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School of Applied Sciences

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The School of Applied Sciences is dedicated to finding practical solutions to real-world problems in the key areas of environmental science and technology, and manufacturing and materials. The breadth of our specialist skills puts us in an enviable position. Our unique multidisciplinary perspective on the wider organisation means we are able to consider and develop sustainable innovative solutions to our clients business challenges. Our postgraduate programmes are designed to build on our forward-thinking research and provide the skills required by employers, while inspiring our students to succeed.


  • Our impact and facilities

    Our research activities are actively making a difference across the world, from providing sanitation solutions for rural communities in the developing world to designing highly advanced thermal barrier coatings for aerospace applications. Our extensive network of alumni in high profile positions around the world is testament to the quality of our postgraduate education in our specialist areas.

    Our extensive facilities are central to our success, providing a unique environment for conducting leading research. Many of our impressive facilities are unique to Cranfield, designed and built at the University. Some of our notable facilities include:

    • A record breaking hyperbaric chamber for deep weld simulations
    • Newly refurbished engineering-scale Energy Technology Centre
    • The best equipped precision machining laboratories in Europe
    • The FIA approved Cranfield Impact Centre for vehicle crash testing
    • The Off-Road Dynamics Facility, unique in the UK, which includes a whole vehicle moisture-controlled soil lane
    • The only facilities for the deposition of EB-PVD thermal barrier coatings onto turbine blades at a European University
    • Some of the best water science facilities in the world, including dedicated laboratories and the University’s own sewage treatment facility and pilot plant hall.
  • Our people

    Our success is a reflection of the quality and dedication of our staff. Leaders in their chosen fields, our staff are actively engaged in research and consultancy for organisations across the globe, from local SMEs to large multinationals.

    The Head of School is Professor Tom Stephenson, who leads a 120 strong academic community delivering a robust portfolio of research and teaching across two dedicated departments:

    Our highly skilled technical and support staff are crucial to our ability to deliver high quality research and teaching for clients and students alike.

    Our expertise in environmental science and technology covers soil, water, waste, energy, risk and automotive technology. Our training and research is of direct relevance to the low carbon and green growth agendas. Each year, Cranfield prepares upwards of 250 newly-qualified, postgraduate environmental professionals for influential roles in industry, Government, the NGO sector.

    Our long standing relationships with organisations in the manufacturing industry puts us at the forefront of new developments and thinking. We link materials research with manufacturing to develop novel technologies and improve the science base of manufacturing research for high value manufacturers, Government and supply chains.  

  • Working with us

    Businesses looking for innovative, cost-effective solutions to their organisational needs can benefit from working with us. We are passionate about ensuring our research is of relevance to the real-world and actively seek to develop long lasting relationships with commercial organisations.

    There are a number of ways in which your business can benefit from exploiting Cranfield’s unique knowledge and expertise, and our flexible consultative approach. We work with organisations of all sizes across the private, public and charitable sectors.

    Opportunities include:

    • Consultancy, ranging from the use of laboratory facilities to long-term change projects
    • Collaborative industrial funding schemes such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)
    • Research projects, across all areas of our expertise
    • Sponsored student group and individual project work, ranging from short-term to longer, more in-depth research
    • Strategic partnerships such as joint IP development
    • Teaching and education through our Masters and short courses portfolio. Bespoke in-company courses can be tailored to meet your business needs.
  • Current research opportunities

    Our research students create and innovate fundamental knowledge, and transform it into practical solutions to the breadth of challenges facing modern society and business. They are supported by a vibrant interactive doctoral research community and a comprehensive core research skills programme. In addition to studentships for specific projects, we also welcome applications from candidates with good first degrees (or their international equivalent) who are interested in undertaking research.

  • Postgraduate degrees

    We work closely with employers to develop programmes that provide the skills they need. Our courses combine high calibre teaching, based on new knowledge gained from our research, with practical experience, offering our students a competitive edge. Our extensive network of alumni in high profile positions around the world is testament to the quality of our teaching.

    Benefits of undertaking a postgraduate course with us include:

    Sponsored group projects

    We take pride in our ability to offer our students a perfect balance of academic excellence with practical experience. The high level of applied project work, usually sponsored by industry partners, allows our students to gain experience of applying their new knowledge in real-life settings, with the added benefit of gaining a network of contacts with potential employers.

    Professional accreditation

    Courses are recognised by UK professional institutions such as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.

    Part-time study options

    For working professionals, our modular Masters’ programmes can be undertaken on a part-time basis to fit around existing life and work commitments. Projects can be undertaken with the employer offering additional benefits to their business.

    We offer postgraduate courses in the following key areas:

    • Design
    • Energy
    • Environment
    • Manufacturing
    • Materials
    • Motorsport
    • Offshore and Ocean Technology
    • Water.
  • Professional Development (CPD)

    The School offers a range of professional development short courses. Our courses combine theory with practical experience, making use of our exceptional facilities. Our delegates are equipped with knowledge of the latest technological developments and strategic thinking. Courses are delivered by subject specialists from our academic community, supported by guest lecturers from industry. Our delegates have the opportunity to meet and network with fellow professionals from across the world.

    The majority of our short courses are accredited by UK professional bodies, offering delegates continuing professional development (CPD) credits that can count towards Chartered Status.

    Reflecting the core strengths of the School, our short courses cover:

    • Aerospace
    • Agriculture/Food
    • Automotive/Motorsport
    • Computing/IT
    • Defence
    • Engineering
    • Environment
    • Health
    • Management
    • Manufacturing
    • Materials
    • Safety/Risk
    • Water.
  • Case studies and clients

    From SMEs to multi-nationals - we work with organisations of all sizes across a wide-range of industries, using our expertise to solve organisational challenges. Examples of organisations we regularly work with include:

    • Anglian Water
    • Boeing
    • Defra
    • Ellen MacArthur Foundation
    • Environment Agency
    • Hertfordshire Chamber
    • Hindustan Aerospace Ltd
    • Jaguar LandRover
    • P&G
    • Petroleum Development Fund of Nigeria
    • Red Bull Technology
    • Rolls-Royce
    • Silverstone Circuits Ltd
    • Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)
    • Yorkshire Water.