum average mark of 75% is required, or a four-year bachelor of engineering/technology from a prestigious institution, or a masters degree. From Germany a minimum mark of “sehr gut” (1.3) is required.

We take into account the standing and selectivity of the university as well as the student’s rank within their class.

Graduate achievement

Your masters-level degree must be relevant to your intended PhD specialisation and from a university/department with a strong international research standing. We look for indications that you have the calibre and training to undertake a research-focused degree.

You are expected to provide evidence, through transcripts and reference letters, that you are among the top five per cent 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.

English proficiency

Applicants to the programme need to be fluent in English. We define fluency in the following ways:

  • if English is your native language.
  • or you have an IELTS minimum overall score of 7.5, with not less than 7.0 in each element. The separate components must have been taken at the same time and in the past two years.
  • or if you have a TOEFL internet-based test (iBT) minimum overall score of 110, with not less than 25 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.

Completing & submitting your application

Applications can be made online or occasionally by paper application. Both methods of application are handled by the central University.

Please visit the University of Cambridge’s Postgraduate Admissions website to:

Apply online

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.

Funding deadlines

For those candidates who wish 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 Funding Opportunities section of the University website. Note that an earlier deadline applies if you are a US citizen applying for Gates funding.

Required supporting documents

Within your application form you will be able to upload the following documents. All of these documents (except English scores) must be uploaded by the application deadline. Please remind your referees of the closing date.

First academic reference

If you are a student currently on a Cambridge masters degree, please provide this academic reference from the member of faculty who knows your work best on your current degree.

Second academic reference


Please provide a transcript and certificate for all previous degrees. If you are currently studying for a degree, please also provide independent evidence of your mid-term marks or a provisional transcript.

Evidence of competence in English

See our minimum entry requirements

Sample of written work

Please provide one sample of your writing, no more than 25 pages in length (e.g. excerpts from a thesis), which has been assessed or peer-reviewed.

Personal reference

Please provide a personal reference if you are eligible for Gates funding.

What happens next?

Here’s an overview of the stages in the admissions process:

Stage 1 – Receipt of application

Once the Postgraduate Admissions Office has received your application and your supporting documentation it will process your application. The Postgraduate Admissions Office will send you an acknowledgement letter and ID number if you made a paper application; online applicants will receive this information by email. Details on how to log into your self-service account to track the progress of your application will be included.

Stage 2 – Application review

The PhD/MRes Admissions Committee will review your application.

If you are shortlisted, the MRes Administrator will email you to confirm this.

If your application is not accepted, we will notify you via your self-service account.

Stage 3 – Research proposal development

If you are shortlisted, you will be put in contact with members of Cambridge Judge Business School’s 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 MRes Administrator by 5 January 2023.

Stage 4 – Selection for interview

After 6 January, research proposals will be reviewed by the PhD Admissions Committee and some applicants 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 send to you in the preceding week. 

Stage 5 – Interview

PhD/MRes interviews are estimated to take place in late January 2023. There is a different interview panel for each PhD pathway.

Your interview will be based upon your research proposal. You will need to prepare for the interview and you are strongly advised to discuss with faculty the interview requirements of your particular pathway.

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

Stage 6 – Conditional offer

The decision about whether to offer you a place on the programme will be made by the PhD/MRes Admissions Committee in the first week of February.

Please do not contact the PhD or the MRes office directly. An email will be sent to you in due course explaining the outcome of the interview and details of your offer (where relevant).

We 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 five per cent 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 Postgraduate Admissions Office with the necessary documentary evidence.

Stage 7 – Funding decisions

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

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

Stage 8 – Unconditional offer

This is the final stage of the applications process. 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 now start to make arrangements, such as visa applications where applicable, and arranging your accommodation in Cambridge.