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Astronautics and Space Engineering (MSc)


Course Description

Course Description

The MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering is suitable for graduates in engineering, physics or mathematics, and will prepare you for a career in this exciting field, from earth observation to planetary exploration, launch vehicles to spacecraft operations, and much more. This course was established in 1987 to meet the requirement of the space industry for high quality engineers with relevant skills. The course has evolved since then as needs have changed, and we are constantly working to ensure our curriculum continues to prepare our graduates for highly successful careers in the space sector.

Overview

The space sector contributes £7.5bn 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.

This course was established in 1987 to meet the requirement of the space industry for high quality engineers with relevant skills. The course has evolved since then as needs have changed, and we are constantly working to ensure our curriculum continues to prepare our graduates for highly successful careers in the space sector.

The MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering is suitable for graduates in engineering, physics or mathematics, and will prepare you for a career in this exciting field, from earth observation to planetary exploration, launch vehicles to spacecraft operations, and much more.

English Language Requirements

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 92
Pearson PTE Academic - 65
Cambridge English Scale - 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Structure

The MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering consists of fifteen compulsory taught modules, two optional modules from a selection of seven, a group design project and an individual research project. The core modules build your understanding of space engineering before you select specialist modules.

In addition to management, communication, team work and research skills, each student will attain at least the following learning outcomes from this degree course:
- Demonstrate a systematic knowledge and critical evaluation of the key principles of the main spacecraft disciplines (propulsion, orbits, communications, structure, data handling, etc.) and be competent to analyse performance quantitatively.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically analyse systems engineering applied to space missions.
- Demonstrate a critical judgement of their specialist subject area(s) at a level appropriate to new recruits to the space industry such that they are able to contribute directly without significant further training.
- Demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the organisation of the space industry and typical space projects.
- Be able to apply their knowledge and understanding practically to the design and analysis of space systems.

Modules

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.

Core:
- Space Systems Engineering
- Astrodynamics and Mission Analysis
- Space Propulsion
- Space Communications
- Launch and Re-Entry Aerodynamics
- Environmental Control and Life Support Systems
- Modelling of Dynamic Systems
- Space Environment
- Payload Engineering and Instrumentation
- Earth Observation and the Environment
- Structural Mechanics
- Impact Dynamics and Spacecraft Protection
- Spacecraft Data Handling and Software Development
- Introduction to Spacecraft Operations
- Structural Dynamics

Optional:
- Classical Control Engineering
- Multivariable Control for Aerospace Applications
- Sensors and Data Fusion
- GPS & INS
- Finite Element Methods
- Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control
- Design and Analysis of Composite Structures

Individual Project

The individual research project is the largest single component of the course 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 include:
- 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.

Group Project

This is a space mission design study conducted in teams of 10-15 students. It 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 include:
- 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.

Assessment

The taught modules (25%) are assessed by an examination and/or assignment.
The Group Project (30%) is assessed by a written technical report and oral presentations.
The Individual Research Project (45%) is assessed by a written thesis and oral presentation.

Career opportunities

Cranfield University is heavily supported by the space industry in the UK. Many of these companies provide case study lectures, provide 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 also 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.

For further information

on this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/astronautics-and-space-engineering.html

Visit the Astronautics and Space Engineering (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jenny Cham

“Cranfield was a really good choice; I went to Vienna for my project due to Cranfield’s partnerships with other European University’s. I also got the opportunity to attend conferences across Europe, write reviews and contribute to my very first peer-reviewed scientific paper - which was well received!
The staff were very supportive, in particular a lady from the Careers Service gave up her time to help prepare me for job interviews, which I found really helpful.
Overall it’s a great environment in terms of access to other really intelligent interesting people. I think that’s a really nice part of being a student at Cranfield.”

(Student Profile)

Lauren Carter

"I believe my MSc was invaluable in preparing me for my current role – covering a broad range of subjects has been extremely useful when liaising with different departments.
I got my job through the links Cranfield had with the company I’m currently working for, who were really impressed by the range of subjects covered as well as the detail and professionalism of my project.”

(Student Profile)

Nsisong Ukut

After researching online and looking at the Cranfield University website, I thought this was the right choice for me. It is the only stand-alone postgraduate university in the UK that specialises in aerospace and engineering and has a great heritage. I had also observed my colleagues in Nigeria who had studied at Cranfield and watched the meteoric rise in their careers. I saw the functions they could handle and how they had launched into global careers.
I found my studies at Cranfield very rewarding – the lecturers give you comprehensive support to help you fully wrap your mind around your subject. Project supervisors are quite amazing too – they connect you into a group project and then with an industrial partner so that you can transform your theoretical knowledge into practical solutions to find the best outcome. This really prepares you for your future career.
Cranfield is a place where you can do a lot! I got involved with the Cranfield Students Association (CSA) in the role of School Representative. This gave me an opportunity to see across the entire school and to see how teaching and non-teaching staff impact the student experience. The support the CSA offers is tremendous – everything to make a good social life and to balance out your academic work. There is an ultra-modern sports centre to keep you fit whilst studying and plenty of clubs and societies that you can get involved in.
Cranfield is the right place to meet the right people in the right environment with the right contacts. The atmosphere is mature and professional and an ideal base to launch your global career.
My advice to anyone who chooses Cranfield is to make use of all the opportunities it offers – embrace it all and make the most of it.
You don’t just get a certificate when you graduate at Cranfield, you get a rewarding experience that will improve the quality of your life.


(Scholarship)

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).
If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total

Eligibility

You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.

If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information

http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/loan?utm_campaign=commscpls&utm_source=fam&utm_medium=onlineprofile&utm_content=courselistingfunding



Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent, in mathematics, physics or an engineering discipline. In general our intake comes from both a physics and engineering background. Students from other sciences, mathematics, or computing backgrounds are welcome to apply and we will consider applications on a case by case basis.

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