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 taught postgraduate mechanical engineering students in the UK, HESA 2020/21.
- 36% of postgraduate aeronautical and aerospace engineering students, the largest in the UK, come to study at Cranfield, HESA 2020/21.
- We have the second largest number of postgraduate production and manufacturing engineering students in the UK, HESA 2020/21.
- In the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, we are ranked in the global top 30 for Engineering – Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing.
- Cranfield is in the global top 150 for ‘Business and Management Studies’ and the top 200 for ‘Environmental Sciences’ in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023.
- Cranfield was recognised by the UK Office for Students in 2022 as a world-leading specialist provider in recognition of our global reputation for high quality teaching and the ongoing impact of our graduates on their professions and industries.
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.
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 21% of UK PhDs in aeronautical and aerospace engineering each year), HESA 2020/21.
- We're 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 2020/21.
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 WhichMBA? 2022 Full-time Rankings, Cranfield School of Management was ranked first in the world for ratio of alumni to current students (part of “potential to network” ranking), second in the UK and top 20 in the world for quality of faculty, top three in the UK for educational experience and top five in the UK for salary outcomes.
- In the Financial Times Masters in Finance Pre-experience ranking 2022, Cranfield School of Management's Finance and Management MSc was ranked eighth in the UK and 44th in the world.
More information on our School of Management rankings.
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.
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