The Centre for Systems and Technology Management provides opportunities for research degree study in various areas of systems engineering. In PhD study the student is expected to make a significant contribution to knowledge in their field. This leads to a PhD usually making a deep contribution to a specific aspect of systems engineering which either advances theory, tests theory or applies theory. In each case the result is expected to make a contribution that is generalisable to a wider class of cases than just the specifics that were investigated.

Find out more about research degrees at Cranfield

Areas of study and supervision leaders available

The Group has three academic staff able to provide the leading role in supervision of PhD students, each of whom has interest in certain systems engineering topics:

Dr Tim Ferris
Subject areas of interest: engineering for resilience, life cycle costing of systems, research methodologies in systems engineering.

Dr Pathmeswaran Raju
Subject areas of interest: model-based systems engineering (MBSE), requirements engineering, systems architecture, software and cyber systems engineering, autonomy in systems design, human-machine teaming.

Dr Fanny Camelia
Subject areas of interest: systems thinking, human systems engineering, project management/systems engineering crossover, systems engineering education.

Rich Fisher
Subject areas of interest: comparative historical analysis, small arms and combat systems.

How to progress your interest

PhD projects are individual to each student, and are shaped to combine their objectives, interest, ability, and circumstances. The best pathway to enrolling in a PhD is to negotiate a project concept with the member of staff you would like to work with as your primary supervisor, based on their interests and background. You should contact the individual to express your interest in potential PhD studies and describe, very briefly (such as one or two sentences), the kind of subject in which you are interested. This will lead to a process of discussion in which you will be led through the process of proposing a project suitable for a PhD, and to make an application for study.

If your area of interest seems different from the areas of interest of the staff listed above, please contact us because we may still be able to provide help in finding a way forward.

Depending on the subject matter of your proposed project and other factors, we can provide accommodation for PhD students at either the Cranfield campus, at Cranfield, or the Defence Academy at Shrivenham. This will be discussed in the pre-application communications.

Entry requirements

Details can be found on our entry requirements web page.

Fees and costs

The fees and costs for study of a research degree are available on our research tuition fee web page.

The table of costs is amended by the University from time to time when the information changes and the detail of terms and conditions is described in the footnotes.

To use the table to determine the fees and charges that would apply in your case:

  1. Decide the degree in which your are interested – in our Centre this is most likely Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Master of Philosophy (MPhil).
  2. Determine whether you are a ‘Home student’ or ‘Overseas student’. If you are uncertain, please contact the University to find out.
  3. Determine whether you will study full-time or part-time.
  4. Find the base tuition fee (in the first four columns as appropriate to your answers).
  5. There is an Additional Fee Element (AFE) charge in two classes: ‘non-technical’ and ‘technical’. This will be determined when the detail of your proposed project is discussed. As a broad guide, a project involving laboratory work will be classed as ‘technical’ and one involving only desk-based activity and library work is likely to be classed ‘non-technical’. The AFE rate depends on whether the candidature is full-time or part-time.

Self-funded candidates need to provide for their own living expenses.

Further information about fees and funding

Further information can be found on our fees and funding web page, with links to several topics found by scrolling down.

We also offer a Cranfield University alumni fee discount scheme.