The automotive sector is changing, car manufacturers and technology companies are rapidly developing new autonomous technologies that will redefine the future of transport. With the rapid adoption of smart vehicle functions industry require a unique set of skills from the engineers and programmers developing them. The MSc in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (Automotive) will develop your technical and transferable skills in advanced computing, robotics and network-enabled technologies to prepare you for a career within the automotive sector.


  • Start dateOctober
  • DurationOne year full-time
  • DeliveryTaught component (50%), Group project (10%), Individual research project (40%)
  • QualificationMSc
  • Study typeFull-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for engineering, science, mathematics and computing graduates alongside experienced engineers who are interested in a career in the automotive or intelligent mobility sectors. The course is intended to equip its graduates with skills that will be of immediate use but will also develop them for senior technical and business leadership roles in future. With the growing demand for highly skilled professionals both within automotive manufacturers and the high technology supply chain, successfully completing this course will provide a distinctive skill set that graduates will find useful in securing employment globally.

Why this course?

Cranfield has a long and excellent track record in graduate courses for the automotive industry, a strong track record in research, and strong links and collaborations with the automotive OEM and Tier 1 companies and their supply chains. Cranfield has an exceptionally high level of engagement with industry, and our graduates are highly valued.

As a postgraduate-only university, Cranfield University is well suited to the needs of those studying at Masters’ level, and has excellent facilities to support teaching and learning. We are located near Milton Keynes, which is emerging as a centre of excellence for connected and autonomous vehicles. We are placed centrally in the Oxford-Cambridge ‘arc’, noted for its enterprise in technology.

Cranfield has recently opened a new Intelligent Mobility Engineering Centre (IMEC) and the Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI, a test ground for connected and autonomous vehicle engineering), both of which are used to support teaching across the automotive subject spectrum.

Informed by Industry

The MSc in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Engineering (Automotive) is directed by an Industrial Advisory Panel comprising senior engineers from the automotive sector. This maintains course relevancy and ensures that graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers. You will have the opportunity to meet this panel and present your individual research project to them at an annual event held in July. Panel members include:

Mr Rod J Calvert OBE (Chair), Automotive Management Consultant
Mr Steven Miles, Ford Motor Company Ltd
Mr Clive Crewe, AVL
Mr Peter Stoker, Millbrook
Mr Stefan Strahnz, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
Mr Simon Dowson, Delta Motorsport
Mr Paul McCarthy, JCB Power Systems
Mr Steve Swift, Emerald Automotive
Mr Doug Cross, Flybrid Automotive Ltd
Mr Steve Henson, Barclays
Dr Leon Rosario, Ricardo
Mr David Hudson, Tata Motors
Mr Tobias Knichel, Punch Flybrid Limited
Mr Iain Bomphray, Williams Advanced Engineering
Mr Keith Benjamin, Jaguar Land Rover

Course details

The course will include ten taught compulsory modules, which are generally delivered from October to March. Planned module titles include:

• Fundamentals of Road Vehicle Engineering
• Path Planning, Autonomy and Decision Making
• Sensors, Perception and Visualization
• Systems Engineering
• Implementation of Embedded Systems
• Transport System Optimization
• Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction and ADAS Systems
• Networked Systems and Cybersecurity
• Ethics, Safety and Regulation
• Technology Strategy and Business Models

Course delivery

Taught component (50%), Group project (10%), Individual research project (40%)

Group project

The course will contain a challenging group design project with a multidisciplinary engineering focus and an in-depth individual design project. Where possible, connected and autonomous vehicles from research projects will be used to support learning.


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 and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Course modules

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

Embedded Vehicle Control Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Stefano Longo

    Within the context of modern automotive control system, the aim of this module is for students to critically evaluate the different technologies and methods required for the efficient vehicle implementation, validation and verification of the automotive mechatronic system.


    Course content includes:

    • A review of modern automotive control hardware requirements and architectures
    • The evaluation of current and future vehicle networking technologies including, CAN, LIN, MOST and Flex-ray
    • The evaluation of control rapid prototyping techniques to design and calibrate the control algorithm
    • The use of modern validation and verification methods, such as software-in-the-loop, and hardware-in-the-loop techniques
    • The role of Functional Safety and ISO26262 within the overall control system life-cycle
    • The evaluation of the interdependency between software engineering and control system design within the automotive industry including the use of software auto-coding techniques for production and the use of advanced test methods for the validation of safety-critical systems

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Analyze the components of an automotive control systems and its implementation.
2. Design and implement a digital controller.
3. Evaluate the effect of sampling times, communication delays and quantization errors in a feedback loop.
4. Write efficient Matlab code for data coding/decoding and control algorithm implementation.
5. Interpret the purpose of the ISO26262 functional safety standard and the AUTOSAR standardized automotive software design.

Fundamentals of Road Vehicle Engineering

Ethics, Safety and Regulation

Fundamentals of Road Vehicle Engineering

Human Factors, Human-Computer Interaction and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Networked Systems and Cybersecurity

Path Planning, Autonomy and Decision Making

Sensors, Perception and Visualisation

Systems Engineering

Technology Strategy and Business Models

Transport System Optimisation

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.