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Management and Information Systems MSc/PgDip/PgCert


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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

    A dynamic element of the Manufacturing MSc programme is the project work undertaken by students. The Cranfield-Industry Team Project is an applied multidisciplinary group based activity. It provides students with the opportunity - while working in teams under academic supervision - to take responsibility for an industrially orientated consultancy type project. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets.

    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

    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.

  • 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.
    • Operations Management

      To provide an introduction to the fundamental concepts and methodologies of operations management.

      • 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

      To develop the student’s understanding of business process analysis and engineering through the application of modelling tools, techniques and methodologies.

      • 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

      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.
    • Business Change Management

      To develop the student’s understanding of the theory and practice of introducing changes to an organisation.

      • 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

      To acquire the fundamental concepts of managing the direction and growth of a business, and managing people in a business.

      • 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

      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.
    • Project & Programme Management

      The module will appreciate the role of Project and Programme Management (PPM) in the delivery of defence capability, assess the applicability of the associated processes and tools, and develop more effective management of projects and programmes with particular emphasis on better risk management and decision-making at the project, programme and strategic levels.


      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.
  • 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: throughout the year

    Teaching location: Cranfield

  • Overview

    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 course is accredited by the IET (The Institute of Engineering and Technology), 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.

  • 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 Applied Sciences 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

    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 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.