Knowledge Management for Innovation MSc/PgCert/PgDip


Knowledge Management for Innovation

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 experience is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. Teams of students work to solve an industrial problem. The project applies technical knowledge and provides training in teamwork and the opportunity to develop non-technical aspects of the taught programme. Part-time students can prepare a dissertation on an agreed topic in place of the group project.

Industrially orientated, our team projects have support from external organisations. These include: Airbus, Atkins, Altro, Bromford Industries, Benaa Group, BT, Caterpillar, Centre for Process Innovation, Cisco, DPD, Dragon Rouge, Engineering Photonics Centre, Environcom, ERA Foundation, GKN Hybrid Power, HS Marston Aerospace, Ihsan Center, Labinal Power Systems, Maier Group, Novartis, Okaz Organization for Press and Publications, Operations Excellence Institute, Rolls-Royce, Safran Power, SENTi, SPI Laser, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Ultra Precision Centre, and Whirlpool.

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.

View our Manufacturing, Materials and Design 2015 Manufacturing Group Projects

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.


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


  • Enterprise Systems

    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 - Reader
    • 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
    • The definition and typology of design driven innovation
    • Design thinking and design process modelling
    • Function modelling
    • Product-service systems
    • Creative design methods
    • An exercise of design-driven innovation (group assignment).
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Explain the concept of innovation and create competitive advantage of product-service systems
    • Formally model and explain product-service systems
    • Formally model and analyse customer requirements
    • Formally model and analyse function models
    • Apply methods for systematic and exhaustive definition and exploration of the design space
    • Generate design solutions creatively
    • Compare, evaluate and validate design solutions.
  • General Management
    Module LeaderDr Yuchun Xu - Lecturer in Cost Engineering
    • 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 - Reader
    • 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
    • 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

    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
    • 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.


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 MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgCert - one year, Part-time PgCert - two years, Full-time PgDip - one year, Part-time PgDip - two years

Teaching location: Cranfield


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

This MSc is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

It is subject to ratification by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) following an accreditation visit in March 2015.

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.

Facilities and resources

The School of Energy, Environment and Agrifood 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

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.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

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 

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).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


Home EU Student Fees

MSc Full-time - £9,000

MSc Part-time - £1,500 *

PgDip Full-time - £7,200

PgDip Part-time - £1,500 *

Overseas Fees

MSc Full-time - £17,500

MSc Part-time - £17,500 **

PgDip Full-time - £14,000

PgDip Part-time - £14,000 **


The annual registration fee is quoted above. An additional fee of £1,300 per module is also payable.


Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or to pay in four equal instalments at six month intervals (i.e. the full fee to be paid over the first two years of their registration). 

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • 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 Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.


To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. 

Visit the funding finder.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)

The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Global Manufacturing Leadership Masters Scholarship

The Cranfield Global Manufacturing Leadership (GML) scholarships, provided by Cranfield Manufacturing contributes towards the costs of study (tuition fee plus £1000 maintenance grant). Awards are made for a maximum duration of one calendar year for full time study.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)

Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for Commonwealth Shared Scholarships for Master’s study, jointly supported by UK universities.

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.

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