Study an Environment MSc at Cranfield

In today’s lean economic climate, alternative energy strategies and clean technologies (Cleantech) present unique challenges to technology commercialisation. Cleantech will play a vital role in developing successful low carbon economies worldwide, and it needs trained personnel to achieve this.

Cleantech refer to any process, product or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities, and includes a broad range of technology relating to recycling, renewable energy, energy efficiency, greywater, etc. 

The MSc in Cleantech Entrepreneurship combines Cranfield’s strengths in environmental science, engineering and entrepreneurship to equip future leaders in the Cleantech sector with the knowledge and skills to develop and commercialise technologies when an opportunity has been identified.

To find out more about Cleantech Entrepreneurship and the impact it is having on industry read our blog by Dr Maarten van der Kamp and Professor Frederic Coulon.

Why study Environment at Cranfield? - hear from Tim Brewer.


  • Start dateOctober
  • DurationOne year full-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

The MSc in Cleantech Entrepreneurship is an innovative course for entrepreneurial individuals who are driven to create environmental, social and economic value through technological innovation. The course is intended for the following range of students:

  • Students with a background in environmental management, engineering (environmental, mechanical, electrical or water), or physical sciences
  • Students with a background in business and management, innovation or entrepreneurship
  • Graduates currently in employment keen to extend their qualifications or to pursue a change in career
  • Individuals with other qualifications but who possess considerable relevant experience.

This is an ideal course for environmental and applied scientists, engineers, business and management students / professionals. It is unique in that students completing the course will retain their background, so if your background is engineering your career will typically progress to become a Chief Technology Officer in a cleantech venture, whereas if your background is from business or management you are more likely to take on a CEO role or commercial role within a venture. The MSc itself is from Cranfield University, so it is not an MSc in engineering or in business – it is in technology entrepreneurship, providing you with a specialist set of transferable skills.

Foreseen careers upon completion will include Cleantech entrepreneurs serving as CEOs and CTOs, entrepreneurs and R&D Managers in industry, and policy makers for the water-energy-resource sector.

Your career

Successful students develop diverse and rewarding careers in environmental technology ventures either as founder, CEO or CTO, or as part of the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem supporting cleantech commercialisation, i.e. government ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental and business consultancies, public sector organisations and the manufacturing and service industries in the private sector.

Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in the circular economy has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates.

Cranfield Careers Service
Our Careers Service can help you find the job you want after leaving Cranfield. We will work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. The increasing interest in sustainability and corporate and social responsibility has also enhanced the career prospects of our graduates.

Why this course?

The MSc in Cleantech Entrepreneurship provides students with an understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in developing and commercialising sustainable technologies, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, water treatment/management, waste management, and resource efficiency. The objective is to develop individuals’ entrepreneurial mind-set and the skills required to create environmental, social and economic value focused on the innovation of clean technologies.

The specific aims are to enable you to:

  • Develop a greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in the development and management of the water, energy and resource network. These resources are inextricably linked, which means the actions in one area impact on others
  • Obtain an in-depth knowledge of the key challenges in the management of renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of water treatment and management, and to apply this knowledge to their organisations
  • Evaluate how alternative strategies to traditional fundraising and operational models can help early-stage ventures succeed. Examples include partnerships with large strategic players, ‘lean’ product development, and risk-sharing at the proof-of-concept phase.

In terms of the technologies, the course covers all forms of clean technologies, i.e. all renewable energy modalities and smart grids, water and wastewater management, resource management (including extraction of energy and resources from waste), agrifood systems etc. These form the basis for your own project, where we would encourage you to bring in your own expertise to create an idea that will make a difference in the world. So your background in space I could see translating into for example concentrated solar power solutions, but also perhaps technologies that need to perform under extreme conditions (polar or desert conditions).


Informed by Industry

Throughout the course there will be many opportunities to work on real life problems through group work. For example, during one of the modules you will be developing a commercialisation plan for an emerging Cranfield-based clean technology, during the group work stage you will be working on a problem provided by one of our industrial partners, and during your final, individual project you will work on a business plan for a new venture or for one of the cleantech ventures around Cranfield. The work with such partners will take the form of an internship to develop a plan for a cleantech idea.

We have close ties with the Cambridge Cleantech Cluster and a group of cleantech ventures in London, and with some highly experienced people in the field of cleantech finance who will be coming in on a regular basis to mentor the students and to share their experiences – and if you have particular ideas about the kind of mentor you’d like to meet we will work with you to explore possibilities to bring in the right people. 

This course is supported by Mark Woodall, a serial cleantech entrepreneur and angel investor, and will feature strong input from other experts in the sector. These include:

Anglian Water Atkins
Bombardier Babcock
BAE Systems BT
Golder Associates Holsim Energy
Oakdene Hollins Mott MacDonald
Unilever Ricardo Energy & Environment
Rolls-Royce RSK
Severn Trent Water SITA UK
Thames Water Viridor WRc PLC

Course details

The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.

Group project

Group projects are usually sponsored by industrial or public sector partners who provide particular issues / challenges linked to their businesses. Running between February and April the project enables you to put the skills and knowledge developed during the course modules into practice in an applied context while gaining transferable skills in project management, teamwork and independent research.

These projects, which are tailored to a group’s academic and professional experience, will develop a range of skills, including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, and delivering technical presentations. They also allow you to network and build industry connections, vital for developing your career.

At the end of the project, all groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industrial partner. This presentation provides the opportunity to develop interpersonal and presentation skills within a professional environment. The project is assessed through a written report and an oral presentation by the group. In addition, a poster exhibition provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner.

Individual project

The individual research project enables you to delve deeper into a specific area of interest. As our academic research is closely connected to industry and public sector organisations, often our partners put forward real-world problems or areas of development as potential research topics. This means you have the opportunity to develop solutions to real problems - either undertaking the project within the company or working at Cranfield using the University's equipment and facilities.

The individual research project component takes place between April/May and August.


Taught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual project 40%


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 compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 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


    The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills relevant for the management of new ventures across the entrepreneurial life cycle.  The course will also act to prepare students who want to undertake an internship for a new venture as part of their thesis on the MSc in Management.
    • The Entrepreneurial Profile and Self-Assessment
    • The Economic Environment for Entrepreneurs
    • Entrepreneurial Strategy & Risk Management
      • Managing business Start-up & Survival
      • Managing Growth and Exit
    • Business Planning: approaches and methodology
    • Venture Finance
    • Public Policy
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Evaluate their own motivation and skills as they relate to entrepreneurship.
  • Assess the impact of the business environment on entrepreneurial opportunity and strategy.
  • Identify determinants of the performance of new ventures.
  • Understand how managerial challenges vary across the entrepreneurial life cycle.
  • Assess the extent to which different types of ventures are a good fit for their skills, personal interests and willingness to take risk.
  • Manage risk in new ventures.
  • Assess the likely financial needs of a new venture and pitch for finance.
  • Do due diligence on new ventures.
  • Develop and write a credible business plan for a new venture.

Entrepreneurial Finance

Module Leader
  • Dr Stephanie Hussels
    • The aim of this elective is to make students familiar with the principles of entrepreneurial finance.
    • It provides students with an overview of the different sources of funding available across the entrepreneurial life cycle and equips them with clear guidelines on which type should be adopted at which stage.
    • In particular, debt and equity funding will be covered during class as well as new emerging alternatives such as crowdfunding.
    • Moreover, students will learn a variety of techniques for early-stage business valuation, and how to prepare a term sheet.
    • This is a very practical module, enabling students to assess business plans and develop a funding strategy for an entrepreneurial venture.
    • During and between classes students will be required to research information and complete application exercises.
    • Funding across the entrepreneurial life cycle: Bank vs equity finance.
    • Alternative sources of funding: Crowdfunding and other emergent channels.
    • Valuing early-stage businesses: Tools and techniques.
    • Term sheets: Content and structure.
    • Preparing an investment pitch.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Identify, discriminate between and describe in detail the varied sources of funding available to entrepreneurs across the entrepreneurial life-cycle.
  • Apply company valuation techniques.
  • Grasp, evaluate and apply the essential components and structure of a term sheet for early-stage businesses seeking equity investment.
  • By completion, students will be able to assess business plans and identify the appropriate sources of funding for entrepreneurial businesses.
  • Demonstrate their ability to prepare an investment pitch to raise funding.  

Clean Technologies in Water Energy and Food Nexus

Module Leader
  • Professor Frederic Coulon

    The aim of the module is to introduce the international priorities under the umbrella of the Water-Energy-Food nexus across sectors and scales. The module is premised on the understanding that environmental resources are inextricably intertwined and therefore there is a need of advancing a nexus approach to enable integrated and sustainable management of water, energy and food systems. Students will learn and evaluate a range of innovative technologies that provide significant gains in terms of provision and management of energy, water and food and resources.

    • Water-energy-food nexus approaches
    • Solar energy technologies, concentrated solar power
    • Water and wastewater treatment technologies
    • Bioenergy including anaerobic digestion and biogas upgrade/cleanup
    • Nutrient and resource recovery
    • Renewable energy
    • Water and sustainable Agrifood systems
    • Decision support technology

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Critically appraise the key issues related to water-energy-food nexus challenges
  • Critically evaluate the opportunities in the development and management of the water-energy-resource nexus, tailored to specific sectoral needs.
  • Appraise the key indicators for clean technologies

Energy Production Emissions Control, Carbon Capture and Transport

Module Leader
  • Dr Kumar Patchigolla

    Energy supply involves the integration of electricity and heat generation technologies (along with nuclear and renewable options) combined with the transmission and distribution to customers. This module provides a basic understanding of current and future systems, the technologies required for compliance with current environmental legislation and the developments to meet future restrictions on the emission of greenhouse gases, primarily CO2. CO2 capture and storage represent a viable near-term option to reduce CO2 emissions from current and future electricity and other industrial plants to avoid locking in CO2 emissions from these plants as countries strive to meet ever tighter greenhouse gas emissions regulations. Over 90% of the industrial infrastructure in the world relies on the burning of fossil fuels in air with the resulting flue gas typically containing low concentrations of CO2. This module focuses on approaches currently used or being developed to separate CO2 (and other pollutants from these flue gases), its transportation and long-term storage.  

    • General understanding of electricity/heat generation technologies and their integration into energy systems
    • The large point sources of CO2 emissions, fossil fuel plants such as power stations, oil refineries, petrochemical and gas plants, steel and large cement plants.
    • Emission control options for NOx, SOx, particulates and trace metals
    • The main approaches to capturing CO2 , covering pre-combustion, post-combustion, oxy-combustion, chemical looping, etc
    • CO2 transport by land via pipelines and tankers (rail, road and barge), or by sea using ships
    • Different CO2 storage options, including the difference between value added and non-value added storage options
    • The role of CO2 capture and storage within utilities company: Electricity /Gas /CO2 /Grid
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate technologies used in electricity and heat generation and their current status of development, analyse impact of energy supply on global climate change
  • Discuss and critically analyse emissions control technologies developed for energy industry, including their advantages, disadvantages and commercial readiness
  • Critically evaluate greenhouse gas emission control technologies and design/propose appropriate CO2 capture, transport and storage strategy to be integrated into energy systems
  • Critically evaluate CO2 capture, compression, transport and storage technologies and their integration into power plants and assess main operating issues associated to the technologies
  • Analyse and determine the best options for the control of emissions and other residues from plants using different fuels

Advanced electric power conversion

Module Leader
  • Professor Patrick Luk

    To provide a fundamental understanding of electro-technologies in sustainable energy and transport.

    • Overview of electrification and sustainability;  
    • Introduction to power electronics;
    • Fundamental concepts of electric machines;
    • Power electronics and electric machines as enabling technologies for renewable energy systems and electric vehicles;
    • Battery and electrical energy storage technologies;
    • Topical case studies including vehicle–to-grid, smart grids, smart meters. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Evaluate the key benefits and challenges of sustainable energy and transport
  • Analyse the main configurations and components in electric energy and transport systems
  • Appraise the key roles of electrification and energy storage (e.g.batteries) in renewable energy and transport systems
  • Discriminate the basic operations of power electronics and their roles in sustainable energy conversion and energy efficiency  
  • Appraise the key functions of electric machines in sustainable energy conversion and transport
  • Justify the importance of control, integration, and information management issues in future sustainable infrastructures
  • Appraise future technology trends in sustainability and assess associated opportunities and challenges

Evaluating Sustainability through Lifecycle Approaches

Module Leader
  • Dr Pietro Goglio

    The goods and services that we consume impose impacts on the environment. These include globally influential ones, like greenhouse gases and local ones, like water pollution. We need to quantify these to compare production or consumption methods and understand what our collective and individual consumption demands impose on the earth’s environment. We must also apply mature, critical thinking to environmental claims.

    A life cycle perspective forms the basis of much of the module. 

    Frameworks and approaches:

    Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Carbon and Water Footprints, the Environmental Impact Assessment, LCA, Social aspects of LCA

    Application areas:

    Manufacturing, businesses, food production and consumption, energy systems, waste management, decision makers (e.g. procurement), fishing and farming. 

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Apply the principles of environmental Life Cycle Assessment and Water foot printing to production systems.
  • Apply life cycle approaches in assessing environmental sustainability to make justifiable claims about environmental sustainability.
  • Develop the ability to analyse a production system with regards to environmental, social and economic sustainability.
  • Provide insight into real life environmental decision making.

Managing Business Growth

Module Leader
  • Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam

    Business growth is a natural extension of the Master’s initial focus on business start-up, and provides an integrative and holistic overview of the life-cycle of the entrepreneurial venture.  It explores the transition from an informal, emergent organisational model to a sustainable, professionally-managed business which creates independent value for founder and other stakeholders.   It thus links to theory and practice in the key areas of marketing, finance and human resource management. 

    The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the life-cycle of the entrepreneurial business post start-up through to exit via sale or succession.  There will be a focus on high-growth, high-potential entrepreneurial businesses.

    At each stage of development a different set of challenges confront the founder[s] and the senior team leading the business.   These cover markets – customers and competitors, money, management and me [ie personal drivers and goals of the founder/s].  This module will explore these critical stages and the associated challenges which research and practical experience at Cranfield have identified must be successfully addressed and overcome if the business is to achieve its full potential.

    Students will emerge with a clearer idea of whether they would like to make a career in this business environment and, in particular, with high-growth businesses, or indeed aspire to found their own high-growth business. 
    • The life-cycle and key stages of the entrepreneurial business
    • Identifying and overcoming barriers to growth
    • Identifying and appreciating the diffusion of innovation as part of growth
    • The personal journey of the entrepreneur: from artisan to strategist
    • The readiness of firms as they progress towards maturity
    • Learning about the three crossing points in innovation
    • Building product portfolios for growth – synthesis of products and markets
    • The financial challenge: what financing options are available?
    • Building entrepreneurial teams and relevant cultures
    • Achieving the entrepreneur’s personal goals
    • Funding growth
    • Preparing for and managing exit: valuation models and value crystallisation

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • Analyse by business stage and cycle the personal journey which a successful entrepreneur undergoes in the development of his/her business.
  • Deploy a set of analytical tools and techniques for describing and analysing key challenges for the business and how these are overcome.
  • Differentiate high-potential growth businesses – the “gazelles” - from lifestyle and income-replacement self-employment.
  • Define the transition points through which a growth business progresses to acquire value that is independent of the founding individual[s], and be able to quantify and articulate this through a range of valuation models.
  • Evaluate the critical management decisions that need to be taken during challenging moments in the growth of a business.
  • Appraise the contribution of growth businesses to the national economy.

Accelerating the Commercialisation of Technology

Module Leader
  • Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam

    Accelerating Commercial Use of Technology (ACUTE) supports the commercialisation of early stage and potentially disruptive technologies. During the module the students assess the commercial potential of already developed but not yet mobilised intellectual property of the University, and produce a commercialisation strategy that may include licensing, spin outs and other forms of venturing. In particular, they develop an understanding of the different applications of their assigned technology, undertake a market analysis for each of these technologies, and prepare a brief on potential routes to market. Moreover, this proposal to the original inventor includes a financial plan that includes appropriate funding models.

    • Intellectual Property protection mechanisms
    • Due diligence on the science and technology
    • Business model creation and commercialisation pathways
    • Market and industry assessment
    • Routes to market for clean technologies
    • Managing ventures

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Appraise the landscape for cleantech commercialisation.
  2. Perform due diligence on a specific cleantech idea.
  3. Articulate the market opportunity including a competitor analysis and industry assessment.
  4. Develop and pitch a commercialisation strategy.

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 £12,000
PgDip Full-time £10,000
PgCert Full-time £5,000

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.

MSc Full-time £20,500
PgDip Full-time £16,400
PgCert Full-time £8,000

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2019 and 31 July 2020.
  • 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.

Funding Opportunities

To help students in finding and securing 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.

GREAT China Scholarship
The GREAT Cranfield University Scholarship China is jointly funded by Cranfield University and the British Council. Two scholarships of £11,000 each for Chinese students are available.

The Cranfield Scholarship

We have a limited number of scholarships available for candidates from around the world. Scholarships are awarded to applicants who show both aptitude and ability for the subject they are applying. Find out more about the Cranfield Scholarship

Masters Loan from Student Finance England

A Masters 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 Scholarship

The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £4,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. The scholarship is open to female students from the UK.

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

Cranfield University has partnered with Future Finance as an alternative source of funding for our students with loans of up to £40,000 available.

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.

Scottish Power Masters Scholarship
The scholarship covers tuition fees and living costs for postgraduate students in engineering, renewable energy, environmental science, cyber security and related fields.

Delta Foundation Chevening Scholarships Taiwan

The Chevening/Delta Environmental Scholarship Scheme is designed to promote environmental awareness and increase future activity to tackle environmental issues, in particular climate change, by offering two joint scholarships for students from Taiwan.

Entry requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a First or Second class UK Honours degree in either: Environmental Science, engineering or a related discipline or Business and Management.

The international equivalent of these UK qualifications will also be accepted. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

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:

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.

How to apply

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.