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Manufacturing Consultancy MSc/PgDip/PgCert


Analysis and Evalulation

This course was created in response to the high proportion of Cranfield manufacturing graduates taking up positions within consultancy. It shares many features with the Engineering & Management of Manufacturing Systems MSc, but favours students who already have industrial experience, and better prepares them for a career in consultancy.

The focus is on cutting-edge techniques applied in the research, design and operation of competitive manufacturing and information systems. The programme has been developed with a strong emphasis on applying knowledge in the industrial environment and is taught in the context of industrial application. The major learning experience for full-time students is the industrial group project. This involves working in teams to fulfil demanding objectives within a tight time schedule, applying state-of-the-art technologies and approaches, and delivering results to a high professional standard.

  • 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.


    • 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.
    • 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 Analysis
      Module LeaderDr Peter Ball - Reader

      To develop in students a rigorous and logical application of tools and techniques for the design and control operational systems.

      • Six Sigma
      • Process capability
      • Common and special cause variability
      • Control charts
      • Acceptance sampling
      • Mathematical models and simulation techniques
      • Analysis of systems to produce simple models
      • IDEF0 and IDEF3 and their application
      • Business process fundamentals and the process review
      • Improvement procedures, modelling methods and process models
      • Performance measurement
      • Responding to and improving reliability.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Demonstrate knowledge of tools for assessing, controlling and improving processes, and their strengths and limitations
      • Understand the different types of modelling techniques applicable to operational system design
      • Analyse simple operational systems to enable discrete event models and spreadsheet models to be defined
      • Demonstrate an understanding of process mapping approaches, relevant terminology and the basic methods involved
      • Demonstrate an understanding Six Sigma and Statistical Process Control tools and techniques
      • Take a ‘systems view’ of manufacturing and servicing operations.
    • 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.
    • Manufacturing Systems Engineering
      Module LeaderDr Peter Ball - Reader

      To develop students’ understanding of manufacturing systems engineering so that they can design systems that maximise the flow of value to customers while minimising waste.

      • Different approaches to factory layout such as process and product layouts
      • Reasons for choice of cellular manufacturing and benefits
      • Part classification and coding
      • Production Flow Analysis
      • Modelling and analysis using discrete-event simulation, agent-based simulation and system dynamics.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Take a holistic approach to the design and analysis of manufacturing systems
      • Understand the benefits of cellular manufacturing and be familiar with two common methods of product/process grouping
      • Build a graphical simulation model using an industry leading discrete-event simulation tool (WITNESS)
      • Devise an experimental procedure and interpret the consequential results of the simulation model
      • Understand the relationship between system design and assessment.
    • Consultancy Skills
      Module LeaderDr Konstantinos Salonitis - Lecturer in Manufacturing Systems

      To provide students with a comprehensive toolkit and management techniques for managing and running a successful consultancy project.

      • Effective management of a business project through to completion
      • Hands-on experience with different interviewing, presentation and report writing skills
      • Awareness of the importance of understanding team dynamics and the different roles in a team and their impact on the overall performance
      • Issues relevant to the implementation of process change through continuous improvement programs.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Apply a range of consultancy tools to different business scenarios
      • Broaden their interviewing techniques and to be able to provide concise, structured information by written report or oral presentation
      • Demonstrate an understanding of the theory and practical application of change management
      • Appreciate the different roles and dynamics of working in a team and also the importance of leadership to the success of the project.
    • Supply Chain Management

      To introduce students to the wider issues surrounding the management and optimisation of supply chains.

      • Challenges that face logistics and supply chain managers today
      • Importance of developing the right supply chain strategy for your products and the need to align the supply network around the strategy
      • Tools that can be used systematically to identify areas for improvement in supply chains
      • Specific challenges and new thinking in the plan, source and deliver sub-processes.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

      On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:

      • Demonstrate an appreciation for issues surrounding the development of the right supply chain strategy for the business / product groups
      • Understand the importance of managing the information flows in a supply network in order to reduce the bullwhip effect and the challenges of accurate demand and forecast planning
      • Appreciate the challenges with improving performance of supply networks and gain familiarity with the application of a variety of supply chain tools to help in the re-design of the SC
      • Demonstrate an appreciation for the complexities in managing and designing distribution centres so that they support the overall SC strategy and customer value proposition in the market place
      • Understand the important role of procurement and supplier management on the ability of the supply chain to function effectively.
    • Manufacturing Strategy
      Module LeaderDr Patrick McLaughlin - Senior Lecturer

      The module aims to raise the students' understanding of the strategic role of the manufacturing function within the wider business context, and to develop skills in the design and realisation of competitive manufacturing systems.

      • Concepts of competitive strategy and manufacturing strategies and development of a strategic improvement programme
      • Manufacturing strategy in business success
      • Strategy formation and formulation, leading to system design
      • Structured strategy formulation
      • Approaches to strategy formulation in differing business contexts
      • Realisation of new strategies/system designs, including approaches to implementation.
      Intended Learning Outcomes

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

      • Recognise the role of manufacturing within business strategy
      • Define and explain manufacturing strategy process and content, emergent and intended strategy, competitive edge criteria and decision areas
      • Understand the various approaches to manufacturing strategy formation that complement different business circumstances
      • Understand how manufacturing system design specification emerges through strategy formation
      • Appreciate a structured methodology for manufacturing strategy formulation.
  • 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 three years

    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:

    • Study in a postgraduate-only environment where Masters' graduates often go on to secure positions in full-time employment in their chosen field, or undertake academic research
    • Receive instruction 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, in relation to individual and group project.
  • 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 internationally leading academics and practitioners. This will ensure you are aware of cutting-edge tools, techniques and innovations. The course is directed by an industrial advisory committee comprising senior representatives from leading manufacturing and business organisations. This means the skills and knowledge you acquire are relevant to employer requirements.

  • Facilities and resources

    The School of Applied Sciences operates facilities and associated equipment which are often unique to Cranfield. Manufacturing 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.