Study for a Master of Design at Cranfield

In today’s competitive world, business success depends increasingly on the ability to innovate. Business leaders are already recognising the importance of how creative practice and process can improve product and service development and design thinking in shaping business strategy.

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?

The course develops creative design literate engineers, scientists and management postgraduates. It is suitable for graduates from a variety of disciplines who recognise the importance of how creative practice and process can improve product and service development.

Why this course?

The aim of this Master of Design (MDes) programme in Innovation and Creativity in Industry is to equip candidates with skills and capabilities in, and knowledge of, fact-based creative design approaches to improve organisation effectiveness. The programme has been developed in conjunction with the University of Arts London (UAL) through the Centre for Competitive Creative Design, which aims to inspire organisations to apply creative design capability and enhance competitiveness.

There is a strong emphasis on applying knowledge in the industrial or business environment and the programme is taught in the context of practical application. Students will develop a working knowledge of the use of a comprehensive range of industry standard ICT tools and practices to formally capture and re-use knowledge, information and data. Students will also benefit from practical experience in creative design practices through the group project (dissertation for part-time students). In addition, the extensive individual thesis project provides industry-led education in creative design applications.

The primary focus of the Centre for Competitive Creative Design 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

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 from Cranfield with support from industrial professionals who draw on their expertise and industrial experience to provide stimulating and relevant input to the learning experience.


Course details

The course comprises eight one-week assessed modules a group design project, which includes individual concept development through collaboration, and an individual design project resulting in a public exhibition.

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.


Individual project

The individual design project provides you with the opportunity to enhance your independent learning ability and knowledge by developing solutions to real problems in an industrially relevant area.

The subject of the project is agreed between the student and the supervisor and will normally be based around part of the taught material and/or a company problem.

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

Technology and Prototyping

Module Leader
Aim

    To introduce requirement capture and management and concept creation fundamentals, techniques and practices consistent with early stages of new product development processes.

Syllabus
    • Basic introduction to Open Innovation and Technology Readiness Levels
    • Basic Induction to the technology readiness levels
    • Understand the benefits of ‘good’ requirements engineering, requirements engineering process, types of requirements, how to write a ‘good’ requirement, industrial practice in requirements engineering and management, hands on practice with professional software, roles of consumer research, benchmarking and management in successful new product development, the impact of creativity and innovation methods on new product development, User Centric Design-Driven Design, hands on practice using a market leading software. Concept development manifested in a design proposition.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Identify and write design specification requirements for a new product, service or system.
  • Discuss, plan and build low fidelity prototypes using design best practice and agile innovation techniques.
  • Critically evaluate industrial best practice tools and techniques for converting an idea into commercially viable solutions.
  • Reflect upon the value of technology readiness levels used as an innovation process.
  • Foster awareness of creative thinking within a multi-disciplinary team using self and group reflective technique.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Smart Materials and Processes

Module Leader
Aim

    This module aims to support the professional and personal development of students with a design and engineering background at an MSc level. This module provides insight into the latest cutting-edge design and manufacturing technologies and improves knowledge skills necessary for developing products that will create an impact in the global market. This module is shared by the two courses MSc in Global Product Development and MDes Innovation and Creativity in Industry.

Syllabus
    • Learn about nano and micro-materials technology.
    • Biomimetic.
    • Applied design using smart materials and processes.
    • Design and technology using Additive Manufacturing (focus on Wire and Arc AM with metal)
    • Applied global product patenting and product legislation.
    • Design using robots and metal.
    • Professional presentation skills training.
    • Research task: solving design challenges using SM&P technology.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of advanced modern manufacturing technology.
  • Research into applied design using innovative materials, technologies and processes.
  • Enhance knowledge and understanding of a range of materials within the context of contemporary design.
  • Demonstrate new skills on global product legislation.
  • Improve presentation skills.
  • Develop management skills around the application of smart material and processes for innovative design.

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.

The Spotcap Fintech Fellowship

The Spotcap Fintech Fellowship is worth £8,000 for UK students pursuing a postgraduate degree in study related to financial technology.

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

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

Cranfield has an international reputation and track record in industrial research for applied sciences, engineering and management. Cranfield University is recognised internationally as the leading UK educational institution in art and design, named in Business Week as one of the worlds best design schools.

There is a recognised skills shortage in competitive creative design. Graduates of this course are therefore sought after by employers and will be able to secure positions within a range of sectors. Roles are varied, ranging from managers of people to design managers in creative industries. Graduates will possess a combination of science-based skills with creative insight which is increasingly desirable for employers looking to enhance productivity performance in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

2016 03 Cranfield Grey Teaser DesignStrategyLeadershipt 01

I would recommend the course as the Cranfield experience is not something that I believe many other universities offer. The focus on industry means that the course is highly relevant to industry, increasing career prospects and enriching the experience.

Dale Walker, Student

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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