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MPhil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence


Q. What are the entry requirements for this course?

Please see Who Should Apply?  Please note: students who are strong in computing but who do not have university-level mathematics should consider applying to the Cambridge MPhil in Advanced Computer Science.

Q. Is a recent degree in Information Sciences or Information Technology appropriate background for this course?

Usually not. Students are expected to have a strong background in maths (calculus, linear algebra), probability, and statistics.

Q. I studied both Maths and Further Maths at A level, achieving A*s in both, and have continued to use statistics in my university course. Am I a suitable candidate?

An A-level Maths (or Further Maths) background is not enough for this course, but in exceptional cases we will consider these candidates if they have taken significant steps to fill this gap in their knowledge.

Q. What is the application acceptance rate?

For the 2023-2024 academic year, around 600 applications were received for around forty places on the course.

Q. How many students do you plan to take in for 2024-25

For 2024-2025 we currently plan to admit between thirty-five and forty-five students.

Q. What is the process for admissions ?

After reviewing applications submitted through the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal  academic staff will hold brief interviews with selected individual applicants.  These are usually conducted remotely and last about twenty minutes.

Q. I have currently chosen to work for a year after completing my undergraduate course. Will this be viewed unfavourably?

Mature students are very welcome, although all applicants must demonstrate ability to work at a high academic level. Please see Who Should Apply?

Q. I am working and have not recently studied. Whom should I nominate as an academic referee?

Please see the guidance given by the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Q. Is a TOEFL test score sufficient for this programme or does each applicant need an IELTS test score?

TOEFL and IELTS are accepted for this course. You can find further details here and here

Q. Must I sit the GRE examination for this programme?

Cambridge does not require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).  Simply give details of your previous education (including transcripts) on your application form.

Q. There is a 'Research' section in the Graduate Application Form. What should I enter here? Should I specify a research supervisor?

You may, if you wish, provide a statement of your research interests which may be considered in assessing your application but it is not necessary.  Please do not name a research supervisor

Q. What opportunities for research will students have?

Students will undertake a research project leading to a dissertation. The topics chosen will reflect recent technical developments in the relevant fields and so will change from year to year.

Q. I have a specific research project in mind. Will I be able to formulate my own dissertation research?

Probably not. Research projects are proposed by academic staff.  These projects are carefully formulated so that students can do a successful research project in the time allowed and with available empirical and computational resources. There is scope for students to propose their own research projects to be supervised by academic staff on the course; but such projects are relatively unusual.

Q. Does the University of Cambridge participate in any double degree or co-tutelle courses?


Q. Does the course offer Erasmus-style exchange programmes with other universities?


Q. Will it be possible for MPhil students to take time out for internships in industry?


Q. Is it possible to have outside employment while taking this course?

No. The University gives guidance on Working While You Study and the policy states: "Taught students undertaking taught Masters courses ... are normally expected not to work during term-time".  Even outside of term-time, students are expected to continue working on coursework assignments and the workload is likely to be very high.

Q. Given the application deadlines for PhD programmes at Cambridge, there would be limited progress through the MPhil by the time applications are being considered. Is it expected that MPhil students would be able to go through the application process later?

Our expectation is that students who are successful on the MPhil MLMI course will be strong candidates for a PhD at Cambridge or any other top university, and so we are very aware of the PhD application deadlines. We have structured the course so that there will be some early assessment and feedback, in addition to non-assessed contact with senior academic staff. This should provide sufficient basis for Faculty to write letters of support for applications, studentships, etc.

Q. I already have an MPhil degree from another Cambridge University department. Can I still apply to this course?

Students with MPhil degrees from other Cambridge University departments are not encouraged to apply.  The University only grants the MPhil once and so there will in effect be no additional award for completing this course.

Q. Will the MPhil year count towards the PhD in Cambridge?


Q. Is it possible to apply for deferred admission?


Q. Which track should I apply to?

The MPhil is divided into different tracks. Each track represents a specialism in a particular area within machine learning and machine intelligence such as machine learning, speech and language processing, computer vision and robotics, and human-computer interaction. 

You select a track when you apply to the programme. The track will affect your module choices a little, you will take more modules in your chosen area of specialism, but the majority of the modules are shared across all tracks and are taken by the entire cohort. In addition, you will have flexibility through your optional core and elective modules to pick any module of interest. The track will also fix the area in which you do your project -- you will select from projects within this area during the project allocation process.

Q. Can I change my track after application?

In general, no. It will only be possible to change track in exceptional circumstances and the switch would need to be justified to your Course Advisor and then to the Course Director.


Q. Will my choice of track affect the title of my degree?

No.  Whatever your track choice, the course will lead to an MPhil in Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.

Q. My question isn't answered. What should I do?

For further information please contact please note that we cannot review CVs or applications prior to submission and we cannot give advice on what to put in your application. We regret that it will not be possible to respond to such requests.