As the UK’s only exclusively postgraduate university, Cranfield’s world-class expertise, large-scale facilities and unrivalled industry partnerships is creating leaders in technology and management globally.
We are unlocking the potential of people and organisations by partnering with business and governments to deliver transformational research, postgraduate education and professional development in the areas of aerospace, transport systems and manufacturing. Our influence has helped to change the way society thinks, works and learns.
Thriving in a mature and stimulating environment, students develop as professionals and learn how to apply their expert knowledge and skills in the global economy. We have developed solutions to real world problems that have improved the lives of millions of people around the world.
Together, we generate and transform knowledge, translating it for the benefit of society and for diverse organisations, from micro SMEs to the largest blue-chip multinationals, from national governments to NGOs and charities. We influence policy and bring ground breaking new technologies and products to the market.
Click here to learn more about studying at Cranfield University.
Focusing on the aerospace, transport systems and manufacturing sectors – as well as leadership and management – our influence has helped to change the way society thinks, works and learns in these connected and exciting fields. Cranfield ranks 5th in the UK for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering in the QS World University Rankings.
Through the strong links with industry we have built over the past 70 years, we focus on defining and delivering the aircraft, airport and airspace management of the future. Using our expertise in propulsion, aeronautical engineering, intelligent automation, autonomous systems, computational engineering and space and astronautics we are creating tomorrow’s air vehicles and businesses here today.
Our research generates concepts that we actually put into practice. Using our global research airport and runway at Cranfield we show how our ideas are more than theories, they work on the ground and in the air.
We have more than 400 postgraduate aerospace students drawn from universities around the world. We are the UK’s top destination for aerospace engineering postgraduate students and the largest provider of accredited aerospace degree courses.
Our highly sought-after students and researchers work with some of the world’s top aerospace companies on research projects. Through these connections, our students gain insight into the latest technologies and business thinking as part of our teaching. Many of our alumni go on to work in the aerospace, space and associated industries.
We have a distinctive approach to manufacturing research, education and training. We combine expertise in design, technology and management along with research into materials sciences together, all with a focus on manufacturing.
We teach more than 300 postgraduate students in areas ranging from manufacturing technology to systems and management. Research students work in fields as diverse as ultra-precision engineering to the novel application of Virtual Reality technologies to support maintenance and through-life engineering services.
We work with more than 1,500 businesses and governments around the world. Through our industry connections guest lecturers, often senior managers in leading companies, provide insight into current industry challenges. Many industry contacts actively recruit our graduates.
Our excellence in manufacturing education and training is recognised by professional institutions within the manufacturing sector.
Supporting the increasingly interconnected world, our award-winning research and teaching is helping to define the future of global transport. By understanding the whole environment in which transport operates, we specialise in the vehicles, infrastructure, businesses and logistics; and the human aspects of operating, managing and using transport.
Developing innovative technologies and business solutions for major international organisations, our world-leading research has helped the European Commission and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Insights from this work structure our teaching, making sure that we deliver a learning experience that is research-led and industry-relevant for our students. Experts from across the transport sector help us deliver inspirational learning to more than 200 MSc and doctoral students in:
- Motorsport Engineering
- Automotive Mechatronics and Engineering
- Autonomous Vehicles
- Air Transport Planning and Management
- Safety and Accident Investigation.
A unique learning environment
We are a specialist postgraduate university with a staff-to-student ratio that is one of the best for any university in the UK. Our students tell us that our hands-on, practical approach, our specialist focus and the depth and excellence of our education, research and industry links are what attract them to us.
Our world-class facilities are of an industrial scale and are often used by other universities and serve as resources for the UK as a whole. These include the National Flying Laboratory Centre, The Aerospace Integrated Research Centre and the National Wind Tunnel facility. Our Crash Impact Centre is one of just three FIA-approved test centres in the world, crash-testing Formula One cars. The Structural Integrity Laboratory studies the mechanical behaviour of components and material samples up to 250,000 tonnes and has machines unique to any university in Europe. The Accident Investigation Laboratory is dedicated to our internationally-renowned work in aviation, marine and rail safety.
Our Aerospace Integration Research Centre is a £35 million innovative aerospace research centre that is changing the design of future aircraft.
Explore the campus and browse our industry-scale facilities and purpose-built resources via our virtual tour.
Many of our teaching staff have industry backgrounds and are leading academic experts in their fields, providing real-life learning challenges that you will encounter in your career.
Our programmes are structured to offer choice for students as well as the opportunity to focus on a niche area in your chosen industry. Some of our most prestigious courses are even offered at various points in the year so you can choose to start your studies at a point that suits you.
Our flagship Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc has a history of creating graduates that secure some of the most sought after jobs and careers in Formula1.
Impact and influence
Unrivalled links with business, industry and government
Cranfield has close links with business and industry. Our programmes are designed with industry partners to ensure they are relevant and up-to-date, and we are equipping our graduates with the knowledge and skills to meet the latest challenges facing both public and private sector organisations.
Through our many partnerships, applied research projects, executive education, and professional development programmes, we have mutually beneficial relationships with around 1,500 companies and organisations. These include many of the largest and most successful global businesses including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, EasyJet, Coca-Cola, and the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Almost half of our income comes from commercial research and consultancy commissions from business and industry.
One of the most influential universities in the world
As the UK's most business-engaged University, we are trusted to understand and to be responsive to many organisations' needs.
- We have links with government departments and many of the largest and most successful global businesses including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, and UK Civil Aviation Authority.
- Our centre for innovation, Cranfield University Technology Park, is home to more than 60 companies
- We have had a close working relationship with Rolls-Royce for over 30 years
- In 2015, we signed a collaboration agreement with Boeing, building on our 10-year partnership
- We work with Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer goods companies.
Click here to learn more about who we work with.
Research and Student stories
As well as studying for the research degree of your choice, there are many collaborative projects carried out by groups of researchers or institutions and research projects commissioned by business to address a specific industry or societal need.
Cranfield is a significant contributor to global innovation. Our influence on specialised sectors has changed the way that society thinks, works and learns.
Our distinctive learning environment allows you to develop as a professional and apply your knowledge and skills in the global economy. Our work informs policy and brings new technologies and products to the market. Our students and academics have developed solutions to real world problems, for example in aviation safety. These solutions have improved the lives of millions of people worldwide.
We generate and transform knowledge, translating it for the benefit of society, for diverse organisations from micro small and medium enterprises to the largest blue-chip multinationals, from national governments to not-for-profit organisations and charities.
Cranfield’s Doctoral Network
As a research student at Cranfield you will be part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and will become a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This Network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for our researchers to share ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration and create smaller communities of practice.
The Doctoral Network comprises of eight Doctoral Communities, which are aligned with the University's focus areas. These communities offer the opportunity for our research students to further develop and enhance their technical, interdisciplinary knowledge through getting involved in activities across all of the universities themes. It is a great way for our research students to be able to enjoy the advantages of being part of such a diverse and research intensive University.
The Cranfield Doctoral Network looks to enhance and enrich the experience of our researchers, including those who are based off-site. The Doctoral Network activities are complimented by extensive resources offered through the Doctoral Researchers Core Development programme (DRCD) which is based on the established VITAE National Researcher Development Framework. It encompasses four key areas of development: Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities, Personal Effectiveness, Research Governance and Organisation & Engagement Influence and Impact.
Click here for further information about Research at Cranfield.
- “My MSc degree has certainly helped me in my career. I would not be where I am without Cranfield. It helps me on a day to day basis but also the wide alumni network is really powerful. There is a number of reunions everywhere around the world where you can connect with fellow alumni. In the airport and airline industry, there is at least one former MSc Air Transport Management student in every company I come across. Even these days, I can still use the materials as a reference from when I was studying or ask someone from my network for insightful information.” Cindy Hugon-Duprat, Aviation Marketing Analyst, Cork Airport, (Air Transport Management MSc 2013).
- “All the things I learned on the course were very useful for my career. The pace of assignments and workload was high but it really prepared me to face these issues in the professional world. The assignments we had were challenging but they make you think which really helps you to see the bigger picture and find innovative solutions.” – Carolina Olmedo Egea, Project Management Developing Engineering, Tata Technologies, (Computational Fluid Dynamics MSc 2017).
- “Studying at Cranfield gave me a lot of opportunities. The best example is the group project which probably wouldn’t have been possible at any other University. This allowed me to tackle industry problems. Cranfield is quite unique in this sense, having more industrial collaborations and industry engagements.” – Rushabh Shah, Development Engineer, Axon Automotive, (Manufacturing Technology and Management MSc 2017).
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