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Military Aerospace and Airworthiness (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

Course Description

Today’s military aviation platforms are complex systems and it is essential, therefore, that they are deployed and maintained in such a way as to ensure their continued airworthiness and the safety of the crew operating them. To achieve this requires engineers to be cognisant of a broad range of aerospace engineering, airworthiness and safety disciplines.

The MSc in Military Aerospace and Airworthiness has been designed to address these needs by providing a course aimed specifically at employees in the MoD, the Armed Forces and the international defence industry. It provides practicing engineers with the knowledge and skills to enable them to work more effectively in aerospace engineering, airworthiness, and safety. The course structure allows students to continue in full-time employment whilst they are studying.

Cranfield University has been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aeronautics and engineering for over 60 years, so you can be sure that your qualification will be valued and respected by employers.


The MSc distinguishes itself from similar courses offered by leading UK Universities by offering one focussed specifically on the Military context and offers unique subject areas unavailable elsewhere. You will be taught by staff, primarily from Cranfield Defence and Security at Shrivenham, and the School of Engineering at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, many of them world leaders in their field. Visiting lecturers include experts from industry, research establishments, and the MoD. The course draws students from the UK and Western Europe giving an eclectic mix to the classroom environment. Maximum number of places: 25 per year.

Course overview

The course is delivered on a part-time basis. It contains five compulsory modules:
- Airworthiness of Military Aircraft
- Aviation Safety Management
- Fixed-Wing Aeromechanics
- Propulsion Systems
- Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems

which together provide an overarching introduction to the subject of military aerospace and airworthiness and impart the essential knowledge required by all students on the course.

Students choose one further module to complete the PgCert or a further seven modules to complete the PgDip (MSc taught phase). This provides students with the flexibility to tailor their studies to account for prior educational and work experience and the current and future needs of their employment role.

The modules taken in the taught phase of the MSc (the PgDip) provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to complete a research-based project, which forms the final part of the Masters award.


- Study Skills (non-assessed)
- Airworthiness of Military Aircraft
- Aviation Safety Management
- Fixed-Wing Aeromechanics
- Fundamentals of Aeronautical Engineering Top-up (FAE qualified students only)
- Propulsion Systems
- Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems
- Research Project (MSc only)

- Aircraft Accident Investigation and Response
- Aircraft Fatigue and Damage Tolerance
- Aircraft Survivability
- Air Transport Engineering - Maintenance Operations
- Design Durability and Integrity of Composite Aircraft Structures
- Fundamentals of Aircraft Engine Control
- Guided Weapons
- Human Factors in Aircraft Maintenance
- Introduction to Aircraft Structural Crashworthiness
- Introduction to Human Factors
- Mechanical Integrity of Gas Turbines
- Military Aircraft Systems
- Military Avionics -STA Communications and Navigation
- Practical Reliability
- Rotary-Wing Aeromechanics

Individual Project

The individual research project would focus on a topical subject area covered by the taught phase of the course. The subject of the project can be chosen to match the research needs of the sponsor and/or the interests of the individual student and students are encouraged to utilise their employment resources to place the project in context. Lecturing staff on both campuses will undertake supervision of research projects.


Specific assessment details will be dependent upon the modules chosen but will include closed-book written examinations, individual and group design exercises, technical essays, engineering calculations, computer-based assessment.
In addition, for MSc students, the assessment includes lectures and tutorials relating to research, methodologies, project planning, research ethics, plagiarism and technical writing skills, one-to-one discussion with a nominated
academic supervisor, examination of a written dissertation and viva voce examination.

Career opportunities

The course creates opportunities to develop your career at a more senior level and in achieving Incorporated or Chartered Engineer status.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/military-aerospace-and-airworthiness.html

Visit the Military Aerospace and Airworthiness (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) ideally in a related subject. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director. For further and specific information please visit the course page.

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