Welding Engineering MSc/PgCert/PgDip


Welding Engineering MSc

Welding is integral to the manufacture of a wide-range of products, from high power laser welding of large ships, to microjoining of thin wires to circuit boards. The  joining continues to expand; in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries; in transport, including automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding; in manufacture of electronic systems; in defence industries; and in general manufacturing. The Welding Engineering MSc addresses these needs, and covers a wide-range of areas that are part of modern welding technology such as automation, metallurgy and materials science, welding processes, design, and quality.

The postgraduate level Welding Engineering programme will provide graduates with a fundamental understanding of welding technologies and an awareness of recent technical developments within the relevant industries. It will also improve communication, presentation, analytical and problem solving skills. Our graduates are highly sought after by international companies using welding and joining technologies, and are able to attain positions of significant engineering responsibility.

In addition, graduates will be qualified to act as responsible persons as defined by European and international quality standards, and will have met a major part of the requirements for membership of the appropriate professional organisations with knowledge, skills and experience of managing research and development projects.

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

This provides experience of undertaking research into a specific welding issue that is of interest and benefit to a company. The research project is usually on a topic of direct relevance to industry, and for full-time students is performed using the wide-range of welding equipment in the Welding Engineering Research Centre at Cranfield. In some cases, it may be possible to undertake the research project with an industry sponsor at their premises. For part-time students, the research project is usually performed at their employer's premises on a topic of interest to the student and the employer.


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


  • Introduction to Materials Engineering
    Module LeaderDr David Ayre - Research Fellow in Composites
    Dr Supriyo Ganguly - Senior Lecturer
    • Introduction to materials: Atomic structure, crystal structure, imperfections, diffusion, mechanical properties, dislocations and strengthening mechanisms, phase diagrams, phase transformations, solidification, corrosion
    • Basic and alloy steels, tensile behaviour of metals, work and precipitation hardening, recovery and recrystallisation
    • Structural steels - C-Mn ferrite-pearlite structural steels, specifications and influence of composition, heat treatment and microstructure on mechanical properties.  Fracture, weldability and the influence of welding on mechanical properties
    • Corrosion Resistant Materials - Stainless steels - austenitic, ferritic, martensitic and duplex stainless steels - compositions, microstructures, properties
    • Welding and joining processes, weld metal, heat affected zones and weld cracking
    • Non-metallic Materials - Polymers and composites manufacturing issues, physical properties and  mechanical behaviour
    • Structure and properties and applications of ceramics. Principles underlying electrical and magnetic properties of materials.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the basic principles of material structures on a micro and macro scale, and be able to relate microstructure to mechanical performance
    • Explain how the chemical composition, microstructure and processing route for steels and non-ferrous alloys influence the resulting mechanical properties
    • Identify and apply methodologies for the  selection of specific materials (steels, stainless steels, polymers, composites, and corrosion resistant alloys) for different applications
    • Be able to relate fracture, corrosion and welding behaviour to particular alloys
    • Be able to select appropriate manufacturing processes for composites and ceramics
    • Relate magnetic and electrical behaviour of materials to specific materials.
  • Welding Processes and Equipment 1
    Module LeaderDr Supriyo Ganguly - Senior Lecturer
    • The arc
    • Process principles of GTAW
    • Advanced GTAW
    • Equipment for GTAW
    • Plasma arc welding and cutting
    • Metal transfer in consumable electrode processes
    • Process\ principles, operation and application of manual metal arc welding
    • Submerged arc welding
    • Electroslag welding
    • Electrogas welding.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the principles of the arc welding processes
    • Understand how these processes are selected, controlled, and applied to the various joint design requirements
    • Diagnose faults in arc welding processes
    • Know the safety issues associated with each process.
  • Welding Processes and Equipment 2
    Module LeaderDr Paul Colegrove - Senior Lecturer
    • Gas metal arc welding
    • Pressure welding, ultrasonic welding, explosive welding, diffusion bonding
    • Stud welding/mechanical fasteners
    • Resistance welding
    • Oxy-fuel gas welding
    • Thermal cutting and other edge preparation processes
    • Surfaces and spraying
    • Magnetically impelled arc welding
    • Brazing
    • Soldering
    • Preheating.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the principles of the non-arc welding processes
    • Understand how these processes are selected, controlled, and applied to the various joint design requirements
    • Diagnose faults in non-arc welding processes
    • Know the safety issues associated with each process.
  • Design of Welded Structures
    Module LeaderDr Paul Colegrove - Senior Lecturer
    • Fundamentals of strength of materials
    • Basics of weld design
    • Design principles of welded structures
    • Joint design – welded connections
    • Joint design – tolerances, welding symbols and standards
    • Behaviour of welded structures under different types of loading
    • Design of welded structures – static loading
    • Behaviour of welded structures under dynamic loading
    • Design for dynamic loading
    • Design for thermodynamic loading – pressure vessels, pipes, etc
    • Design of lightweight structures – aluminium and its alloys
    • Reinforcing – steel welded joints
    • Fundamentals of fracture and fatigue
    • Principles of fracture mechanics
    • Application of fracture mechanics to welded structures
    • Fatigue of welded structures.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the fundamentals of strength of materials
    • Understand basic weld design principles
    • Evaluate and apply welding symbols on drawings
    • Understand the different types of loading which welded structures are subjected to
    • Analyse the behaviour of structures under static loading
    • Analyse the behaviour of welded components under thermodynamic loading
    • Analyse the behaviour of welded components under dynamic loading
    • Understand the principles of fracture mechanics, and its application of welded structures
    • Understand the effect of fatigue on welded structures.
  • Management of Weld Quality
    Module LeaderDr Supriyo Ganguly - Senior Lecturer
    • Introduction to quality assurance
    • Weld quality standards – IS0 9000 and ISO 3834
    • Quality control during manufacture – weld procedure specification and qualification
    • Welder qualification
    • Introduction to Non-destructive examination (NDE) and types of weld imperfections
    • Fundamentals of NDE methods (dye penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current, acoustic emission, radiographic inspection)
    • Ultrasonic Inspection
    • Qualification and certification of NDE personnel
    • Health and Safety.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the principles of quality management
    • Apply National and International standards to achieve required weld quality
    • Specify, qualify and operate weld procedures to appropriate standards
    • Identify appropriate NDE techniques for welded fabrications, and have a basic understanding of interpretation of NDE examinations
    • Manage workplace practices to ensure adequate health and safety.
  • Advanced Welding Processes
    Module LeaderProfessor Stewart Williams - Professor of Welding Science and Engineering
    • Laser properties, fundamentals and types
    • Laser optics and optical materials
    • Laser material interaction
    • Laser welding including hybrid processes
    • Laser cutting and drilling
    • Laser surface treatment
    • Laser material processing systems
    • Advanced digital arc welding
    • Flux cored arc welding
    • Advanced modelling and monitoring of resistance welding
    • Friction stir welding
    • Additive manufacture.
    Intended learning outcomes

    On successful completion of this module the student will:

    • Understand the recent developments in welding technology and where these new processes can be used
    • Understand the physical principles behind the operation of these processes
    • Understand how to select the most appropriate welding system for a particular application and analyse the economic benefits
    • Understand the physical and engineering principles behind each application and the methods for maximising process efficiency.
  • Welding Metallurgy
    Module LeaderDr Supriyo Ganguly - Senior Lecturer
    • Metallographic examinations
    • Welding of aluminium, copper, and nickel based alloys
    • Joining dissimilar metals
    • Welding of castings – cast steel and cast iron
    • Wear and Protective Layers
    • Welding of Stainless Steels
    • Joining materials for low and high temperature applications.
    • Joining of coated steels
    • Case studies, welding failures
    • Joining processes for plastics
    • Joining processes for advanced materials – ceramics and composites.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the techniques and processes suitable for welding non-ferrous alloys
    • Apply physical metallurgy principles to explain the response of non-ferrous metals to welding
    • Interpret the microstructures of welds for a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys
    • Evaluate the causes of defects in welds
    • Recommend the procedures and methods necessary to prevent weld defects
    • Understand the principles involved in joining of non-metals.
  • Welding Systems and Research Methods
    Module LeaderDr Paul Colegrove - Senior Lecturer
    • Fundamentals of welding automation
    • Welding sensors and data acquisition
    • Welding process optimisation
    • Principles of robotic welding
    • Welding software
    • Project management
    • Critical evaluation of literature
    • Design and analysis of experiments
    • Evaluation and industrial implementation of research data
    • Welding and cutting laboratory
    • Economics of weld fabrication
    • Plant facilities, welding jigs and fixtures.
    Intended learning outcomes

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

    • Understand the physical and engineering principles of welding sensors, and automated and robotic welding systems
    • Develop skills in evaluation and assessment of research and industrial data, in constructing a critical literature review, in project management, in design of experiments and analysis of experimental data, in the use of conceptual thinking to reach logical conclusions based on research data, and in the application of research programmes in industry
    • Design a robotic welding cell that includes fixturing and sensing of the part, equipment for loading and unloading, labour requirements and an estimation of the time to manufacture
    • Calculate the cost of a typical robotic welding operation including labour costs, overhead costs, and consumable costs.


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 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 design projects.

Accreditation and partnerships

This qualification contributes to satisfaction of the Engineering Education and/or the Knowledge of Welding criteria used in the assessment of candidates for Professional Membership of The Welding Institute (TWI) and registration with the Engineering Council.

This qualification may also contribute to the assessment of candidates applying via the Alternative Route to study for the International Welding Engineer/Technologist/Specialist Diploma available through TWI.

This degree has also been accredited by the  Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council 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.

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.

Facilities and resources

The School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing operates facilities and associated equipment which are often unique to Cranfield. Welding Engineering Masters' students benefit from this infrastructure. The Welding Engineering Research Centre operates:

  • Robotic, automated and advanced arc welding equipment
  • Sensors, data acquisition, infrared and high-speed imaging cameras
  • Plasma physics monitoring equipment
  • Power sources including the latest technology developments such as TIG, cold metal transfer and multi wire MIG
  • High power laser systems including the UK's highest power fibre laser with an output of 8kW which can be combined with arc power sources for hybrid welding, a 2kW carbon dioxide laser
  • High brightness 300 W pulsed Nd-Yag laser with pulsed energies over 50 J and peak power of up to 9 kW for pulsed welding.
  • Laser micro-joining systems
  • Multiple wire, hot wire and powder feed systems for combination with the arc or laser sources for additive layer manufacture
  • Cryogenic CO2, heating and rolling systems for residual stress control and management
  • A hyperbaric welding chamber for offshore applications which holds world records for simulating deep water welding.

Additionally, Cranfield University operates an extensive range of metallographic and mechanical testing facilities, together with excellent materials characterisation laboratories. All these facilities are beneficial to students studying on our courses.

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.

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 develop diverse and rewarding careers in engineering management in a wide-range of organisations deploying welding technologies. Roles include the management of welding manufacturing operations, and management of design and fabrication of welded structures. The international nature of such activities means that career opportunities are not restricted to the UK. Cranfield graduates develop careers around the world.