skip to primary navigationskip to content


CEM06 Dissertation Conference 2018


The Construction Engineering Masters (CEM) degree is a part-time advanced leadership programme offered by the Department of Engineering in collaboration with the Cambridge Judge Business School. The fundamental goal of the CEM is to further educate and inspire emerging leaders in the construction industry. The programme is relevant to those working in a range of roles associated with the sector. It explores processes related to planning, procurement, physical construction and operation of infrastructure. The programme also reviews how government policy impacts the sector and how the sector (and organisations within it) are structured and managed to deliver on infrastructure needs.

Key points:

  • The course involves seven residential weeks of lectures, seminars, workshops, panels and a high level of class discussion and interaction
  • Emphasis is on business models, planning, procurement, delivery and operation
  • Content is delivered via a combination of academic, industry and public sector experts from a range of disciplines
  • The course offers flexibility in choice of research topic, with research supported by one-to-one supervision from subject-matter academic experts
  • The course facilitates personal development in analysing industry challenges, critical thinking, leadership and management skills combined with improving communication skills.

The overall aim of the CEM is to revolutionise construction by challenging widely held assumptions and to further educate, develop and inspire emerging leaders in the industry so that they can take technical, managerial and leadership skills back to the workplace to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the construction sector. This includes equipping students to respond more effectively and lead others to achieve positive change. The CEM mission statement is:

“To develop and empower agents of change who will transform the construction industry to meet the future challenges of society”

The mission statement can be broken down into four high-level objectives. Students will:

  • Understand the current built environment (the working environment, society, economics, politics etc.,) and the risks and challenges we face
  • Be aware of and understand best practice and innovations in processes, methodologies and technologies that may provide solutions to the risks and challenges we face
  • Understand and gain experience in how to scope out, nurture, enable and implement innovation
  • Develop the communication, leadership and collaboration skills needed to be an effective agent of change.



The CEM is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer for candidates who have already acquired an accredited CEng (partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

The JBM is formed of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, and the Institute of Highway Engineers. 


Course Niche

The CEM is multidisciplinary, bringing together a range of professional disciplines to explore the planning, finance, procurement, delivery and operation of infrastructure and building projects that form the built environment. This helps students to challenge the status quo, think differently and explore ideas beyond the traditional boundaries of their roles in industry. Participants must have a minimum of 5 years’ experience and many have already reached senior levels in their organisations. The focus of the CEM is to facilitate insight into how to improve the performance, efficiency and sustainability of the construction sector, while promoting innovation and new technologies to support such improvements. The programme equips students with the knowledge, leadership and communication skills that will help them effect change.

The programme explores processes associated with the construction sector from the initial planning to identify infrastructure needs, through to procurement, physical construction and operation. It also reviews how government policy impacts the sector and how the sector (and organisations within it) are structured and managed to deliver on infrastructure needs. The programme includes both theoretical and applied sessions, covering content associated with engineering, business, law and policy. There is a strong focus on the UK industry, but international practices and comparisons with activities around the globe are also included in the syllabus.

Design of infrastructure has an inevitable impact on the outputs of the sector. The role of design is explored through the need for flexibility in design (that is, considering future scenarios that influence infrastructure needs) and the impacts of design on project delivery (for example, design for manufacture and assembly is an approach that facilitates off-site construction), rather than the creative practice of the design process itself.

Employers often sponsor students and we encourage research that is relevant to company interests. Research topics include (but are not limited to) investigation into: on-site productivity, team performance, procurement arrangements, management processes, adoption of new technologies, industry performance (e.g. health and safety, gender equity) and risk management.

Please refer to the ‘dissertation’ tab on our website to explore past dissertation topics.

2019 - 2021 Prospectus: