Investigate the potential of applying nanotechnology through smart and functional materials to transform whole sectors of industry from healthcare to energy. This course covers the technologies to design, realise and analyse micro and nano-scale devices, materials and systems.

At a glance

  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year
  • DurationOne year full-time, two-five years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for graduates with science, engineering or related degrees keen to develop careers at the cutting edge of micro-engineering; graduates currently working in industry keen to extend their qualifications or individuals with other qualifications who possess considerable relevant experience.

Why this course?

There are numerous benefits associated with undertaking a postgraduate programme of study at Cranfield University, including:

  • Study in a postgraduate-only environment where Masters' graduates can secure positions in full-time employment in their chosen field, or undertake academic research
  • Teaching by leading academics as well as industrial practitioners
  • Work alongside a strong research team
  • Dedicated support including extensive information resources managed by Cranfield University's library
  • Consultancy to companies supporting their employees on part-time programmes, in relation to individual projects.

Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. Students who have excelled have their performances recognised through course awards. The awards are provided by high profile organisations and individuals, and are often sponsored by our industrial partners. Awards are presented on Graduation Day.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by industry-active research academics from Cranfield with an established track record, supported by visiting lecturers from industry. To ensure the programme is aligned to industry needs, the course is directed by an Industrial Advisory Committee.


Accreditation

The MSc in Applied Nanotechnology is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3), Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET), Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.  Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Please note accreditation applies to the MSc award. PgDip and PgCert do not meet in full the further learning requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Course details

The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project. The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests. These provide the 'tools' required for the group and individual projects.

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. 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

Students select the individual project in consultation with the Course Director. The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual 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 2017–2018. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2018 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

General Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Yuchun Xu
Aim

    To give an introduction to some of the key general management, personal management and project management skills needed to influence and implement change.


Syllabus
    • Management Accounting Principles and Systems;
    • Personal style and team contribution, interpersonal dynamics, leadership, human and cultural diversity;
    • Project Management: structure and tools for project management
    • Introduction to standards: awareness of standards, relevant standards (quality, environment and H&S), value of using standards, management of the standard and audit.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Understand the objectives, principles, terminology and systems of management accounting.
2. Have an appreciation of inter-relationships between functional responsibilities in a company.
3. Have a practical understanding of different management styles, team roles, different cultures, and how the management of human diversity can impact organisational performance.
4. Have an understanding of structure, aspects, and tools for project management.
5. Critique the role of standards and their management in manufacturing.

Foundation in Materials for Nanotechnology

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Jones
Aim

    The purpose of this module is to provide a broad qualitative understanding of selected parts of materials science relevant to engineering structures and microsystems and nanotechnology. It also introduces concepts of team working, self-study and self-management, Cranfield’s structure, and essential issues relevant to management in a technical environment.


Syllabus
    • Introduction to materials: atomic structure, crystal structure, imperfections, diffusion, mechanical properties, dislocations and strengthening mechanisms, phase diagrams, phase transformations, solidification.
    • Introduction to non-metallic materials — polymers, composites, ceramics.
    • Survey of materials central to microengineering and nanotechnology.
    • Review of microelectronics manufacture and introduction to MST.
    • Overview of microsystems and microfabrication technologies.
    • Introduction to electrical & functional properties of materials
    Review of nanotechnology Nanoscale devices.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe basic principles of material structures on micro and macro scales.
2. Be able to relate microstructure to mechanical performance.
3. Explain phase diagrams.
4. Describe the terms, concepts and ideas current in microsystems and nanotechnology.
5. Describe the technologies used for the manipulation, patterning and removal of materials at the micron and nanometre scale.

Engineering Microdevices

Module Leader
Aim

    To provide specialist training in batch MEMS manufacturing techniques. The module will explore fabrication technologies for realising microdevices and modern day microsystems.

Syllabus
    • Batch semiconductor and processing
    • Silicon and non Si MEMS fabrication
    • Basic analytical modelling techniques
    • Microfluidic, RF-MEMS, Opto-MEMS applications
    • Wafer bonding
    • Processing issues for MEMS
    • Statistical analysis for industrial fabrication lines.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe the manufacturing techniques used for MEMS fabrication.
2. Relate thin film and bulk material properties to the fabrication and function of microdevices.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of microdevice design and modelling.
4. Evaluate microdevices and propose routes by which they could be manufactured.
5. Identify and analyse manufacturing defects in micro devices and propose relevant solutions.
6. Understand the polymer fabrication techniques that can be used to produce microfluidic devices.
7. Differentiate the compatibility of materials and processing for ceramic materials in MEMS.
8. Demonstrate an awareness of current research and potential applications for functional materials and devices within RF and optical MEMS industrial sectors.
9. Undertake independent research/feasibility/design study related to functional microdevices involving critical evaluation of the literature, process layout and evaluation of the results.
10. Distinguish between merits and requirements of a range of wafer bonding techniques, including eutectic, anodic and silicon direct bonding.

Nano and Microscale Rapid Prototyping Manufacture

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Jones
Aim
    The purpose of this module is to provide specialist training in nano and micro scale manufacturing techniques. The module will explore innovative micro and nanoscale fabrication technologies for realising modern day nano and microsystems.
Syllabus
    • Nano Self Assembly
    • Micro direct write technologies
    • Material interaction rules & challenges
    • Design rules of micro & nano manufacture
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe the operation of nano & micro scale manufacturing techniques.
2. Recognise and evaluate applications of rapid prototyping at the nano and micro scale.
3. Apply fabrication and design rules to the manufacture of micro & nano devices.
4. Evaluate nano/micro devices and propose routes by which they could be manufactured.

Nano and Micro Technologies for Energy

Module Leader
  • Dr Qi Zhang
Aim

    To provide specialist training on role of nano and microtechnology in energy generation, storage and distribution with a focus on distributed energy solutions. The module will explore the way in which different functional and nano materials can be used and structured in the field of energy.


Syllabus
    • Piezo & pyro electric, conducting, semi conducting, magnetic, thermoelectric
    • Nano & Micro devices for energy
    • Piezo harvesters
    • Solid oxide fuel cells
    • Battery & supercapacitor technologies
    • Thermoelectrics
    • PV & solar cells
    • Nano & micro for hydrogen and storage
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Describe the operation of a range of small scale energy devices.
2. Select and develop a local energy solution for different environmental situations.
3. Design small scale energy generators utilising micro and/or nano scale structures.
4. Critically evaluate novel energy devices.

Finite Element Analysis

Module Leader
  • Dr Ioannis Giannopoulos
Aim

    The course is aimed at giving potential Finite Element USERS basic understanding of the inner workings of the method.

    The objective is to introduce users to the terminology, basic numerical and mathematical aspects of the method. This should help students to avoid some of the more common and important user errors, many of which stem from a "black box" approach to this technique. Some basic guidelines are also given on how to approach the modelling of structures using the Finite Element Method.


Syllabus
    • Background to Finite Element Methods (FEM) and applicability to different situations.
    • Illustration of basics of FEM using the Direct Stiffness method to define both terminology and theoretical approach.
    • Introduction to FE modelling: Idealisation, Discretisation, Meshing. ‘Do’s and don’ts’ of modelling. Potential Energy methods for structures and their use in Finite Elements.
    • FE method for continua illustrated with membrane and shell elements.
    • Accuracy considerations: higher order elements, isoparametric elements.
    • The role of numerical integration and methods used in FE.
    • Problems of large systems of equations for FE, and solution methods. Sub structuring.
    • The SAFESA approach for tracking and controlling errors in a finite element analysis.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Understand the underlying principles and key aspects of practical application of FEA to structural problems.
2. Understand the main mathematical and numerical aspects of the element formulations for 1D, 2D and 3D elements.
3. Build and analyse finite element models based on structural and continuum elements with proper understanding of limitations of the FEM.
4. Interpret results of the analyses and assess error levels.
5. Critically evaluate the constraints and implications imposed by the finite element method.
6. Extend their knowledge and skills to the FE analysis of more complex structures on their thesis work.

Nanotechnology

Module Leader
  • Dr Sameer Rahatekar
Aim

    To provide overview and specialist training on a wide-ranging applications of nanotechnology. The module will explore the mechanisms that operate at the nanoscale and how they can be harnessed for beneficial effects in the fields such as materials, engineering, biology and medicine.


Syllabus
    • Scaling law and why is nano unique
    • Nanoscale interaction, structure and property characterisation
    • 1D, 2D and 3D nanostructure and nanotechnology
    • Carbon structures: graphene, carbon nanotubes, carbon fiber and carbon nanotube composites
    • Nanomechanics
    • Bio nano interface and Bio nanosystems
    • Nano in sensors, transducers and medicine
    • Policy, regulations, and safety issues associated with Nano
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Understand how nanostructuring of materials alters the characteristics of the material.
2. Identify and propose approaches on how nanotechnology could be used to achieve a desired outcome.
3. Critically evaluate the claims of ‘nano’ products.
4. Evaluate the potential effects of different ‘nanotechnology’, both in terms of specific actions and also wider connotations.

Functional Coatings and Thin Films

Module Leader
  • Professor Jose L. Endrino
Aim

    To provide an understanding of the role that surfaces play in materials behaviour; concentrating on multiple functionalities (mechanical, optical, biomedical, catalytic, electronic, and self-healing) of thin film and coating systems. To introduce the concepts of functional surface engineering and how it may be used to optimise a components performance. To introduce suitable analytical techniques used to evaluate and characterise surfaces and thin samples.


Syllabus
    • Philosophy of functional surface engineering, general applications and requirements.
    • Principles and design of optical coatings.
    • Physics of the plasma state and plasma surface interactions.
    • Surface engineering as part of a manufacturing process.
    • Integrating coating systems into the design process.
    • Coating manufacturing processes; Electro deposition. Auto-catalytic deposition, physical and chemical vapour deposition, Ion-beam techniques, plasma spray deposition.
    • Analytical Techniques: X-ray diffraction, TEM, SEM and EDX analysis, surface analysis by AES and XPS, overview of synchrotron-radiation based techniques for thin films.
    • Data interpretation and approaches to materials analysis.
    • Coating systems for mechanical applications, Multilayered coating architectures.
    Applications of functional films in electronic, catalysis and biomedical applications.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate understanding and critical awareness of the concepts of surface engineering.
2. Explain the foundations of physical vapour deposition, chemical vapour deposition and other coating technologies and be able to critically appraise their relevance to industry.
3. Describe and critically discuss the systematic application of alternative technologies to fabricate coating systems.
4. Contrast the mechanisms of coatings growth and review their relevance to industry.
5. Design new coating-substrate systems for multiple applications.
6. Give examples of functional characteristics of thin film materials and evaluate the most suitable characterisation technique(s) for the given surface problems.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in 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.


MSc Full-time £10,000
MSc Part-time £1,635 *
PgDip Full-time £8,000
PgDip Part-time £1,635 *
PgCert Full-time £4,400
PgCert Part-time £1,635 *
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,415 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • 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.
  • 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.


MSc Full-time £20,000
MSc Part-time £20,000 **
PgDip Full-time £16,200
PgDip Part-time £16,200 **
PgCert Full-time £8,100
PgCert Part-time £11,760 **
  • * The annual registration fee is quoted above and will be invoiced annually. An additional fee of £1,415 per module is also payable on receipt of invoice. 
  • ** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • 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.
  • 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 find and secure 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.

Global Manufacturing Leadership Masters Scholarship
The Cranfield Global Manufacturing Leadership (GML) scholarships, provided by Cranfield Manufacturing contributes towards the costs of study (tuition fee plus £1000 maintenance grant). Awards are made for a maximum duration of one calendar year for full time study.

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.

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.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)
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.

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.

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.


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:

IELTS Academic – 6.5 overall
TOEFL – 92
Pearson PTE Academic – 65
Cambridge English Scale – 180
Cambridge English: Advanced – C
Cambridge English: Proficiency – C

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

Successful students will secure positions in the newly developing microsystems and nanotechnology-based industries as well as more traditional industries, such as microelectronics and precision engineering, requiring skills related to those taught. Graduates are able to pursue careers in a diverse range of industries including automotive, aerospace, cosmetics and pharmaceutical.

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.

Apply Now