This module can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

This module will provide students with an understanding of the design and performance of aviation propulsion systems for fixed-wing, rotary-wing and UAV applications.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 13 - 17 Nov 2023
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,925 Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Describe the principles of propulsion system design and operation,
  • Relate the design of propulsion system components to the overall system performance,
  • Critically analyse the performance of various types of propulsion units fitted to modern classes of aircraft.

Core content

Gas turbine fundamentals

Basic principles; thermodynamics; gas dynamics; dimensional analysis; ideal (Joule) gas turbine cycle.

Gas turbine components

Fixed-wing intakes; rotary-wing intakes; centrifugal-flow compressors; axial-flow compressors; combustion chambers; axial-flow turbines; nozzles.

Aviation internal combustion engines

Petrol engine (Carnot) cycle and applications, diesel engine cycle and application.


Aircraft propulsion; turboshaft cycle; turbojet cycle; turbofan cycle; the engine running line. STOVL aircraft applications. IC engine applications.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards the Military Aerospace and Airworthiness MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.


Professor Alistair Saddington
Dr Derek Bray
Professor Kevin Knowles


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

For further location and travel details

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.