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Airport Planning and Management (Executive) (MSc/PgDip)

Course Description

Course Description

This course was created to meet the demand for more flexible executive teaching in airport planning and management. It combines compulsory air transport core learning with a focus on leadership and personal development, and builds on this with optional subjects chosen to closely match your individual interests and career aspirations. Cranfield University is the only university in the world to run an English language for the Executive Airport Planning and Management MSc. Achieving this highly relevant and globally respected degree will enable you to differentiate yourself in a competitive employment market.


The ongoing success of the air transport industry has been made possible by rapid technological advances and associated high investment, resulting in demands for an increasingly skilled workforce. More recently, industry liberalisation and privatisation in many parts of the world has led to increased competition, spurring further gains in efficiency and a continued decline in air fares. In today's rapidly changing air transport environment, the industry requires access to advanced and comprehensive knowledge.

The Executive MSc in Air Transport Management is designed to equip you with the skills required to pursue a successful career in various sectors of the air transport industry including airlines, airport companies and authorities, civil aviation departments, air transport consultancies and aerospace companies.

This part-time course was created to meet the demand for more flexible executive teaching in air transport management and attracts participants from all over the world. This course is suitable for those who require a broad knowledge of air transport management strategic issues. It combines compulsory air transport core learning with an increased focus on leadership and personal development. Participants can accelerate career development by focusing on subjects that match their individual interests and career aspirations.

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. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

TOEFL - 100
Pearson PTE Academic - 68
Cambridge English Scale - 190
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).

Course overview

The part-time MSc Air Transport Management (Executive) provides you with a thorough grounding in all air transport issues as well as managerial, interpersonal, financial and analytical skills. The course provides a thorough grounding in major air transport issues as well as managerial, interpersonal, financial and analytical skills. The course has three elements: taught modules, group project, and an individual research project. Some optional modules are available for distance learning.

In addition to management, communication, team work and research skills, each student will attain at least the following outcomes from this degree course:
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of economics and financial management relevant to air transport, air transport commercial practice and air transport operations (as they relate to both aircraft and infrastructure).
- Demonstrate an understanding of regulatory framework that defines the air transport industry.
- Demonstrate an understanding of mathematical modelling relevant to air transport management problems.
- Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the complex interrelationships of technical and operational aspects of the air transport industry with the commercial pressures and realities facing its management.
- Critically analyse practical problems in the air transport and related industries to provide timely solutions, having regard to technical, regulatory, commercial, political, social and environmental constraints.


The taught programme for the air transport management masters starts in July and is comprised of ten modules (six compulsory and four optional). All the modules are completed over 3 one-week periods (two modules per week) so you are only expected to make three trips to Cranfield to complete the six compulsory modules in July, November and March. Some optional modules are available for distance learning.

- The Airline Business
- The Airport Business
- Leading Change
- Professional and Personal Development
- Air Transport Economics and Financial Management
- Research Methods

-Airport Commercial Revenues
-Airport Environmental Planning
-Airport Design
-Airport Strategic Planning
-In Company Project
-Airport Operations
-Aviation Marketing (distance learning)
-Air Transport in Emerging Markets (distance learning)
-The Business Travel Market (distance learning)
-Air Transport in Remoter Regions (distance learning)
-Crisis Management and Business Continuity
-Air Law and Regulatory Policy
-Air Transport Marketing

Individual Project

The individual research project is undertaken during year three of your studies. It provides an opportunity to study a problem in detail, and sponsoring organisations may collaborate in the choice of a suitable subject. This allows you to demonstrate the application of your learning to real-life problems.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:
-An analysis of the hubbing strategy of Air France/KLM at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
-The implications of secondary slot trading on airport revenues
-Air traffic distribution in a multi-airport environment; the Mumbai metropolitan region.

Group Project

The group project runs in the second year and is usually held in July for two weeks. You will be required to solve a current airport planning and management challenge. The group project draws upon the learning from the taught modules and applies it to real-life simulation.You will be required to take on responsibility for a key area for example market analysis, capital expenditure forecast or terminal design.

Each group submits a report of their findings and recommendations and delivers a presentation to staff, students and industry experts. Projects are usually supported by industry and employers value this experience. Industry involvement is an integral component to the group project.

Recent Group Projects include:

Evaluating the business case for extending the runway at Birmingham Airport
The preparation of development plans for two new airports in South-West England
Designing a new passenger terminal for Leeds-Bradford International Airport.


Taught component (40%); Group Project (20%); Individual Research Project (40%). The taught component is assessed by examination and/or assignment.

Career opportunities

Successful completion of this course will gain you an internationally recognised qualification which benefits from the Cranfield reputation and can take you onto new levels of your career anywhere in the world. We provide access to our exclusive Air Transport Alumni group on Linked In, which offers unrivalled networking and job opportunities.

This qualification facilitates accelerated career development for many of our graduates. One former graduate began his studies as an Operations Manager and was promoted three times during his study – he is now the Deputy CEO and credits the course for enabling his progression by allowing him to take a broader view of his organisation than his original role.

Other roles our former graduates have gone onto occupy include:
- Financial Controller at Rolls-Royce plc
- Head of Market Intelligence at Cargolux.

For further information

on this course, please visit our course webpage https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Airport-Planning-and-Management-Executive

Visit the Airport Planning and Management (Executive) (MSc/PgDip) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or non-UK equivalent) in any relevant discipline. A recognised professional qualification plus a number of years relevant working experience may be accepted as equivalent.

Course Fees

MSc: Home/EU- £20,000 Overseas- £20,000; PgDip: Home/EU £16,000, Overseas £16,000

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