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    Aerospace Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    MSc: three years part-time. PgDip: two years part-time, PgCert: two years part-time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip, PgCert

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    13 April 2018

Course content

With a projected demand for 27,000 new civil airliners by 2030, the industry faces a shortfall in postgraduate level engineers to meet future industry needs. Aircraft engineers need a combination of technical and business skills for today's aerospace engineering projects. This course will broaden your understanding of aircraft engineering and design subjects and provide you with a strong foundation for career development in technical, integration and leadership roles.

Who is it for?

We recognise the challenge of undertaking part-time study while you are working. This course is specifically designed for people working in engineering or technical management positions in the aerospace industry who wish to study for an accredited master's degree while they are in employment.

You are required to attend a total of nine weeks of lectures over three years on a modular basis. The first year attendance pattern is two weeks in February, followed by one week in June and one week in November. Following a series of compulsory modules, you may choose three specialist optional modules in order to tailor the course to your particular interests and requirements.

Why this course?

This course provides accelerated development of engineering staff whilst delivering the right mix of technical and business skills for careers in the aerospace industry. The course will broaden your understanding of aircraft engineering and design subjects, and provide a strong foundation for career development in technical, integration and leadership roles. This accredited master's course supports your career development by meeting the further learning requirements for Chartered Engineer status. The Group project allows you to gain hands on experience of development and design lifecycle, and the Individual project allows you to investigate a topic that is of interest to your employer, with supervision from experienced staff.

Cranfield has been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aircraft engineering since 1946. We have a global reputation for our advanced postgraduate education and extensive applied research. You can be sure that your qualification will be valued and respected by employers.

Informed by Industry

The Industrial Advisory Panel, comprised of senior industry professionals, provides input into the curriculum in order to improve the employment prospects of our graduates. Panel members include:

  • Airbus UK - Filton
  • BAE Systems
  • Canadian High Commission
  • Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • Marshall Aerospace
  • Messier-Bugatti-Dowty
  • RAF
  • Military Aviation Authority.


The MSc in Aircraft Engineering will meet, in part, 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 educational base for CEng registration.

Course details

The MSc in Aircraft Engineering consists of three elements: taught modules, a group design project and an individual research project.

Group project

The group project is undertaken throughout year two of your studies and provides a wealth of learning opportunities. You will work together on a significant design project, progressing from concept to hardware. Each student takes on a technical design role related to a major structural, systems or avionics item as well as a management role such as Chief Engineer, Project Manager, Finance Manager, etc.

Recent Group Projects have covered:

  • Turbo-jet powered unmanned air vehicles
  • An advanced aircraft systems and avionics integration rig
  • An electric ultralight aircraft
  • The development of a hand controller for pilots with lower limb disability

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest of your choice, and you are encouraged to select a project that is of relevance to your sponsoring company. You will complete the individual project during year three of your studies. 

Recent individual research projects have included:

  • Study into the effect of environmental conditioning on the pull-through performance of countersunk bolted joints in thin composite structures
  • The effect of alternative fuels on military aircraft fuel systems
  • Conceptual design of a UAV with STOL capability for operation in remote, unpaved surfaces
  • Development of a MATLAB linear model of the NIMROD pitch flight control system
  • An industrial study of multi-disciplinary optimisation.


Taught modules 40%, Group project 30%, Individual research project 30%

Your career

This course will provide you with the tools and experience to help enhance your career opportunities in the aerospace industry, enabling you to progress further in your present discipline, or move into other specialist or integration roles. Networking with students from different backgrounds is valuable to gain an appreciation of how other companies work.

This course can be used for Chartered Engineer status, which can result in new career opportunities for the future.

Visit the Aircraft Engineering - MSc page on the Cranfield University website for more details!






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