Management and Information Systems MSc/PgCert/PgDip


Management and Information Systems

A major knowledge gap exists between managers in industrial, commercial and governmental organisations who need to run the business but are confused by the IT systems, and the 'techies' who deliver working IT solutions but are not addressing the business needs.

The MSc Management and Information Systems develops your understanding of the interaction between IT, organisation and people behaviour to prepare you for managerial positions in business operations and ICT projects. Graduates of this course play a crucial role in integrating the language and practice management and technology in business.

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

A key element of the Master's programme is the project work undertaken.

The individual research project is either industrially or Cranfield University driven. Students select the individual project in consultation with the Course Director. It provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate independent research ability, the ability to think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in manufacturing. The projects are sponsored by industrial organisations.

Companies that have recruited and sponsored project work include 3M Health Care, Airbus, Aston Martin, BAE Systems, BT, Chubb Security, Ford Motor Company, GEC, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Jaguar, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola, Pfizer, Philips, Rolls-Royce and Unilever.


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.
  • Operations Management
    Module LeaderDr Patrick McLaughlin - Senior Lecturer
    • An introduction to manufacturing and service activities
    • Capacity, demand and load; identifying key capacity determinant; order-size mix problem; coping with changes in demand
    • Standard times, and how to calculate them; process analysis and supporting tools; process simplification
    • What quality is; standards and frameworks; quality tools; quality in the supply chain
    • Scheduling rules; scheduling and nested set-ups
    • Roles of inventory; dependent and independent demand; Economic Order Quantity; uncertain demand; inventory management systems and measures
    • Information systems – at operational, managerial, and strategic levels; bills of material; MRP, MPRll and ERP systems
    • Ohno’s 7 wastes; Just-in-Time systems (including the Toyota Production System, and Kanbans)
    • Class discussion of cases, exercises, and videos to support this syllabus.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the ‘Framework for the Management of Operations’ – from service to manufacturing
    • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the core aspects of standards, inventory, capacity, and scheduling – and how they apply to their own practice
    • Apply learning to optimise the operation of current equipment and processes, based on a review of operational requirements and available resources
    • Analyse problems rigorously to develop options, and select an option appropriately taking into consideration relevant factors such as risk, opportunities, environmental issues, and fitness for purpose
    • Plan operations effectively so that with appropriate controls and direction, people and resources are used to maximum effect
    • Develop appropriate quality systems for the whole of their supply chain – from supplier, through operations to customers – and ensure these systems are sustained and a culture of continuous improvement prevails.
  • Business Process Analysis and Engineering
    Module LeaderDr Ip-Shing Fan - Senior Lecturer in Enterprise Systems
    • Business process management
    • Manufacturing and services processes
    • Modelling and charting tools
    • Lean processes
    • Improvement workshop techniques
    • Business process outsourcing
    • Re-engineering and improvement cases.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the concept of business process and business process management
    • Understand different business process charts and models
    • Understand business process improvement and lean
    • Appreciate the practice of business process re-engineering
    • Appreciate the practice of business analysis
    • Present the concepts of business process management
    • Identify the range of business processes in manufacturing and service sectors
    • Describe the approaches to re-engineer and improve business processes
    • Demonstrate working knowledge of process modelling and charting tools
    • Analyse business processes using the lean approach
    • Run process improvement workshops.
  • 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.
  • Business Change Management
    Module LeaderDr Ip-Shing Fan - Senior Lecturer in Enterprise Systems
    • Business change
    • Psychology and motivation of change
    • Team and group behaviour
    • Appraisal and feedback
    • Change product lifecycle
    • Change product activities.
    Intended learning outcomes
    • To understand the nature of business change
    • To understand the psychology of change
    • To understand team and group behaviour and dynamics in change
    • To understand the role of feedback and appraisal to support change
    • To appreciate the activities in the lifecycle of a business change project. Describe the nature and implications of business change
    • Summarise the basic theory of the psychology and motivation
    • Evaluate the choice of change strategy in different organisation context
    • Plan change programme
    • Plan communication programme
    • Describe the different types of incentives and recognition programmes.
  • Business Management
    • Types of business growth, Porter’s Five Forces; SWOT and PESTLE analyses
    • Principles of Consumer and Industrial Marketing; Ansoff’s Matrix; price elasticity; Key Account Management
    • Sources of Information, including Mintel and Fame
    • The EFQM Excellence Model, and Self Assessment
    • Personality types, engagement techniques
    • HRM: recruitment and selection, welfare, remuneration, employee relations
    • Case discussion of cases, exercises, and videos to support this syllabus.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On the completion of this module the delegate will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of how businesses operate and grow, and the range of pressures on them
    • Demonstrate a sound understanding of techniques, and to determine appropriate marketing strategies
    • Analyse complex business issues both systematically and creatively, and make sound decisions in the absence of complete data, and communicate these decisions effectively
    • Deploy the European Foundation of Quality Management (EFQM) Excellence Model in their business and use it to develop appropriate quality systems for their business and to improve business operations
    • Apply appropriate approaches to engage with others during team workingManage in a way that ensures objectives are met, team members are encouraged to give of their best, and the needs of individuals are met.
  • 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.
  • Project & Programme Management
    Module LeaderMr Stuart Young - Lecturer in Defence Acquisition
    • Introduction to Programme and Project Management, its role in the implementation of strategy (including link to Portfolio Management) and its application within a defence acquisition context.
    • Key Project Management processes and tools (application and limitations):
      • Project Life Cycles
      • Project Definition
      • Work Breakdown Structures
      • Project Planning Techniques
      • Risk and Issue Management
      • Project estimation
      • Project monitoring and control
      • Earned Value Management
      • Information Management
      • Organisation options for projects.
    • Programme Management:
      • Types of programmes and implications for their management
      • Structures and processes
      • Introduction to ‘Managing Successful Programmes’
      • Key Programme Management enablers and success factors.
    • PPM – Skills and Behaviours, Team and Personnel selection
    • Risk Management in the broader PPM context
    • Decision Making in the broader PPM context
    • Working in the strategic and political context.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module students will be able to:


    • Evaluate Programme and Project Management as key business processes
    • Recognise the benefits and limitation of Programme and Project Management in the defence acquisition context
    • Apply Programme and Project Management tools and processes appropriately
    • Demonstrate a critical approach to risk management and decision-making
    • Appreciate the impact of uncertainty and political interference on the programme.


    • Monitor and assess the application and implementation of Programme and Project Management tools and processes
    • Optimise the structure and human resources within programme and project teams
    • Evaluate risks and their mitigation taking into account both objective and subjective criteria
    • Develop a structured approach to decision-making within a programme and project context
    • Develop a more effective approach to working in an uncertain and fast moving programme context.


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


There are numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study within the Manufacturing and Materials Department at Cranfield University. These include:

  • Dedicated postgraduate-only environment
  • Lectures from leading academics as well as industrial practitioners
  • Dedicated support for off-campus learners including extensive information resources managed by Cranfield University's library
  • Consultancy to companies supporting their employees on part-time programmes, through individual and group projects.

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.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by leading academics and experienced practitioners in change management and IT drawn from Cranfield’s network of partners, including Microsoft, IBM, BT Global Services and Atos Origin. This ensures you are aware of cutting-edge tools, techniques and innovations.

Facilities and resources

The School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing operates facilities and associated equipment which are often unique to Cranfield. Management and Information Systems students and clients associated with the Department benefit from this infrastructure which relates to:

  • Advanced high performance grinding
  • Carbon fibre composite impact tubes
  • Cost engineering
  • Electronic performance support systems
  • High power fibre laser welding
  • Knowledge based engineering
  • Photochemical machining
  • Robotic tufting
  • SAP
  • Titanium Diboride (TiB2) and carbon multilayer coatings
  • Ultra-precision grinding and diamond turning
  • Vehicle crashworthiness and occupant safety analysis.

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 *

PgCert Full-time - £3,600

PgCert 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 **

PgCert Full-time - £7,000

PgCert Part-time - £10,800 **


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 go on to a wide-range of careers in manufacturing, logistics, IT, business systems analysis, manufacturing management consultancy, research and development, and academia. Opportunities are diverse and international, with graduates progressing to senior positions in industry.