Study for a Master of Design at Cranfield

The MDes portfolio within our Design programme has recently been reviewed. This is to ensure that our courses are attractive to prospective students and to make sure that the courses titles and student learning outcomes are relevant to future employers. As a result of the review we are launching new course titles, reorganising and renaming some courses and withdrawing others.

As part of this review, the decision has been taken to remove Design & Innovation for Sustainability from our portfolio for 2017/18 registration. We are confident that we can offer a suitable and exciting replacement and believe that the MDes in Innovation & Creativity in Industry is most closely aligned to this course. Below are links to the other MDes’s in our Design programme:

Design Strategy & Leadership

Digital Design & Strategic Communication

Technology Innovation & Management for the Circular Economy

Alternatively if you would like to discuss your options further please email enquiries@cranfield.ac.uk



design, strategy, leadership

At a glance

  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year
  • DurationOne year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual research project 40%
  • QualificationMDes, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

This course is for graduates who want to develop skills in design needed to address environmental impact while improving the competitiveness of successful business. You will leave equipped to work at the forefront of sustainable innovation across many industries.  

Why this course?

This course is about rethinking and re-engaging existing paradigms to stimulate new futures through a focus on the multiple perspectives of Design, Management, Engineering and Science and their engagement with innovation and sustainability.

There are numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study with us. 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 our library
  • consultancy to companies supporting their employees on part-time programmes, in relation to individual projects.

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:

  • Aspire Measurements
  • BRE
  • KTN Network
  • LA Design
  • ViaDynamics.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by a wide range of subject specialists both by our academic staff and practitioners from industry, who draw on their research expertise and industrial experience to provide a stimulating learning experience.

Course details

The course comprises eight one-week assessed modules, a group project and an individual project.

Group project

The group project provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. It addresses a real-life challenge in Design and Innovation and develops and refines students’ engagement with sustainability through the development of organisational, management and teamwork skills. 

For part-time students, a negotiated individual project usually replaces the group project. The dissertation project for part-time students has similar goals to the group project without the specific focus on group working.

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, our 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.

Individual project

The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge and overcome genuine problems in Design and Innovation for Sustainability. Many of the projects are supported by external organisations.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual research project 40%

University Disclaimer

Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2016–2017. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

Principles of Sustainability

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Burgess
Aim

    Human population growth and increased resource use per capita is placing unsustainable demands on the global ecosystem. This module explores sustainability using three approaches.  The “Ecosystem Service” approach provides a framework for society to address key environmental issues such as food production, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and water use.  The “Circular Economy” approach refers to the development of “restorative” industrial systems that are grounded on the lessons of non-linear, feedback-rich ecosystems.  The third approach is to explore the nexus between renewable energy, food, and other ecosystem services using per capita energy and food consumption. This module introduces and critiques the three approaches and examines their application to resolve real-world problems and create commercial opportunities.  

Syllabus
    • Moving from an “Empty World” to a “Full World”
    • The Ecosystem Service Approach (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and UK National Ecosystem Assessment)
    • Ecosystem processes and succession; the role of energy; feedback systems; biodiversity and system restoration
    • Using an ecosystem approach: quantifying trade-offs and synergies; improving water and nutrient management, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, enhancing stability, resistance and resilience
    • Introduction to the circular economy: opportunities for businesses; opportunities for consumers
    • How design, manufacturing practice and management can contribute to a circular economy
    • Case study: trade-offs, synergies, and opportunities to enhance well-being and ecosystem service provision in terms of energy, food, feed and wood for a case study area.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Critique the “ecosystem services”, “circular economy”, and “per capita energy use” approaches
  • Critique associated terms such as “human well-being”, “sustainability”, and “biodiversity”.
  • Explain the role of energy and feed-back systems in natural systems
  • Explain how an ecosystem service approach can help society to identify and make decisions regarding the use of ecological resources, with a focus on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, nutrient loss, and water use.
  • Explain how we can enhance the stability, resistance and resilience of natural systems.
  • Explain how the “circular economy” provides commercial opportunities
  • Explain how industrial activities such as design and manufacturing can promote a circular economy
  • Use a per capita approach to explore the synergies between food, feed, wood, and renewable energy production to guide decision making and identify opportunities in the context of a case-study.

Whole System Design

Module Leader
Syllabus
    On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
    • Identify the design trade-offs and demonstrate a knowledge of methods to address the more sustainable development of new products;
    • Discuss the definitions and scope associated with design for sustainability from different technical, environmental and social perspectives;
    • Critically evaluate the use of life-cycle assessment techniques for the appraisal of product and process development options;
    • Explore and synthesise concepts of design responsibility and the ethical agenda of designing for society;
    • Develop a systemic understanding of the link between design activity and organisational strategy as an approach to addressing environmentally and socially responsible design;
    • Identify and utilise case studies from across design disciplines that have adopted a holistic approach to the design of more innovative and sustainable solutions.
Intended learning outcomes
  • Introduction to the historical context of design for sustainability;
  • Exploration and critical analysis of multiple approaches to the design of more environmentally and socially responsible products, services and systems;
  • Design for Sustainable Service development and delivery;
  • Application of Lifecycle Assessment tools and techniques;
  • Design for sustainable behaviour: consideration of ethical and societal implications of consumer focused design;
  • Principles and practice of designing for sustainability: material selection, energy consumption, design for disassembly, material recovery, reuse, repair and recyclability;
  • Industry focused case studies demonstrating the adoption of a holistic approach to more innovative and sustainable solutions.

Creative Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

Module Leader
  • Dr Maarten van der Kamp
Aim

    The aim of this course is to promote productive and self-sustaining entrepreneurship. It provides students with a rigorous grounding in business analysis of entrepreneurship in order to prepare them for the risky, uncertain and challenging environment for new business ventures. It also requires students to immerse themselves in the real-life experience of launching new ventures. Therefore, students are required to either start their own business or contribute to the development of another venture while on the course.  

Syllabus
    • Developing People and Competencies and Being Creative.
    • Choosing a Sector and Developing an Entrepreneurial Idea.
    • Entrepreneurial risk, performance and environment
    • Business planning techniques and their application in entrepreneurial ventures
    • Venture strategy in dynamic markets
    • Start-up and resources to exploit a profit opportunity
    • The evolution of the venture and managing growth
    • Protecting and securing intellectual capital
    • Financial management for new ventures: financing a start-up.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Understand the key stages and challenges involved in identifying opportunities and strategies for business start-ups.
  • Manage and finance the early stages of new venture development and growth.
  • Evaluate, research, write, and present business plans using their knowledge of the entrepreneurial process.

Managing Innovation and New Product Development

Module Leader
  • Professor Keith Goffin
Syllabus
    • Introduction to five key areas of innovation management practice: ideas generation, strategy, prioritization, people and organization, and implementation.
    • Introduction to the dimensions of innovation: products, services, business processes and business model.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Understand the nature of innovation and identify the potential for innovation in an organization or network
  • Collect appropriate data on innovation performance and develop ideas to improve it
  • Develop a deep understanding of customer needs
  • Apply a number of key tools and techniques for managing innovation
  • Understand people issues in managing innovation, recognising its cross-functional nature.

Design and Brand Management

Module Leader
  • Williams, Dr Leon L.B.M.
Syllabus
    • The principles of human-centered branding and brand development
    • Brand as a service experience, brand and multiple touchpoints
    • Models of brand identity
    • Tools for human-centered brand analysis and development: customer journeys, story-telling, co-creation
    • The process of brand evolution and innovation.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Develop an understanding and knowledge of the brand driven innovation
  • Introduce and develop the ability to select and apply the principles of human-centred branding
  • Foster the ability to select and apply the principles of brand valuation
  • Introduce a knowledge and understanding of the principles and techniques for developing and managing brand experience, digital and non-digital
  • Understand and explain the role of human-centered brand in different market sectors
  • Evaluate and apply the principles of human-centered branding
  • Evaluate and apply the principles of brand valuation
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the principles and techniques for developing and managing digital and non-digital brand experience.

Consumer Trends

Module Leader
Syllabus
    • Market research methods
    • Market sensing
    • Trend analysis
    • Empathic design
    • Lifestyle Analysis
    • Personal cultures
    • Group lifestyle cultures
    • Lifestyles factor abstraction
    • Observation techniques
    • Co-design
    • Data Gathering and Analysis Techniques
    • Life observation
    • Activity Simulation methods
    • Developing prototypes
    • Applying questionnaires
    • Setting up and carrying out a Customer Lifestyle Observation Exercise.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • To develop a knowledge and understanding of new and established deep insight methods in studying user behaviour
  • Develop the ability to select and apply appropriate research methods to explore customer needs and desires
  • Understand and interpret data obtained and identify sustainable innovation drivers for end-consumers
  • Foster an understanding and knowledge of how to apply research information to applications within the commercial environment
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of new and established deep methods in studying user behaviour
  • Determine appropriate research methods to explore customer needs and desires
  • Interpret data obtained and identify sustainable innovation drivers
  • Apply research information to applications within the commercial environment.

Technology, Environment and Society

Module Leader
  • Dr Philip Longhurst
Aim

    While technological change is seen as the root cause of many environmental problems, it is simultaneously viewed as the means of solving such problems. This module explores technological change as part of positive sum strategies put forward by ecological modernisers. Theories of technological change are reviewed such as evolutionary, path dependent and long wave and used to formulate technology policy to achieve transition to a low carbon economy.

Syllabus
    • Ecological Modernisation, definition, key aspects, objectives and methodology
    • Development of associated policy frameworks, market failure, the role of governments, policies and mechanisms to address this
    • Innovation: Technology Development, transfer, adoption and diffusion
    • Innovation and sustainability, utility which process offers in this context, drivers and barriers
    • Integrated Sustainable Technology Assessment in context
    • Clusters, technology road-maps and the development of sustainable technologies: Renewable energy.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Identify and understand theories of technological change, e.g. linear, induced, path-dependent, evolutionary.
  • Appreciate the role of technological change in economic development, environmental protection and transitions to ecological modernisation
  • Understand the role of technological change in achieving transition to a low carbon economy
  • Give examples and explain technology options and policy initiatives to stimulate transitions, e.g. to a low carbon economy
  • Propose and concisely justify a proposal for a low-carbon initiative.

Programme and Project Management

Module Leader
Aim

    To introduce concepts and methodologies of project and programme management in the implementation of enterprise systems.

Syllabus
    • Demonstrate a suggested sequence for the key start-up phase of a project, leading to the production of a realistic Project Execution Plan
    • Undertake a simulation activity in order to apply and practice the tools and techniques, and to improve the decision making capability of the team.
    • Practice group based decision making
    • Develop an Executive Summary (a concise one page overview of the project) linking the project to higher level organisational objectives;
    • Scope the project by creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS);Identify key task sequences and the critical path using network (logic) diagramming;
    • Set up a graphical representation of the schedule using the bar chart (Gantt), and track progress against the baseline schedule;
    • Recognise appropriate levels of detail for the scoping and scheduling process, the change management, the progress reporting requirements and the delivery.
    • Develop and manage budgets and cash flow for a project;
    • Have used Earned Value techniques to assess achievement and produce forecasts.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Foster the use and awareness of project management tools and techniques
  • Apply and critically reflect upon the development of a financial process in a project management context
  • Undertake a simulation activity to put into practice the learned tools and techniques.
  • Analysis of the cause and effect of applying project management strategies.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year and the 2018 to 2019 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (21 April 2017).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MDes Full-time £7,800
MDes Part-time £1,500 *
PgDip Full-time £6,000
PgDip Part-time £1,500 *
PgCert Full-time £3,000
PgCert Part-time £1,500 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MDes Full-time £17,500
MDes Part-time £17,500 **
PgDip Full-time £14,500
PgDip Part-time £14,500 **
PgCert Full-time £7,000
PgCert Part-time £10,380 **
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,230 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • 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.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

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.

Future Finance Scholarship

All students starting a full-time Masters course in 2017/18 can apply for the Future Finance Scholarship worth £5,000 toward course tuition fees.

The Cranfield Scholarship

We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world applying for the 2017 intake. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England

A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK 

Santander MSc Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country. 

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries

Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans

Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.

Erasmus+ Student Loans

This new loan scheme for EU students is offered by Future Finance and European Investment Fund and provides smart, flexible loans of up to £9,300.

Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 – Industrial Design Studentships

Around 9 Studentships are offered each year for outstanding engineering or science graduates who wish to develop their capabilities in industrial design and who aspire to becoming leading designers in British industry.

The Richard Diehl Design Award

The Richard Diehl Design Award and Vectorworks Design Scholarship gives students in any discipline of design a chance to win funding of up to $US10,000.

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.

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.

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. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

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.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

Successful students secure positions where knowledge and experience of design, innovation, sustainability and management are essential attributes to engaging in new and emergent agendas. The course provides essential attributes in reframing and expanding the ways individuals and organisations think about sustainability through a design-led approach.

The primary focus of Centre for Competitive Creative Design (C4D) is embedding state-of-the-art, design-led innovation practice, developed through research and industry collaboration, within business and education to improve commercial performance and develop future innovation leaders.

Applying

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at this time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

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