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Knowledge Management for Innovation MSc/MTech/PgDip/PgCert


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The MSc Knowledge Management for Innovation is operated in conjunction with industry and applies many industrial tools. This course aims to create the next generation of technical and business leaders who can drive strategic innovation and collaboration by effective management of organisational knowledge within their specialist domains. Therefore it develops leadership skills, team working skills, creativity and knowledge, to enable individuals to implement management practice to aid the development of business. The course combines rigorous academic activity, practical work, utilising industry software such as SAP, and real-life experience through industry sponsored project work, in preparation for careers in engineering extended enterprise.

Students completing this course will have a full appreciation of the relevant technical and business requirements for the implementation of knowledge management practice to aid innovation within the organisation.

  • Course overview

    The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.

    The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests. These provide the 'tools' required for the group and individual projects.

  • Group project

    The group project runs from early February to the end of April. It is examined by continuous assessment, oral presentation and written report. During the group project, the students, working in groups of four to six, are given the overall responsibility for an industrially sponsored consultancy style project, based on a multidisciplinary topic around research expertise and interest. The multidisciplinary project is undertaken within an intense three month time-scale and budget. This means that the group project team has to perform immediately from the project start. Similarly, the sponsoring company also has to respond during this period.

    The teams produce a comprehensive final report, software where appropriate and make a public presentation to visitors from industry. Each project has an academic supervisor to provide guidance and to monitor and assess the performance of each student. Experience has shown that this education process is effective in providing people with the right skills and knowledge for industry. The aim of the group project is to develop skills of teamwork and leadership in addition to extending the range of knowledge through literature review and/or experimental/theoretical studies.

    Industrially orientated, our team projects have support from external organisations. These include: 3M Health Care, ABSL Space Products, APROSYS, Airbus, Aston Martin, BAE Systems, BT, Chubb Security, Cranfield Impact Centre, DSGi, Ford Motor Company, GEC, GlaxoSmithKline, Hallmark Cards UK, IBM, Jaguar, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, Motorola, Pfizer, Philips, Rolls-Royce and Unilever. As a result of external engagement Cranfield students enjoy a higher degree of success when it comes to securing employment. Prospective employers value the student experience where team working to find solutions to industrially based problems are concerned.

    See our Manufacturing Group Projects from 2012/2013

    See our Manufacturing Group Projects from 2013/2014

    Watch video: Paul Ewers, Visteon Engineering Services, talks about his involvement in the Manufacturing Group Project at Cranfield University.

    Watch video: Manufacturing MSc students talk about their experience of the Manufacturing Group Projects at Cranfield University. 

  • Individual project

    The individual thesis project runs from June to September. The thesis provides an opportunity for a substantial piece of individual research. The thesis is usually industry-based and the subject is defined by the agreement with the sponsor. Working under academic supervision, each student is given a problem, the solution of which requires extensive research and fieldwork. The sponsor will meet the project cost and will allocate an advisor who will ensure access to appropriate data and resources for meeting the project objectives. These are aimed at addressing issues of real importance to the sponsor.

    Throughout the thesis project each student will perform presentations of on-going findings and recommendations. The  final thesis document should detail the approach taken to successfully complete the project including, findings, experimental/theoretical studies and recommendations.

  • Modules

    The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.


    • Enterprise Systems

      To provide a basic understanding and knowledge of enterprise-wide information management systems and their application in the healthcare sector.


      The module covers:

      • Enterprise wide IT Systems
      • Data exchange standards
      • Data Mining
      • Customer Relationship Management
      • Concepts and strategies for information management
      • Theatre Management.
      Intended Learning OutcomesOn successful completion of this module the student will be able to:
      • Critically analyse the concepts, techniques and tools for enterprise wide IT Systems
      • Critically analyse the concepts and best practice developments for management of information in global industries
      • Demonstrate awareness of the current developments in Point of Care Testing  and Communications technologies
      • Critically evaluate security standards for medical data exchange.
    • Knowledge Acquisition and Creation
      Module LeaderDr Ahmed Al-Ashaab - Senior Lecturer

      To develop an overview and foundation of this evolving subject area, its challenges and opportunities and some of the key skills required to deliver knowledge management practice.

      • Introduction to knowledge and knowledge management issues
      • Knowledge lifecycle
      • Knowledge acquisition: principles, guidelines and process
      • Knowledge acquisition techniques
      • Knowledge capturing and sharing techniques
      • Knowledge representation schemes
      • Models of knowledge creation
      • Knowledge management implementation case studies.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Value the concepts of knowledge and knowledge management
      • Comprehend the principles, guidelines, and process of knowledge acquisition and creation
      • Appreciate knowledge capturing and sharing techniques
      • Understand the requirement for the implementation of knowledge management and knowledge based engineering
      • Understand and describe the concepts of knowledge and knowledge management
      • Understand the limitations and purposes of knowledge management within an enterprise
      • Define the difference and transformation of tacit to explicit knowledge
      • Understand the principles, guidelines, and process of knowledge acquisition
      • Appreciate knowledge capturing and sharing techniques
      • Identify and apply knowledge management technologies, tools and methodologies
      • Understand and describe knowledge representation schemes.
    • Design Driven Innovation Processes
      Module LeaderProfessor Tetsuo Tomiyama - Professor of Life Cycle Engineering

      To introduce the core concepts that underpin design-led innovation, develop the ability to select and apply appropriate building blocks for delivery of value creation and to understand the need for building shared understandings in order to manage and implement the process effectively.


      The ability to adapt and innovate is key to the sustainability of an organisation in the long term. Innovation occurs at all stages of the design and delivery of a product, service or system and is closely aligned to the management of knowledge and the ability of an organisation to learn. For those who wish to be involved with ensuring that organisations can deliver new ideas, new products and new ways of working, an understanding of the fundamentals of innovation is necessary. The need for all parts of an organisation to co-operate, and to engender environments that encourage innovation is common, but is often not supported by staff who understand how to put such capabilities into place. This module specifically focuses on the basics of ensuring innovation while fully exploring leading-edge concepts such as disruptive Innovation and complexity.

      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Develop a systematic understanding of the concept of innovation and how it helps to create competitive advantage
      • Comprehend and evaluate the different types and stages of innovation
      • Appreciate the significance and characteristics of knowledge management and organisational learning to innovation
      • Understand the importance of an organisation’s culture and ecology to the successful pursuit of sustainable innovation
      • Critically evaluate how both individuals and teams can act as innovators
      • Develop critiques of how innovation can be managed in organisations
      • Develop independent, transferable skills that enable the implementation of innovation management
      • Review the significance and capability of innovation to solve complex problems
      • Identify the definitions of innovation (disruptive; incremental)

      • Prepare an innovation framework that makes use of innovation and competitive advantage
      • Make use of triggers for innovation and opportunity recognition (creativity; innovation strategy; exploitation)
      • Acknowledge management concepts, characteristics of organisational learning
      • Consider market environments / innovation ecology and human resource management.
    • General Management
      Module LeaderDr Yuchun Xu - Lecturer in Cost Engineering

      To give an introduction to some of the key general management, personal management and project management skills needed to influence and implement change.

      • Management accounting principles and systems
      • Personal style and team contribution, interpersonal dynamics, leadership, human and cultural diversity
      • Sustainability in an industrial context and Strategic Innovation Management
      • Project Management.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Understand the objectives, principles, terminology and systems of management accounting
      • Have an appreciation of inter-relationships between functional responsibilities in a company
      • Have a practical understanding of different management styles, team roles, different cultures, and how the management of human diversity can impact organisational performance
      • Have an understanding of key concepts and principles of Strategic Innovation Management
      • Understand Sustainability from an industrial context, including impacts upon industry and potential responses of industry
      • Understand a formal process for structuring and running projects to ensure a successful completion.
    • Knowledge Systems Design
      Module LeaderDr Ahmed Al-Ashaab - Senior Lecturer

      To extend the student’s appreciation and understanding of key Internet and related technologies and to demonstrate how such technology is used in the design of knowledge systems to aid enterprise development.

      • Knowledge system technologies
      • Enterprise information systems
      • Collaborative working in supply chain
      • Transaction processing through the Internet
      • Enterprise application integration
      • Semantic web
      • Data protection and security
      • Specifying a knowledge workspace for collaborative project
      • Collaborative working tools
      • Building a knowledge workspace for collaborative project using BSCW.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Understand the nature and context of rapidly developing knowledge technologies
      • Understand the workings of an extended enterprise
      • Describe the requirements of a collaborative supply chain
      • Explain sources of key information
      • Understand the significance of Internet transactions
      • Describe the business benefits of vertical and horizontal integration
      • Demonstrate an understanding of current and imminent technologies for knowledge system design.
    • Information Management
      Module LeaderDr Jorn Mehnen - Reader in Computational Manufacturing

      The aim of this module is to provide fundamental concepts and working knowledge on information management techniques including data capture, data lifecycle management, data quality management, data warehousing as well as data mining system design, development and application.

      • Data capturing
      • Data management in design and manufacturing and through life support
      • Database modelling, service information management in industry
      • Data exchange standards (EDI ), data lifecycle in the service industry, data and text mining
      • Data quality, data warehousing, hands-on data mining exercise.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of data and information management techniques including storage structures and algorithms for efficient retrieval and processing of data
      • Identify opportunities in a business where information management techniques can add value
      • Demonstrate an understanding of basic database architecture, and top down/bottom-up data analysis
      • Demonstrate the concepts of data warehousing, data capture, data management and data through lifecycle support, service data management in industry
      • Discuss the concepts of data and text mining, data visualisation and data quality.
    • Enterprise Modelling

      To extend the student’s appreciation and understanding of integrated management systems within the context of the wider organisational environment through the application of modelling tools, techniques and methodologies.


      The module covers:

      • An introduction to management systems modelling
      • An overview of methods and techniques
      • Soft systems practice
      • Process description capture tools and techniques
      • Systems thinking
      • Systems wide modelling methodologies
      • Discrete event simulation techniques and methodologies
      • Case study analysis
      • Use of industry based software tools.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Critically evaluate the concepts of modelling approaches within a global organisation
      • Critically analyse the importance of the application of modelling for organisational development
      • Critically evaluate appropriate processes for the capture and representation of process knowledge
      • Critically evaluate the appropriate application of qualitative and quantitative modelling techniques
      • Critically analyse and model knowledge management processes
      • Establish and critically analyse dynamic simulation models of an organisation and critically assess model outcomes
      • Communicate the purpose and outcome of enterprise management models.
    • Strategic Knowledge Management
      Module LeaderDr Yuchun Xu - Lecturer in Cost Engineering

      To provide fundamental concepts and working knowledge on Strategic Knowledge Management (SKM) principles, tools, techniques and its application in organisations.

      • Introduction to strategic knowledge management
      • Strategic knowledge management tools and techniques
      • Building knowledge management into the strategic framework
      • The impact of SKM on organisations
      • Strategic decision making process
      • Leadership and knowledge management
      • Business process analysis and management
      • Case studies.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

      • Provide the principles of strategic knowledge management
      • Provide knowledge application
      • Introduce leadership concepts and models
      • Introduce the principle of business process management and optimisation
      • Understand the strategic knowledge management tools and techniques
      • Identify appropriate processes for the strategic decision making
      • Evaluate and critically assess strategic decision outcomes
      • Identify the effect of strategic knowledge management on enterprises
      • Understand different leadership models
      • Identify the relationship between SKM and sustainable competitive advantages.
  • Assessment

    Taught modules: 40% Group projects: 20%* Individual project: 40%

  • Start date, duration and location

    Start date: Full-time: October, part-time: throughout the year

    Duration: Full-time: one year, part-time: two to five years

    Teaching location: Cranfield

  • Overview

    In an increasingly competitive environment, where new business practices are regularly introduced, organisations have to be innovative to survive. Such innovation is dependent upon companies developing effective knowledge management internally as well through external interaction. In order to exploit the potential of the 'knowledge base' organisations need to engage and develop specialists with the ability to implement knowledge management practice to aid the development of business.

    Students on this programme develop a range of skills, from people management and innovation through to data management techniques and business process planning. The course develops the next generation of technical and business leaders who can drive strategic innovation and collaboration by effective management of organisational knowledge within their specialised domains.

  • Accreditation and partnerships

    The postgraduate level programme in Knowledge Management for Innovation is accredited by IET (The Institution of Engineering and Technology), and IMechE (The Institute of Mechanical Engineers) and RAeS (The Royal Aeronautical Society).

  • Informed by industry

    Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. These include:

    • Bombardier
    • Babcock
    • P R Ganguly
    • Machan Consulting
    • SAP
    • Holsim Energy
    • BAe Systems
    • Tata Steel
    • SAS (EUR)
    • Visteon Engineering Services
    • Redmantle
    • Volvo
    • Subsea 7
    • Tulip UK Ltd & Independent Lean Manufacturing Specialist
    • Atos Origin
    • Rolls-Royce
    • Alamo Group Europe Limited (USA)
    • Say One Media
    • Saipem
    • Ford
    • Bernard Matthews
    • Factura
    • BT
    • Price Systems.

    Students who have excelled have their performances recognised through course awards. The awards are provided by high profile organisations and individuals, and are often sponsored by our industrial partners. Awards are presented on Graduation Day. View the 2014 Prize Winners booklet.

  • Facilities and resources

    The School of Applied Sciences operates facilities and associated equipment which are often unique to Cranfield. Knowledge Management for Innovation MSc students also benefit from this infrastructure. We operate:

    • specialist enterprise systems and equipment including SAP, state-of-the-art software, a CAD workstation, e-engineering server facilities, and access to CAM facilities
    • the Cost Studio® which provides real-world experience of product cost modelling application
    • the planned competitive design facility will host a 3D printer, styling software, Adobe Acrobat 3D and digital mock-up facility.

    Students have 24 hour access to computing facilities and laboratories suitable for general purpose as well as engineering applications. A vast range of specialist software applications are available for use.

  • Entry Requirements

    Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a First or Second class UK Honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

    English language

    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 (Important: this test is not currently accepted by the UK Home Office for Tier 4 (General) visa applications)

    TOEIC - 800 (Important: this test is not currently accepted by the UK Home Office for Tier 4 (General) visa applications)

    Pearson PTE Academic - 65

    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 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.  The UK Home Office are not currently accepting TOEFL or TOEIC tests for Tier 4 (General) visa applications. Other restrictions from the UK Home Office may apply from time to time and we will advise applicants of these restrictions where appropriate.

  • Fees

    Home/EU student

    MSc Full-time - £6,800


    The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,080 per module is also payable.

    MSc Part-time - £1,070 *

    PgDip Full-time - £5,000

    PgDip Part-time - £1,070 *

    PgCert Full-time - £2,500

    PgCert Part-time - £1,070 *

    Overseas student

    MSc Full-time - £16,250

    MSc Part-time - £8,500

    PgDip Full-time - £12,000

    PgDip Part-time - £6,250

    PgCert Full-time - £6,000

    PgCert Part-time - £4,500

    Fee notes:

    • 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.
  • Funding

    Funding opportunities exist, including industrial sponsorship, School bursaries and a number of general external schemes.  For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. We recommend you discuss this with your company in the first instance.

  • Application process

    Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at that time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

  • Career opportunities

    Successful students will secure influential positions in almost all aspects of business including manufacturing, banking, healthcare, government and consultancy. Students have joined companies such as:

    • Airbus
    • Barclaycard
    • BOC Edwards
    • easyJet
    • Metropolitan
    • Rolls-Royce.