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Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology


The CEM course is an established two-year, part-time, multidisciplinary programme focusing on leadership, critical thinking, construction innovation and technology to address sector and societal drivers.

The course is hosted by the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge in partnership with the Cambridge Judge Business School.  The programme is delivered by academics from the University of Cambridge and other institutions alongside leading industry thinkers and practitioners.

The CEM includes seven evenly distributed residential weeks spent in Cambridge, four in the first year and three in the second. These dedicated residential weeks are delivered through a blend of on-site and virtual education and combine teaching and learning sessions, one-to-one supervision with academic staff and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Please note students must attend all residential weeks in person.

Each residential week is focused on a specific theme, supported by an ongoing programme of communication, leadership and research skills development.

Residential weeks 



Assessment of the Master in Construction Engineering


Full and active participation in all course elements is required, including participation in group projects and a presentation for the dissertation. Presentations form part of the formal assessment. However, the CEM is primarily assessed through written work completed between residential weeks. Assignments are as follows:

Year One

  • One written case study based on one of the topics covered by the ‘Built Environment’ module - up to 5,000 words.
  • Two written essays, each based on one of the topics covered in the ‘Design for Value’ and ‘Research and Innovation' modules - approximately 3,000 words.

Participants need to pass all assignments to progress into year two.

Year two

  • One 15,000-word dissertation and a dissertation presentation.

The degree is awarded on the outcome of the dissertation and dissertation presentation.

Topics may be based on an individual’s interests, experience and current employment and are selected with guidance from the student’s Director of Studies (who will be appointed to them by the Course Director). Themes include but are not limited to productivity, procurement, team performance, management processes, adoption of new technologies, risk management, and policy (health and safety, gender equity).

Students will typically receive up to three hours of supervisory support per assignment in year one and eight hours for their research dissertation in year two. In addition, students meet with their Director of Studies each residential week. They are regularly provided feedback on their performance via individual face-to-face and written exchanges with supervisors and the Director of Studies.