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Aerospace Vehicle Design MSc
The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design (AVD) aims to build knowledge on the design of flying vehicles such as aircraft, missiles, airships and spacecraft. This course provides a taught engineering programme with a focus on the technical, business and management aspects of aircraft design in the civil and military aerospace sectors.
Teaching integrates a range of disciplines required by modern aircraft design, for example:
- Structural design and analysis
- Aircraft systems design
- Avionic systems design
- Flight performance
- Aspects of manufacture
- Operations and cost
Three options are available for students to select from in order to enable them to specialise in their particular area of interest:
All options of this course include a taught component and an individual thesis. The Avionics and Aircraft Design options also include a group project.
The extensive group design project is a distinctive and unique feature of the AVD course. This teamwork project takes place over six months and recreates a virtual industrial environment bringing together students with various experience levels and different nationalities into one integrated design team – a common feature within the workplace.
Each team member is given responsibility for the detailed design of a significant part of the aircraft, for example, forward fuselage, fuel system, or navigation system. The project will progress from the conceptual phase through to the preliminary and detail design phases. You will be required to run project meetings, produce engineering drawings and detailed analyses of your design. Problem solving and project coordination must be undertaken on a team and individual basis. At the end of the project, groups are required to report and present findings to a panel of 200 senior engineers from industry.
This element of the course is both realistic and engaging, and places the student group in a professional role as aerospace design engineers. Students testify that working as an integrated team on real problems is invaluable and prepares them well for careers in a highly competitive industry.
Students following the Structural Design option do not participate in the Group Design Project.
The individual research project aims to provide the training necessary for you to apply knowledge from the taught element to research.
The individual research project may be theoretical and/or experimental and drawn from a range of topics related to the course and suggested by the staff, sponsor or to focus on your own area of interest.
Recent Individual Research Projects include:
- Fin Structure Aeroelastic Warping Effect
- Modelling of Helicopter Crash Behaviour
- Shock Load Simulation on Aircraft Structures
- Crack Stoppers and Fail Safety in Integral Metal Structures
- Impact Damage of Composite Laminates
- Composite Panel Cut Out and Edge Reinforcement
- Repair of Composite Structures.
The course is comprised of either 200 lecture hours (Structural Design Option) or 240 lecture hours (Aircraft Design and Avionic System Design Options), depending on the course option chosen. Modules for each option vary; please see individual descriptions for compulsory modules which must be undertaken. In addition, students have an extensive choice of optional modules to match specific interests.
Taught Modules: 10% Group Project: 50% Individual Research Project: 40% for both the Avionic Systems Design and Aircraft Design options. Taught Modules: 50% Individual Research Project: 50% for the Structural Design option.
Start date: March or October
Duration: 1 year full-time
Teaching location: Cranfield
We have been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace engineering since 1946. Aircraft Design at Cranfield was one of the original foundation courses of the College of Aeronautics. Graduates of this course are eligible to join the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA), an active community which hold a number of networking and social events throughout the year.
We attract students from a diverse range of backgrounds – a third of a typical intake can include experienced engineers who are already working in the aerospace or military industry. Students come from all over the world with more than 25 international countries represented each year. This provides an interesting and stimulating learning environment for all.
One unique feature of the AVD course is that we have four external examiners; two from industry who assess the group design project and two from academia who assess the individual research project.
This course is accredited by:
- Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).
The course has an Industrial Advisory Committee with senior members from major UK aerospace companies, government bodies, and the military services. The committee meets twice a year to review and advise on course content, acquisition skills and other attributes are desirable from graduates of the course.
Industry Advisory Committee members include representatives from:
- BAE Systems
- Royal Air Force
- Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Refor
- Royal Australian Air Force
- National Defence and the Canadian Forces.
You will be taught by staff with many years of industrial experience. The Course Directors for the MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design are:
Aaron Latty, a Mechanical Engineer with experience in structural design of aircraft components.
Dr Shijun Guo,who has been working in the field of aircraft structures, especially structural dynamics and aeroelasticity, since the 1980’s.
The teaching on some taught modules is supported by lectures from visiting speakers from both industry and the military. One week is dedicated to visiting speakers from industry and the military who are specialists in their subject area. Former speakers have included representatives from Airbus, Boeing, BAE Systems and Eurocopter. These speakers are senior engineers within these organisations such as Chief Engineer or Chief Landing Architect.
The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design includes flying experience with our Bulldog aircraft, large aircraft flight simulator and Jetstream Flying Laboratory in which onboard monitors give you first-hand experience of the theory from a pilot’s perspective. We use industry-standard software such as NASTRAN. Our rapid prototyping machine enables you to manufacture wind tunnel models from CATIA. Our Virtual Reality Suite enables you to design the flight deck and cabin layout in 3D.
We also arrange visits to sites such as BAE Systems, Marshall Aerospace, GKN and RAF bases which specialise in the maintenance of military aircraft. This allows you to get close to aircraft and components to help with ideas for the group project.
1st or 2nd class UK honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering discipline. There is a limited opportunity for candidates with other qualifications to enter the course via a one-year Pre-Masters preparatory course, which provides the necessary level of knowledge of engineering principles applicable to aerospace design.
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
TOEIC - 800
Pearson PTE Academic - 65
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 if 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).
Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa will also need to meet the UKBA Tier 4 General Visa English language requirements. Other restrictions from the UK Home Office may apply from time to time and we will advise applicants of these restrictions where appropriate.
Students requiring a Tier 4 General Student visa to study in the UK may need to apply for an ATAS certificate to study this course.
MSc Full-time - £9,000
MSc Full-time - £18,000
- Fees are payable annually for each year of study unless otherwise indicated.
- The fees outlined here apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2014 and 31 July 2015 and the University reserves the right to amend fees without notice.
- All students pay the annual tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
- Additional fees for extensions to registration may be charged.
- Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) pay international fees.
Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme
This course is eligible for the government and industry funded Aerospace MSc Bursary Scheme. The scheme will pay MSc tuition fees (up to £9,500) on behalf of successful applicants. Bursaries will be awarded to UK and EU candidates who can demonstrate their commitment to working in the UK aerospace sector and who have been offered a place on an eligible MSc programme.
Online application form. Applicants may be invited to attend for interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.
The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design is valued and respected by employers worldwide. The applied nature of this course ensures that our graduates are ready to be of immediate use to their future employer and has provided sufficient breadth of understanding of multi-discipline design to position them for accelerated career progression.
This course prepares graduates for careers as project design engineers, systems design, structural design or avionic engineers in aerospace or related industries, with the aim of progressing to technical management/chief engineer. Graduates from the MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design can therefore look forward to a varied choice of challenging career opportunities in the above disciplines. Many of our graduates occupy very senior positions in their organisations, making valuable contributions to the international aerospace industry.
Typical student destinations include BAE Systems, Airbus, Dassault and Rolls-Royce.