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Masters Degrees (Spacecraft Design)

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This MSc aims to build up your knowledge of the design of flying vehicles such as aircraft, missiles, airships and spacecraft. Select from one of three specialist options and excel in a growing aerospace industry. Read more

This MSc aims to build up your knowledge of the design of flying vehicles such as aircraft, missiles, airships and spacecraft. Select from one of three specialist options and excel in a growing aerospace industry:

Who is it for?

This MSc course provides a taught engineering programme with a focus on the technical, business and management aspects that encompass aircraft design in the civil and military aerospace sectors.

Teaching integrates a range of disciplines required for modern aircraft design, for example:

  • Aircraft systems design
  • Avionic systems design
  • Design for manufacture
  • Initial aircraft design 
  • Operation and cost
  • Propulsion integration
  • Stability and performance 
  • Structural design and Airframe

Why this course?

Cranfield have been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace engineering since 1946 with the Aerospace Vehicle Design being one of the original foundation courses of the College of Aeronautics. Graduates from this course also become members of the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA), an active community which holds a number of networking and social events throughout the year.

One unique feature of the course is that we have a range of external examiners, from industry and from academia who continually assess the quality of the course.

Cranfield University is very well located for students from all over the world, and offers a range of library, IT and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst achieving the right balance of work/life commitments.

Informed by Industry

The course has an Industrial Advisory Committee with senior members from major UK aerospace companies, government bodies, and the military services. The committee meets twice a year to review and advise on course content, acquisition skills and other attributes which are deemed desirable from graduates of the course. Panel members have included professionals from organisations such as:

  • Airbus
  • BAE Systems
  • BOEING
  • Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • GKN Aerospace 
  • Messier-Dowty
  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Australian Air Force
  • Thales UK

Accreditation

The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design, in part meets the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng (Hons) accredited for CEng will be able to show that they have satisfied the required educational base for CEng registration.

Course details

The taught component of the Aerospace Vehicle Design masters is generally delivered from October to March (or March-August for the March intake). Modules for each option vary - please refer to MSc course option pages for descriptions of compulsory modules which must be undertaken. Students also have an extensive choice of optional modules to match their specific interests.

Group project

The extensive group design project is a distinctive and unique feature of this course. This teamwork project takes place from October to March (or March-August for the March intake), and recreates a virtual industrial environment bringing together students with various experience levels and different nationalities into one integrated design team.

Each team member is given the responsibility for the detailed design of a significant part of the aircraft, for example, forward fuselage, fuel system, or navigation system. The project progress a design from the conceptual phase through to the preliminary and detail design phases. Students will be required to run project meetings, produce engineering drawings and conduct detailed analyses of their design. Problem solving and project co-ordination must be undertaken on a team and individual basis. At the end of the project, the group is required to report and present findings to a panel of up to 200 senior engineers from industry and academia.

This element of the course is both realistic and engaging, and places the whole student group in a professional role as aerospace design engineers. Students testify that working as an integrated team on real problems is invaluable and prepares them well for careers in a highly competitive industry.

Students following the Structural Design option do not participate in the Group Design Project but instead undertake a more intensive individual project.

Watch past presentation videos to give you a taster of our innovative and exciting group projects

Individual project

The individual research project element aims to provide the training necessary for you to apply knowledge from the taught elements to research, and takes place from March to September (or October-February for the March intake). The project may be theoretical and/or experimental and can be selected from a range of topics related to the course as suggested by teaching staff, your employer or even focused on your own area of interest. 

Assessment

Refer to MSc course option pages for breakdown of assessment

Your career

The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design is valued and respected by employers worldwide. The applied nature of this course ensures that our graduates are ready to be of immediate use to their future employer and has provided sufficient breadth of understanding of multi-discipline design to position them for accelerated career progression.

This course prepares graduates for careers as project engineers, systems design, structural design or avionic engineers in aerospace or related industries, with the aim of progressing to technical management/chief engineer roles. Graduates from the MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design can therefore look forward to a varied choice of challenging career opportunities in the above disciplines. 

Many of our graduates occupy very senior positions in their organisations, making valuable contributions to the international aerospace industry. Some example student destinations include BAE Systems, Airbus, Dassault and Rolls-Royce.



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Our MSc in Space Systems Engineering draws extensively on the expert knowledge of the Astronautics group using content from the professional courses we run for the European Space Agency and spacecraft industry. Read more

Our MSc in Space Systems Engineering draws extensively on the expert knowledge of the Astronautics group using content from the professional courses we run for the European Space Agency and spacecraft industry. Led by the authors of the best-selling book "Spacecraft Systems Engineering", the course uses an integrated approach to the complete design of a total space system and shows how the various component subsystems function and interface with each other. The course is endorsed by the UK Space Agency (UKSA).

Introducing your degree

This postgraduate masters course emphasises the key aspects of spacecraft systems engineering, focusing on systems engineering, key spacecraft sub-systems, mission analysis and spacecraft design. It will suit graduates or similarly qualified individuals from engineering, scientific and mathematical backgrounds, with some experience of astronautics or aerospace engineering and who are aiming for further specialisation in spacecraft engineering.

Overview

This one-year advanced course draws on the international expertise of our Astronautics Research Groupand content from the courses we run for the European Space Agency. The course provides an integrated approach to the design of a total space system and describes how the various component subsystems function and interface with one another, giving you advanced knowledge of space systems engineering.

The year is divided into two semesters. Each semester, you will have the option to undertake specialist space engineering modules; including spacecraft structural and engineering design and propulsion.

You will work under the guidance of world-class experts in this area and benefit from our cutting edge facilities, including an autonomous systems testbed and shaker table. You will engage in experimental study and complete a critical research project. We offer a range of potential projects, from spacecraft self-healing structures to creating your own moon orbiter.

View the specification document for this course



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Taught jointly by UCL’s Space & Climate Physics and UCL’s Electronic & Electrical Engineering Departments by expert researchers and engineers in… Read more

Taught jointly by UCL’s Space & Climate Physics and UCL’s Electronic & Electrical Engineering Departments by expert researchers and engineers in the field, this MSc programme aims to provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of space technology and satellite communications together with specialised training in research methods and transferable skills, directly applicable to a career in the public and private space sectors.

About this degree

The Space Technology pathway is focussed on the application of space technology in industrial settings, and therefore has as its main objective to provide a sound knowledge of the underlying principles which form a thorough basis for careers in space technology, satellite communications and related fields. Students develop a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of:

  • spacecraft, satellite communications, the space environment, space operations and space project management
  • the electromagnetics of optical and microwave transmission, and of communication systems modelling
  • a range of subjects relating to spacecraft technology and satellite communications.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of three core modules (45 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), a Group Project (15 credits) and an Individual research Project (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Space Science, Environment and Satellite Missions
  • Space Systems Engineering
  • Communications Systems Modelling Type
  • Group Project

Optional modules

  • At least one module from the following:
  • Spacecraft Design – Electronic Sub-systems
  • Mechanical Design of Spacecraft
  • Antennas and Propagation
  • Radar Systems
  • Space-based Communication Systems

  • At least one module from:
  • Space Instrumentation and Applications
  • Space Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Global Monitoring and Security
  • Space Data Systems and Processing

Dissertation/report

All MSc students undertake an Individual research Project, which normally involves attachment to a research group, and culminates in a report of 10,000–12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, coursework problem tasks, team-based coursework exercises, presentations and tutorials. Student performance is assessed through unseen written examinations, coursework, and the individual and group projects.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Space Science and Engineering: Space Technology MSc

Funding

STFC and NERC studentships may be available.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The programme aims to prepare students for careers in space research or the space industry, or further research degrees.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pushtribe
  • Signal Processing Engineer, Thales UK
  • Junior Consultant, BearingPoint
  • Satellite Communication Engineer, National Space Agency of Kazakhstan

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL Space & Climate Physics, located at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, is a world-leading research organisation and is the largest university space science group in the UK.

It offers a unique environment at the forefront of space science research, where scientists and research students work alongside top engineers building and testing instruments for space as well as studying the data from these and other spaceborne and ground-based instruments.

The close contact that the laboratory enjoys with space agencies such as ESA and NASA and with industrial research teams encourages the development of transferable skills which enhance job prospects in industrial and research centres in the public and private space sectors.



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The objective of the Space Engineering MSc is to educate highly skilled professionals, qualified to develop and manage technical activities related to research and design in the space sector. Read more

Mission and goals

The objective of the Space Engineering MSc is to educate highly skilled professionals, qualified to develop and manage technical activities related to research and design in the space sector. Space Engineering graduates have all the competences to fully develop activities related to the design, technical analysis and verification of a space mission. Within these activities, in particular, graduates from Politecnico di Milano can develop specific skills in the areas of: mission analysis, thermal and structural design of space components, design of the space propulsion and power generation system, design of the orbit and attitude control systems, space systems integration and testing.

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/space-engineering/

Professional opportunities

The knowledge gained through the degree in Space Engineering is suited to responsibility positions where working autonomy is required. As an example, positions offered by the space industry, research centres, private or public companies involved in the design, manufacturing and testing of space components. Furthermore, the skills and competences of the space engineer are well suited to companies involved in the design and manufacturing of products characterized by lightweight structures and autonomous operation capacity, and more in general where advanced design tools and technologies are adopted.

Presentation

See http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/uploads/media/Space_Engineering_02.pdf
The Master of Science programme in Space Engineering aims at training professionals able to develop and manage technical activities related to research and design in the space sector. Within these activities, students can develop specific skills in the following areas: mission analysis, thermal and structural design of space components, design of the space propulsion and power generation system, design of the orbit and attitude control systems, and space systems integration/testing. Space engineers are suitable for positions offered by the space industry, research centres, private or public companies involved in the design, manufacturing and testing of space components, or generally in the design of advanced technologies. The programme is taught in English.

Subjects

- 1st year
Aerothermodynamics, Orbital Mechanics, Aerospace Structures, Dynamics and Control of Aerospace Structures with Fundamentals of Aeroelasticity, Fundamentals of Thermochemical Propulsion, Heat Transfer and Thermal Analysis, Communications Skills.

- 2nd year
Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control, Space Propulsion and Power Systems, Space Physics, Numerical Modeling of Aerospace Systems, Experimental Techniques in Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Technologies and Materials, Telecommunication Systems, Space Mission Analysis and Design, Graduation Thesis and Final Work.

See the website http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/space-engineering/

For contact information see here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/educational-offer/laurea-magistrale-equivalent-to-master-of-science-programmes/space-engineering/

Find out how to apply here http://www.polinternational.polimi.it/how-to-apply/

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Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space. Read more

Uniting emergency response, disaster risk reduction and space technology this programme is designed to prepare students to work in the fields of satellite technology and disaster response to explore the management of risk and disaster losses from a range of perspectives, focusing on emerging risks posed to modern technology by space weather and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space.

About this degree

Students will learn about a wide variety of natural hazards, how to prepare and plan for emergencies and disasters and how to respond. Students will also learn practical aspects of designing, building and operating satellites and spacecraft including the challenges and risks posed by the environment of outer space.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather Risks
  • Space Science, Environment and Satellite Missions
  • Space Systems Engineering

Optional modules

Students choose two 15-credit optional modules from the following:

  • Decision and Risk Statistics
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Global Monitoring and Security
  • Mechanical Design of Spacecraft
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Risk and Disaster Research Tools
  • Space-Based Communication Systems
  • Space Instrumentation and Applications
  • Spacecraft Design - Electronic Sub-systems

Optional modules are subject to availability of places.

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent project culminating in a report of between 10,000 and 12,000 words.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered by lectures, seminars and interactive problem sessions. Assessment is by examination, poster, presentation and written essay coursework.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

This programme aims to prepare students for careers in space research, space and defence industries as well as most industries with risk management requirements.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The unique selling point of the programme is the direct access to key government and business drivers in the field of space weather, with invited seminars and reserch projects supported by the UK Met Office, EDF, Atkins and other institutions interested in the hazards of space. 

The natural hazard of space weather is a "new" hazard which has only recently been identified as a significant risk to human society. As the first generation of researchers, practitioners and engineers in this field, students will be at the forefront of major new issues in an expanding sector of the economy. As disaster response comes to rely on more advanced technology aid, relief and disaster response agencies require experts trained in the technological infrastructure to innovate, explain, operate and understand the limitations of these novel systems and the help they can provide before, during and after disasters.

The programme will also provide students will advanced training in many transferable skills, such as computor programming, technical writing, oral and written presentation, the use of engineering design tools and graphic visualisation software.



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This specialist course has been developed to equip graduate engineers with the skills required of a highly demanding aerospace industry. Read more

About the course

This specialist course has been developed to equip graduate engineers with the skills required of a highly demanding aerospace industry.

Taught modules are balanced with practical and challenging individual and group aerospace project work. You will learn about aircraft design aerodynamics, space mechanics, spacecraft design, propulsion systems and the role of flight simulation in aerospace at an
advanced level.

Practical projects typically include the design, build and testing of a scale aircraft, computational fluid dynamics and structural analysis modelling of a critical aerospace component and flight performance evaluation using a flight simulator.

MSc Aerospace Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.

Aims

Although the course has a distinct specialist and technical flavour, the MSc also seeks to provide graduates with a raft of non-technical skills to enable them to realise their professional potential to its fullest.

To this end, the course provides modules that cover topics in strategic management, enterprise, research and innovation, as well as exploring issues that are of special importance to the future of the aerospace industry, such as safety, security, and sustainability.

Course Content

The MSc Aerospace Engineering course consists of five taught modules, a group project, and an individual project and dissertation.

Compulsory Modules

Design and Analysis of Aerospace Vehicles
Advanced Aerodynamics, Propulsion Systems, and Space Mechanics
Current Topics in Aerospace
Strategic Management Innovation and Enterprise
Research Methodology and Sustainable Engineering
Group Project in Aerospace Engineering
Aircraft Structures, Loads and Aeroelasticity
Dissertation

Special Features

Highly rated by students

Mechanical Engineering at Brunel ranks highly in the Guardian league tables for UK universities, with a student satisfaction score of 86.4% in 2015. Postgraduate students can therefore expect to benefit from an experienced and supportive teaching base whilst having the opportunity to thrive in a dynamic and high-profile research environment.

Outstanding facilities

We have extensive and well-equipped laboratories, particular areas of strength being in fluid and biofluid mechanics, IC engines, vibrations, building service engineering, and structural testing. Our computing facilities are diverse and are readily available to all students. The University is fully networked with both Sun workstations and PCs. Advanced software is available for finite and boundary element modelling of structures, finite volume modelling of flows, and for the simulation of varied control systems, flow machines, combustion engines, suspensions, built environment, and other systems of interest to the research groups.

Strong links with industry

We regularly consult aerospace engineering experts to keep our programmes up to date with industry needs. Read more about how we integrated industrial expertise into an MEng Aerospace Engineering module.

Women in Engineering and Computing Programme

Brunel’s Women in Engineering and Computing mentoring scheme provides our female students with invaluable help and support from their industry mentors.

Accreditation

Aerospace Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). This will provide a route to Chartered Engineer status in the UK.

Assessment

Modules are taught over eight months (from October to May) and are assessed by a balanced combination of examination and assignment.

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Our Masters in Space Engineering programme is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required for a career working with space technology and its applications. Read more

Our Masters in Space Engineering programme is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary knowledge and skills required for a career working with space technology and its applications.

Surrey students have access to all aspects of the design and delivery of spacecraft and payloads, and as a result are very attractive to employers in space-related industries.

As we develop and execute complete space missions, from initial concept to hardware design, manufacturing and testing, to in orbit operations (controlled by our ground station at the Surrey Space Centre), you will have the chance to be involved in, and gain experience of, real space missions.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a project.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

Our philosophy is to integrate the acquisition of core engineering and scientific knowledge with the development of key practical skills (where relevant). To fulfil these objectives, the programme aims to:

  • Attract well-qualified entrants, with a background in Electronic Engineering, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Computing & Communications, from the UK, Europe and overseas
  • Provide participants with advanced knowledge, practical skills and understanding applicable to the MSc degree
  • Develop participants' understanding of the underlying science, engineering, and technology, and enhance their ability to relate this to industrial practice
  • Develop participants' critical and analytical powers so that they can effectively plan and execute individual research/design/development projects
  • Provide a high level of flexibility in programme pattern and exit point
  • Provide students with an extensive choice of taught modules, in subjects for which the Department has an international and UK research reputation

Intended capabilities for MSc graduates:

  • Underpinning learning– know, understand and be able to apply the fundamental mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles that underpin space engineering.
  • Engineering problem solving - be able to analyse problems within the field of mobile and satellite communications and more broadly in electronic engineering and find solutions
  • Engineering tools - be able to use relevant workshop and laboratory tools and equipment, and have experience of using relevant task-specific software packages to perform engineering tasks
  • Technical expertise - know, understand and be able to use the basic mathematical, scientific and engineering facts and principles associated with the topics within space engineering.
  • Societal and environmental context - be aware of the societal and environmental context of his/her engineering activities
  • Employment context - be aware of commercial, industrial and employment-related practices and issues likely to affect his/her engineering activities
  • Research & development investigations - be able to carry out research-and- development investigations
  • Design - where relevant, be able to design electronic circuits and electronic/software products and systems

Technical characteristics of the pathway

This programme in Space Engineering aims to provide a high-level postgraduate qualification relating to the design of space missions using satellites. Study is taken to a high level, in both theory and practice, in the specialist areas of space physics, mechanics, orbits, and space-propulsion systems, as well as the system and electronic design of space vehicles.

This is a multi-disciplinary programme, and projects are often closely associated with ongoing space projects carried out by Surrey Satellite Technology, plc.

This is a large local company that builds satellites commercially and carries out industrially-sponsored research. Graduates from this programme are in demand in the UK and European Space Industries.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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IN BRIEF. Great employer demand for graduates of this course. Access to excellent facilities including over 20 wind tunnels and a DC10 jet engine. Read more

IN BRIEF:

  • Great employer demand for graduates of this course
  • Access to excellent facilities including over 20 wind tunnels and a DC10 jet engine
  • Accredited course by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, giving you the opportunity to achieve chartered engineer status
  • International students can apply

COURSE SUMMARY

The aerospace industry is at the forefront of modern engineering and manufacturing technology and there is an expanding need for highly skilled chartered Aerospace Engineers.

If you are looking to pursue a career in aerospace engineering this course will enable you to apply your skills and knowledge of engineering devices and associated components used in the production of civil and military aircraft, spacecraft and weapons systems.

This module has been accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. On graduation you be able to work towards Chartered Aerospace Engineer status which is an independent verification of your skills and demonstrates to your colleagues and employers your commitment and credentials as an engineering professional.

TEACHING

The course will be taught by a series of lectures, tutorials, computer workshops and laboratory activities.

Some modules will include a structured factory visit to illustrate the processes and techniques and to enable investigations to be conducted.

Engineers from the industry will contribute to the specialist areas of the syllabus as guest lecturers.

ASSESSMENT

The coursework consists of one assignment, and two laboratory exercises.

  • Assignment 1: Control design skills. (30%)
  • Laboratory 1: Feedback control design skills and system modelling skills. (10%)
  • Laboratory 2: Flight dynamics (10%)
  • The first 5 assignments are of equal weighting of 10%, assignment 6 has a weighting of 20%
  • Assignment1: Matlab programming skills assessed.
  • Assignment2: Simulink/ Matlab for control programming skills assessed.
  • Assignment3: Matlab simulation skills assessed.
  • Assignment4: Matlab integration skills assessed.
  • Assignment5: Matlab matrix manipulation knowledge assessed.
  • Assignment 6: Aerospace assembly techniques.

FACILITIES

Mechanical Lab – This lab is used to understand material behaviour under different loading conditions and contains a tensile test machine and static loading experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include tensile testing of materials and investigation into the bending and buckling behaviour of beams.

Aerodynamics Lab – Contains low speed and supersonic wind tunnels – typical laboratory experiments would include determining the aerodynamic properties of an aerofoil section and influence of wing sweep on the lift and drag characteristics of a tapered wing section.

Composite Material Lab – This lab contains wet lay-up and pre-preg facilities for fabrication of composite material test sections. The facility is particularly utilised for final year project work.

Control Dynamics Lab – Contains flight simulators (see details below) and programmable control experiments – typical laboratory sessions would include studying the effects of damping and short period oscillation analysis, forced vibration due to rotating imbalance, and understanding the design and performance of proportional and integral controllers.

Flight Simulators

Merlin MP520-T Engineering Simulator    

  • This simulator is used to support engineering design modules, such as those involving aerodynamics and control systems by giving a more practical experience of aircraft design than a traditional theory and laboratory approach. As a student, you'll design and input your own aircraft parameters into the simulator before then assessing the flight characteristics.
  • The simulator is a fully-enclosed single seat capsule mounted on a moving 2-degree of freedom platform which incorporates cockpit controls, integrated main head-up display and two secondary instrumentation display panels.
  • An external instructor console also accompanies the simulator and is equipped with a comprehensive set of displays, override facilities and a two-way voice link to the pilot.

Elite Flight Training System    

  • The Elite is a fixed base Piper PA-34 Seneca III aircraft simulator used for flight operations training and is certified by the CAA as a FNPT II-MCC Multi-Crew Cockpit training environment. It has two seats, each with a full set of instrumentation and controls, and European Visuals, so you see a projection of the terrain that you're flying through, based on real geographic models of general terrain and specific airports in Europe.

EMPLOYABILITY

This is a highly valued qualification and as a graduate you can expect to pursue careers in a range of organizations around the world such as in aerospace companies and their suppliers, governments and research institutions.

FURTHER STUDY

You may consider going on to further study in our Engineering 2050 Research Centre which brings together a wealth of expertise and international reputation in three focussed subject areas.

Research at the centre is well funded, with support from EPSRC, TSB, DoH, MoD, Royal Society, European Commission, as well as excellent links with and direct funding from industry. Our research excellence means that we have not only the highest calibre academics but also the first class facilities to support the leading edge research projects for both post-graduate studies and post-doctoral research.

Visit http://www.cse.salford.ac.uk/research/engineering-2050/ for further details.




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The space sector contributes £13.7bn per annum to the UK economy alone, and space activity across Europe and the world continues to thrive. Read more

The space sector contributes £13.7bn per annum to the UK economy alone, and space activity across Europe and the world continues to thrive. There is a continuing need for talented employees with a good understanding of spacecraft systems engineering, coupled with a broad range of technical skills. Evolving constantly since 1987, this course has prepared graduates for highly successful careers in the space sector.

Who is it for?

Suitable for graduates in engineering, physics or mathematics, this course will prepare you for a career in this exciting field, from earth observation to planetary exploration, launch vehicles to spacecraft operations, and much more.

Why this course?

This Masters is highly respected around the world, and many of our students obtain employment/research offers in the space sector before the course finishes. We encourage interaction between our students and potential employers at events such as the Group Design Project industry presentation, dedicated interview days, and Alumni Conferences. In many space companies and agencies within Europe you will find our former graduates, some in very senior positions. Many of them continue to contribute to the course, forming a valuable network of contacts for those entering the industry and this course will equip you with the skills required to join them in a successful career in industry or research.

This course is also available on a part-time basis for individuals who wish to study whilst remaining in full-time employment. Cranfield University is well located for part-time students from all over the world, and offers a range of support services for off-site students. This enables students from around the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Informed by Industry

The course is directed by an Industrial Advisory Panel comprising senior representatives from leading space and associated sectors. This group makes sure that the course content equips you with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers.

The Industrial Advisory Panel includes:

  • Mr Andrew Bradford, Director of Engineering, SSTL
  • Dr John Hobbs, ex-EADS Astrium
  • Dr Adam Baker, Newton Launch Systems Ltd
  • Mr Steve Eckersley, EADS Astrium
  • Mr Richard Lowe, Group Manager, EO Systems and Operations, Telespazio Vega.

Accreditation

The MSc in Astronautics & Space Engineering is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements of Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Course details

The taught programme for the Astronautics and Space Engineering masters is generally delivered from October to September. A range of core modules allows you to gain a firm grounding in space engineering before opting for specialist modules to build your knowledge in a certain area.

Group project

This is a space mission design study conducted in teams of 10-15 students. It typically takes place from September to April and is assessed by written reports and presentations. It emphasises space systems engineering methodologies, and is designed to prepare our graduates for the project-based working environment often found in space companies and agencies. The topics chosen for the project are strongly influenced by industry.

Recent Group projects have included:

  • Asteroid Sample Return
  • Titan Exploration Mission
  • European Data Relay Satellite System.

Our part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Watch a past presentation video to give you a taster of our innovative and exciting group projects (YouTube).

Individual project

The individual research project is the largest single component of the course typically taking place between April and August. It allows you to develop specialist skills in an area of your choice by taking the theory from the taught modules and joining it with practical experience. A list of suggested topics is provided, and includes projects proposed by academic staff and industry.

Recent Individual Research Projects have included:

  • Thermal Analysis of a Google Lunar X-Prize Rover
  • Cubesat Ground Station Implementation
  • Responsive Space and Concurrent Engineering
  • Space Suit Performance During Seat Ingress/Egress
  • Radar Data Simulation for Soil Moisture Estimation.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Assessment

Taught modules 25%, Group project 30%, Individual research project 45%

Your career

Cranfield University is heavily supported by the space industry in the UK. Many of these companies provide case study lectures, concepts and thesis topics for the individual research projects, and some actively support the group design projects. They also provide a guide to the content of the course, so they are confident that Cranfield are training people with the industry skills employers require.

As a result, our graduates are regularly recruited by organisations including EADS Astrium, SSTL, Vega, ABSL, Tessella, OHB, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the European Space Agency in roles including Systems Engineer, Spacecraft Operations Engineer, Thermal Analyst and Space Robotics Engineer. We arrange company visits and interview days with key employers.

If your interests lie in research, many former students have gone on to pursue PhDs at Cranfield and other universities.



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Our Masters programme in Satellite Communications Engineering is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary skills required for careers in the satellite and space industries. Read more

Our Masters programme in Satellite Communications Engineering is designed to give you the specialist multidisciplinary skills required for careers in the satellite and space industries.

We have an exceptional concentration of academic staff experienced in the satellite area, in addition to well-established contacts with all the major satellite manufacturers, operators and service providers.

Industry participates in the MSc programme in both lecturing and projects, and facilitates excellent engagement for our students. Graduation from this programme will therefore make you very attractive to the relevant space-related industries that employ over 6,500 people in the UK alone.

Read about the experience of a previous student on this course, Thanat Varathon.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a project.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Facilities, equipment and support

Through consistent investment, we have built up an impressive infrastructure to support our students and researchers. The University of Surrey hosts Surrey Space Centre – a unique facility comprising academics and engineers from our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd.

Our mission control centre was designed and developed by students to support international CubeSat operations as part of the GENSO network, and it also supports the development of the University’s own educational satellites.

Our teaching laboratories provide ‘hands-on’ experience of satellite design and construction through the use of EyasSAT nano-satellite kits. They also house meteorological satellite receiving stations for the live reception of satellite weather images.

Elsewhere, our fully equipped RF lab has network analyser, signal and satellite link simulators. The Rohde and Schwartz Satellite Networking Laboratory includes DVBS2-RCS generation and measurement equipment, and roof-mounted antennas to communicating live with satellites.

A security test-bed also exists for satellite security evaluation. We have a full range of software support for assignments and project work, including Matlab, and you will be able to access system simulators already built in-house.

Satellite Communications Engineering students can also make use of SatNEX, a European Network of Excellence in satellite communications supported by ESA; a satellite platform exists to link the 22 partners around Europe. This is used for virtual meetings and to participate in lectures and seminars delivered by partners.

Our own spin-out company, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, is situated close by on the Surrey Research Park and provides ready access to satellite production and industrial facilities. In addition, we have a strategic relationship with EADS Airbus Europe-wide and several other major communications companies.

Technical characteristics of the pathway

This programme in satellite communications engineering. provides detailed in-depth knowledge of theory and techniques applicable to radio frequency (RF) and microwave engineering.

The programme includes core modules in both RF and microwave covering all ranges of wireless frequencies and a number of application devices including radio frequency identification (RFID), broadcasting, satellite links, microwave ovens, printed and integrated microwave circuits.

Additional optional modules enable the student to apply the use of RF and microwave in subsystem design for either mobile communications, satellite communications, nanotechnology or for integration with optical communications.

The teaching material and projects are closely related to the research being carried out in the Department’s Advanced Technology Institute and the Institute for Communication Systems.

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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The MSc in Propulsion and Engine Systems Engineering is a broad based 1 year MSc course, that provides you the opportunity to specialise in the engineering sciences that are key to the design, monitoring and analysis of propulsion and engine systems. Read more

The MSc in Propulsion and Engine Systems Engineering is a broad based 1 year MSc course, that provides you the opportunity to specialise in the engineering sciences that are key to the design, monitoring and analysis of propulsion and engine systems. You will do compulsory modules on gas turbine, internal combustion, electrical and hybrid engines for a range of transport applications.

You will be able to further specialise by selecting optional modules in related technologies including condition monitoring, materials, engine tribology, noise control, environmental aspects, batteries, fuel cells and spacecraft propulsion. After completing the taught section (8 modules) you will complete the MSc course through an individual project. Projects will be available in a wide range of topics including engine materials, combustion modelling, electrical motors, engine noise control and engine tribology.

Introducing your degree

Do you love speed? Are you fascinated by the design and development of plane and car engines? Then choose MSc Propulsion and Engine Systems Engineering and see your career take flight. Propulsion and engine systems are the driving force of many life-defining technologies.

Overview

You will learn to confidently analyse and design advanced electrical systems. You will also study modules on gas turbines, internal combustion and electrical and hybrid engines for transport applications, including aircraft and automotive.

The year will be divided into two semesters. Each semester, you will study core modules as well as choosing specialist modules from Spacecraft Propulsion to Acoustics. You also have the option to specialise in topics relating to condition monitoring, materials, energy efficiency and engine tribology.

The final four months will focus on research. You will engage in experimental and practical study and complete a research project and dissertation. Projects cover a wide range of subjects including combustion modelling, electrical motors and engine noise control.

View the specification document for this course



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The cross-field programme covers the branches of aviation engineering, aviation mechanics and aviation electronics enabling the graduates to get involved… Read more

The cross-field programme covers the branches of aviation engineering, aviation mechanics and aviation electronics enabling the graduates to get involved in design of air and space vehicles, their systems and elements, to perform assessment of their condition and performance, to deal with engineering issues in functionality, reliability and communication of information, and to conduct analytical, modelling and experimental research.

Proficiency in English. Language requirements: IELTS ≥6.0, TOEFL ≥85, CEFR ≥C1, or equivalent

Career

Student’s competences:

– Analytical thinking

– Knowledge of requirements for aviation and spacecraft airworthiness, reliability of their functional systems and components, safety assessment methods and ability to apply them in practice

– Ability to develop and apply mathematical models for analysis of aeronautical objects and processes, and select appropriate software

– Ability to design aviation aircrafts and systems or components ensuring their performance, and prepare project documentation

– Ability to initiate and implement projects of design and modernisation of aviation aircrafts, their systems and components, and select, apply appropriate methods, software and technical equipment

– Openness to experience

– Decision making and management of critical situations

Student’s skills:

– Able to conduct scientific research, provide consultations and perform management work in aviation and space industry

– Able to design and develop satellites, standard or unmanned aerial vehicle systems, aircrafts, their systems and components

– Able to control unmanned aerial vehicles or their systems, assess their condition and behaviour

– Able to simulate control processes for aircrafts or their systems, organise and control aircrafts’ technical maintenance processes

– Able to conduct high quality processing of data of status monitoring, safety assessment, data processing, perform corrective actions, if needed

– Able to conduct analytical, modelling and experimental research



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The Masters in Aerospace Engineering is a multi-disciplinary programme that covers all aspects of modern aircraft design. This involves developing essential knowledge and skills in advanced aerodynamics and aerospace systems. Read more

The Masters in Aerospace Engineering is a multi-disciplinary programme that covers all aspects of modern aircraft design. This involves developing essential knowledge and skills in advanced aerodynamics and aerospace systems. By choosing specific options in the second semester the degree programme can be tailored to provide specialisms in either Aeronautics or Systems.

Why this programme

  • The University of Glasgow has been the home of Aerospace Research for over 60 years. This long-standing activity has culminated in the Division of Aerospace Sciences having been internationally recognised expertise in all areas of Aeronautics and Aerospace Systems
  • The School of Engineering’s aeronautical engineering is consistently highly ranked among the top 10 in the UK and recently achieved 1st in Scotland (Complete University Guide 2017).

Programme structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Aerospace Engineering include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, project and team work. 

The summer period is dedicated to project work, with either academic or industrial placements providing the context for your project. 

Semester 1 core courses 

  • Aircraft flight dynamics 
  • Aerospace Control 1 
  • Navigation systems 
  • Simulation of aerospace systems 
  • Space flight dynamics 1 

Semester 2 optional courses

Select a team project from:

  • Aerospace Design Project M *
  • Aerospace Systems Team Design Project M 

Select five courses from the following:

  • Aeroelasticity 5 or Aircraft Vibration & Aeroelasticity 4 *
  • Autonomous vehicle guidance systems **
  • CFD 5 or CFD 4 *
  • Composite Airframe Structures *
  • Fault detection, isolation and reconfiguration **
  • High Speed Aerodynamics 4 *
  • Intro to Wind Engineering *
  • Radar and electro-optic systems **
  • Robust control 5 **
  • Rotorcraft Aeromechanics 5 *
  • Spacecraft Systems II **
  • Turbulent Flows 5 *
  • Aircraft Handling Qualities & Control 5 * (Enrolment on this course is subject to available numbers on flight test course and may require an additional charge)

* signifies courses that constitute the specialism in Aeronautics

** signifies courses that constitute the specialism in Systems



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Why this course?. This course will train highly qualified physicists and engineers in the area of photonics, which is a key enabling technology, underpinning many areas of industry. Read more

Why this course?

This course will train highly qualified physicists and engineers in the area of photonics, which is a key enabling technology, underpinning many areas of industry.

You'll have the opportunity to undertake a three-month research or development project based with one of our industrial partners such as M Squared Lasers.

We have a long tradition of cutting-edge photonics research, which supports our courses. Much of this work has resulted in significant industrial impact through our spin-out companies and academic-industrial collaborations.

You'll also have the opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills by taking courses delivered by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

You’ll study

The course is made up of two semesters of taught classes, followed by a three-month research project based with one of our industrial partners. The majority of your classes are delivered by the Department of Physics and cover the following:

  • research and grant writing skills, which are valuable in both academic and commercial settings
  • project training, including entrepreneurial and innovation skills training and a literature survey preparing for the project in the company
  • topics in photonics, covering laser physics, laser optics and non-linear optics
  • optical design, where you will learn about advanced geometrical optics and apply this knowledge to the design of optical systems, through the use of modern optical design software
  • photonic materials and devices, focusing on semiconductor materials physics and micro/nano-structures
  • advanced photonic devices and applications, covering quantum well structures, waveguides and photonic crystals

These classes are complemented by two classes delivered by the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, which look at:

  • system engineering and electronic control which forms a key part of modern optical systems
  • photonic systems, where fibre optic communications systems and principles of photonic networks are discussed

Work placement

You'll be based with one of our industrial partners for a three-month project placement. This is your opportunity to experience how research and development operate within a commercial environment. It'll also give you a chance to form strong links with industry contacts.

The project is put forward by the company and supervised by both industrial and academic staff. Training on relevant skills and background will be received before and during the project.

Facilities

Scotland has a world-leading position in optics and photonics industry.Your project will be carried out mainly in the excellent facilities of our Scottish industry partners. Projects elsewhere in the UK and with international companies may also be possible.

Advanced research facilities are also available in:

Our research is strongly supported in equipment and infrastructure. This includes a newly opened 3-storey wing in the John Anderson Building as part of a £13M investment programme in Physics. Furthermore, the IoP and FCAP have recently relocated into the University's Technology & Innovation Centre (TIC) which at £90 million TIC is Strathclyde’s single-biggest investment in research and technology collaboration capacity. This new centre will accelerate the way in which researchers in academia and industry collaborate and innovate together in a new specifically designed state-of-the-art building in the heart of Glasgow.

Learning & teaching

In semesters one and two, the course involves:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • various assignments including a literature review
  • workshops where you'll gain presentation experience

The courses include compulsory and elective classes from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering.

Over the summer, you'll undertake a three-month project based on practical laboratory work in a partner company. You'll be supervised by the industrial partner and supported by an academic supervisor.

Assessment

Assessment methods are different for each class and include:

  • written examinations
  • marked homework consisting of problems and/or essay assignments
  • presentations 

Your practical project is assessed on a combination of a written report, an oral presentation, and a viva in which you're questioned on the project.

Careers

A degree in industrial photonics can set you up to work in a range of jobs in physics and positions in other industries.

Typically, it can lead you to photonic technologies in industrial corporate research and development units, production engineering and applied academic laboratories.

Work experience is key

Employers want to know you can do the job so work experience is key.

This course has a strong focus on the relationship between academia and industry. It's a great opportunity to enhance your skills and provides a direct transition from university to the work place.

We have an excellent record of graduate employment in the Scottish, national and international optics and photonics industries.

Doctorate study

If you're interested in practical work with impact but are also interested in a further academic qualification, you can move on to study an EngD or a CASE PhD studentship. These can lead to a doctorate within industry or in close collaboration with industry.

Job roles

Our Physics graduates from photonics related courses have found employment in a number of different roles including:

  • Medical Physicist
  • Optical engineer
  • Laser engineer
  • Optical and laser production engineer
  • Research and production engineer
  • Senior Engineer
  • Systems Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Spacecraft Project Manager
  • Defence Scientist
  • Oscar winner


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This MSc is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for artificial intelligence, which remains one of the best in the world. Read more

This MSc is taught at the UK’s longest established centre for artificial intelligence, which remains one of the best in the world.

Our research draws on neuroscience, cognitive science, linguistics, computer science, mathematics, statistics and psychology to span knowledge representation and reasoning, the study of brain processes and artificial learning systems, computer vision, mobile and assembly robotics, music perception and visualisation. We aim to give you practical knowledge in the design and construction of intelligent systems so you can apply your skills in a variety of career settings.

Programme structure

You follow two taught semesters of lectures, tutorials, project work and written assignments, after which you will learn research methods before individual supervision for your project and dissertation.

Compulsory courses:

  • Informatics Research Review
  • Informatics Project Proposal
  • Introduction to Java Programming (for students who do not already meet the programming requirements for the taught masters)
  • Dissertation

You will choose a 'specialist area' within the programme, which will determine the choice of your optional courses:

  • Intelligent Robotics
  • Agents, Knowledge and Data
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing

You can choose from a variety of optional courses including:

  • Advanced Vision
  • Algorithmic Game Theory and Its Applications
  • Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition
  • Natural Language Understanding
  • Robotics: Science and Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software Architecture, Process and Management
  • Text Technologies for Data Science
  • Computational Cognitive Neuroscience

Career opportunities

Our students are well prepared for both employment and academic research. The emphasis is on practical techniques for the design and construction of intelligent systems, preparing graduates to work in a variety of specialisms, from fraud detection software to spacecraft control.

Recent graduates are now working as software developers and engineers, programmers and data analysts for companies such as HarperCollins, J.P. Morgan, Nokia, IBM, Amazon, Soundcloud and the Bank of England.



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