The MPE CDT is a 1+3 year funded PhD programme, with the first year taking the form of an MRes (Masters by Research) course. The following 3 years focus on the PhD project. Upon successful application, students will be assigned to either Imperial College London or the University of Reading as their host institution, and will receive their PhD degree from that institution. The MRes degree however will be jointly awarded by Imperial College London and the University of Reading.

Starting with the very first day, students work as a cohort across the two institutions, whether based in Reading within the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences or based at Imperial within the Department of Mathematics, in each case in high spec accommodation designed for the CDT. The MRes cohort takes courses together, in large part through high-speed interactive videolink, meets together weekly for MPE Wednesdays, and trains together in occasional residential workshops, including the Kick-Off meeting in September and the annual Jamboree.

Useful details on the first year MRes programme can be found in the current MRes_Mathematics_Planet_earth_handbook_2019.

The main focus in years 2-4 is the individual PhD project, but a strong interactive and supportive cohort feel is maintained across the institutions through the joint seminars on MPE Wednesdays, and through substantial training and study, including a cutting edge mathematics summer school, short management and leadership training courses, optional training courses (with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading for instance), and the 10-week Met Office Training and Research Programme in year three.