• Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • Birkbeck, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses
  • Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
Nottingham Trent University Featured Masters Courses
Centre for Digital Media Featured Masters Courses
University of St Andrews Featured Masters Courses
Durham University Featured Masters Courses

Safety and Accident Investigation - Air Transport (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

Course Description

This part-time masters degree is designed specifically for aircraft accident investigators and those working in related fields such as government agencies, manufacturers, operators, infrastructure providers and safety regulators. The MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation (Air Transport) provides an academically recognised, high standard qualification - a fundamental part of aviation safety. This programme builds on the strengths of our accident investigation short courses, run with the support of the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch. It includes a choice of highly focused modules addressing core skills, management, engineering, operations and specialist techniques.


The MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation (Air Transport) consists of two compulsory modules, four optional modules (from a selection of fifteen) and an individual research project.

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 fundamental understanding of, and the application thereof to current problems, the process of transport accident investigation including preparation, emergency response, evidence collection, analysis, report writing and recommendation writing.
- Understand the statutory obligations of an accident investigator and the competing interests of agencies including the police, coroner, regulator, operator and manufacturer and incorporate these in investigation processes.
- Identify the evidence sources that may be available to an investigation and personally demonstrate how to collect, preserve and interpret them.
- Examine major accident investigation case studies and critically evaluate their relevance to investigation techniques and aviation safety.
- Critically analyse evidence collected during an investigation, draw conclusions and make recommendations that do not lay blame, are replicable, logical and of sufficient scientific rigour.
- Plan, organise and conduct an accident investigation, on site with due regard to personal safety, evidence preservation, ethics and rigour.

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).

Core Modules

The programme commences with attendance on the Aircraft Accident Investigation module, which may be completed as two three-week modules in Fundamentals of Investigation and Applied Aircraft Accident Investigation. Upon completion of these core modules, you can then select four optional modules (15 options are currently offered, covering core skills, management, engineering, human factors and specialist techniques). Most optional modules are one week and many are offered as standalone short courses which are very popular with delegates from all over the world.

- Fundamentals of Investigation
- Applied Aircraft Accident Investigation

- Aerial Photography and Digital Photogrammetry
- Aviation Safety Management
- Failure Analysis of Components
- Fires, Explosions and their Investigation
- Flight Data Monitoring
- Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance
- Aircraft Structural Crashworthiness
- Investigation and Evidence Collection
- Legal Skills for Accident Investigators
- Mass Fatality Incidents
- Research Methods and Statistics
- Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems
- Investigating Human Performance
- Crisis Management and Business Continuity
- Advanced Interview Techniques for Accident Investigators

Individual Project

During year three, you will undertake a supervised research project on a subject of your choice within the aircraft accident investigation field. Building on pioneering work in the area of medical imaging, one of our recent MSc graduates has developed a state-of-the-art technique with his research project ‘Using 3D Computed Tomography in Aircraft Accident Investigation.’

Further examples of recent titles include:
- Why is it (still) doing that? An exploratory analysis of automation-related aircraft incidents experienced by airline pilots.
- Estimating touchdown descent rate of the CL-605 using FDR data and empirical correlations derived from flight test.
- Risk assessment process for in-service structural related issues: delivering a practical solution.


Taught Modules (50%); Individual Research Project (50%). The taught component is assessed by a combination of examinations and assignments.

Career opportunities

The MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation (Air Transport) allows you to receive an internationally recognised qualification in the field of accident investigation. The majority of students join this course with the intention of receiving a qualification that will allow them to further their career development in accident investigation or other safety related areas of the air transport industry.

Previous students have been employed by dedicated government investigation agencies, airframe and power plant manufacturers, air traffic services, safety regulation, insurers, and the military.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/safety-and-accident-investigation-air-transport.html

Visit the Safety and Accident Investigation - Air Transport (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The course is primarily aimed at those involved in aircraft accident investigation and other safety related industries. Applicants should have a good UK honours degree (or equivalent) in any discipline, or a recognised lower qualification plus relevant work experience in aviation/safety related areas.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: Cranfield University
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X