A number one UK university

We are a specialist postgraduate university with world-class, large-scale facilities and a staff-to-student ratio that is one of the best for any university in the UK. Our global success is reflected in our rankings and awards:

  • We have the largest number of postgraduate engineering students in the UK, HESA 2019/20.
  • 48% of all aeronautical and aerospace postgraduate students in the UK study at Cranfield each year, the most of any UK university, HESA 2019/20.
  • We offer more master's courses in production and manufacturing engineering than any other UK university, HESA 2019/20.
  • We are ranked tenth in the UK for commercial research, consultancy and professional development, HESA 2019/20.
  • Cranfield ranks fifth in the UK for Engineering – Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022.

The Times Higher Education World Rankings, The Times World Rankings, The Complete University Guide and The Guardian, which focus on helping prospective undergraduate students to compare universities, don't list Cranfield University as we are postgraduate only.

Research rankings

Our research is industry-relevant and informed by our close links to business:

  • 88% of the research at Cranfield is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent, Research Excellence Framework 2021. This score informs the allocation of research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Read more about our research.
  • In 2020, Cranfield supported ZeroAvia in achieving the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft, with the milestone taking place at the company’s research and development facility at Cranfield Airport.
  • We're number one in aeronautical and aerospace engineering PhDs (Cranfield awards 26% of UK PhDs in aeronautical and aerospaoce engineering each year), HESA 2019/20.
  • We are number one in production and manufacturing engineering PhDs (Cranfield awards more PhDs in production and manufacturing engineering than any other UK university every year) , HESA 2019/20.

Cranfield School of Management rankings

Cranfield School of Management consistently ranks highly for its MBAs, management qualifications and executive education:

  • Cranfield School of Management’s Management MSc was ranked 5th in the UK and 36th in the world in The Economist Which MBA? Masters in Management (MiM) 2021 ranking
  • In the Financial Times Executive Education rankings 2020, Cranfield School of Management is ranked among the top 40 business schools in the world and one of the top 10 in the UK for both its open and customised executive development programmes. We are in the top 15 in the world for the international reach of our customised programmes.
  • In the Economist Which MBA? MBA rankings 2021, Cranfield School of Management was ranked first in the world for the breadth of its alumni network and first in the UK for the effectiveness of its alumni network.
  • In the Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal World University Rankings 2019 – Business School Report Master’s in Finance, our Finance and Management MSc is ranked second in the UK, fourth in Europe and sixth in the world.

More information on our School of Management rankings.

HR Excellence in Research

 panel panel hr excellence in research

The University was awarded the prestigious European award for HR Excellence in Research in June 2015.

Read our application and action plan.

Progress against 2015 action plan
2017 action plan

Progress against 2017 action plan
2019 action plan

2019 updated action plan

Progress against 2019 action plan
2021 action plan

Six-time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize

The high-quality and distinctive nature of our work has been recognised through numerous prizes and awards, including the award of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education on six separate occasions, for our:

  • Flying classrooms and laboratories: delivering in-flight aerospace engineering training for the worldwide aviation industry, 2019.
  • Research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources, 2017.
  • Education and research into safe water and sanitation for the world's poorest communities, 2015.
  • World-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation, 2011.
  • Role in humanitarian demining, 2007.
  • Fellowship in Manufacturing Management, 2005.

Find out more about Cranfield's Queen's Anniversary Prize

Philip Aspinall

Above all, Cranfield is about its people. I am really proud of the impact our collective efforts have locally, nationally and internationally and the wide range of students and organisations that benefit from our work.

Philip Aspinall, Chief Operating Officer