Manufacturing underpins the success of the economy. The rise of the 4th industrial revolution produces new and exciting business opportunities globally. Choose from optional modules to specialise your study. Cover the breadth of both technical and business skills in order to make a real impact in your chosen career.


  • 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
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

The course is developed for mechanical and materials engineers who want to engage in hi-tech manufacturing methods to deliver the development of innovative products.

Why this course?

Manufacturing technologies are responsible for the delivery of next-generation products impacting sectors such as automotive and aerospace. You will learn from experts in the fields of composites, coatings, metrology and management to name but a few, providing you with the technical knowledge to deliver and support new product development.

Our group and thesis projects are industrially linked, requiring you to apply your taught knowledge to solve a ‘real-life’ industrial challenge. You will have the opportunity to be supervised by a world leading academic in this area.

Informed by Industry

Some organisations that we regularly work with and can be mentioned are:

  • Rolls Royce
  • Siemens
  • GE
  • Safran

The course is directed by an industrial advisory committee comprising senior representatives from leading manufacturing and business organisations. This means the skills and knowledge you acquire are relevant to employer requirements.

Course details

The MSc course comprises eight assessed modules (four core and four elective), in which students gain an understanding of world-class manufacturing technology and management practice, a group project and an individual project.

Course delivery

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%

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

The individual thesis project offers students the opportunity to develop their research capability, depth of understanding and ability to provide world-class technical and business engineering service solutions to real problems in manufacturing.


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

Introduction to Manufacturing, Materials and Research Techniques

Module Leader
  • Dr Sue Impey

    To provide an introduction to manufacturing technology and materials. Introduce the key skills required to write proposals and understand how to prepare the costs. To familiarise students with the Cranfield University environment and procedures, meet fellow students and staff. To develop personal skills in management and team working.

    • Overview of the programme and course, project management, technical writing and communication presentations, environmental issues. Learning styles, group and team working and self-study.
    • Manufacturing technology, introduction to engineering materials life cycles, introduction to computing and library facilities, health, safety and environment. Research techniques including writing research proposals, research costs.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. State the course objectives and its teaching methods.
2. Identify any gaps in basic knowledge.
3. Demonstrate the use of the university’s library and computer systems.
4. Describe examples of manufacturing technology.
5. Demonstrate the skills required for team working.
6. Outline a research proposal and estimate the research project costs.

Lean Product Development

Module Leader
  • Dr Ahmed Al-Ashaab

    As Master level course this module has to develop knowledge, critical scientific thinking and hands-on experiences for developing a product. A scholarly approach of product development, project management and evolution, as well as the use of the most suitable material and technology, are expected. Research appropriately into customer and market requirements and their analysis to translate the requirements into product specification.


    • Introduction to Product Development (PD)
    • Concurrent Engineering
    • PD Tools and Methods
    • Lean Product Development
    • Set-Based Concurrent Engineering (SBCE)
    • SBCE Industrial Case Studies
    • PD in Knowledge-based Environment
    • Trade-Off Curves to enable SBCE
    • Tutorial PD Project

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the application of product development process in lean environment and addressing global collaboration.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of selection of materials and manufacturing processes.
3. Demonstrate knowledge of the application of tools and techniques to support product development such as QFD, DFM, DFA, FMEA.
4. Demonstrate skill of using CAD/CAE tools to support the development of a product.
5. Apply materials appropriately to product applications and manufacturing processes.
6. Demonstrate knowledge of considerations of sustainability issues in product development.

General Management


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

    • 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.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Composites Manufacturing for High Performance Structures

Module Leader
  • Andrew Mills

    To provide a detailed awareness of current and emerging manufacturing technology for high performance composite components and structures and an understanding of materials selection and the design process for effective parts manufacturing.

    • Background to thermosetting and thermoplastic polymer matrix composites
    • Practical demonstrations – lab work
    • Overview of established manufacturing processes, developing processes, automation and machining
    • Introduction to emerging process developments; automation, textile preforming, through thickness reinforcement
    • Design for manufacture, assembly techniques and manufacturing cost
    • Case studies from aerospace, automotive, motorsport, marine and energy sectors
    • DVD demonstrations of all processing routes
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Demonstrate awareness of the range of modern manufacturing techniques for thermoset and thermoplastic type composites.
2. Select appropriate manufacturing techniques for a given composite structure/ application.
3. Demonstrate practical handling of prepregs and a range of fibre forms and resins.
4. Describe current areas of technology development for composites processing.
5. Demonstrate awareness of the design process for high performance composite structures and the influence on design of the manufacturing process.
6. Evaluate performance-cost balance implications of materials and process choice.

Nano and Microscale Rapid Prototyping Manufacture

    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.
    • 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

    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.

    • 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.


Module Leader
  • Dr Sameer Rahatekar

    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.

    • 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.

Advanced Welding Processes

Module Leader
  • Dr Wojciech Suder
    The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding of the principles behind the most recent developments in welding processes. There is a strong emphasis on laser welding, as well as recent developments in arc, friction and resistance welding. The module will cover the operating principles, characteristics and practical applications of each process.
    • Fundamentals of lasers, optics and fibre optics
    • Laser welding including micro-welding and hybrid processes
    • Laser material interactions
    • Laser sources, optics and fibre optics
    • Advanced arc welding processes
    • Solid state welding processes
    • Friction welding
    • Additive manufacture
    • Advanced resistance welding
    • Dissimilar material welding
    • Repair welding
    • Weld metal engineering
    • Electron beam welding
    • Process monitoring
    • Other laser processes
    • Material characteristics and response to laser
    • Weld metal engineering
    • Laser safety
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Illustrate and describe physical principles behind the operation of these processes.
2. Select the most appropriate welding system for a particular application and analyse the economic benefits.
3. Describe physical and engineering principles behind selective applications for welding processes and critique methods for maximising process efficiency.
4. Appraise recent developments in welding technology and identify where these new processes can be used.

Engineering Microdevices


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

    • 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.

Machining Moulding and Metrology

Module Leader
  • Dr Isidro Durazo Cardenas

    To provide the student with an understanding of the principles behind some of the most recent developments in the processing of high value added components. There is a strong emphasis on high efficiency and reduced cost in the manufacture of high volume and/or high value added parts using the latest technology based around advanced machining processes and micro moulding techniques. The module will cover the physical principles, operating characteristics and practical applications of the processes.

    • Metrology and practice
    • Metal cutting processes and practice
    • Abrasive machining processes and practice
    • Non-conventional machining including photochemical machining and associated metal removal and addition processes
    • Micro machining and micro moulding
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Critically review recent developments in machining and fabrication processes for the production of engineering components and identify their main areas of application and limitations.
2. Propose and assess methods to determine the size, geometry and surface topography of manufactured parts.
3. Describe and apply the relationships between material properties, processing conditions and component service performance.
4. Analyse how the physical principles behind the operation of these processes can be used to monitor process capability and performance.
5. Apply design rules and fabrication techniques to manufacture micro components.
6. Assess different routes for the high volume manufacture of micro components.

Surface Science and Engineering

Module Leader
  • Professor John Nicholls
    To provide an understanding of the role that surfaces play in materials behaviour; concentrating on corrosion and wear processes. To introduce the concepts of surface engineering and how surface engineering may be used to optimise a component’s performance. To introduce suitable analytical techniques used to evaluate and characterise surfaces and thin samples.
      • Philosophy of surface engineering, general applications and requirements.
      • Basic principles of electrochemistry and aqueous corrosion processes; corrosion problems in the aerospace industry; general corrosion, pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion, influence of deposits and anaerobic conditions; exfoliation corrosion; corrosion control; high temperature oxidation and hot corrosion; corrosion/mechanical property interactions.
      • Friction and Wear: Abrasive, erosive and sliding wear. The interaction between wear and corrosion.
      • Analytical Techniques: X-ray diffraction, TEM, SEM and EDX, WDX analysis, surface analysis by AES, XPS and SIMS.
      • Surface engineering as part of a manufacturing process.
      • Integrating coating systems into the design process.
      • Coating manufacturing processes.
      • Electro deposition, flame spraying, plasma spray, sol-gel.
      • Physical vapour deposition, chemical vapour deposition, ion beam.
      • Coating systems for corrosion and wear protection.
      • Coating systems for gas turbines.
      • New coating concepts including multi-layer structures, functionally gradient materials, intermetallic barrier coatings and thermal barrier coatings.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate a practical understanding of surface engineering as part of the manufacturing process, describing how to introduce coating systems as part of component design.
2. Summarise and critically appraise new coating concepts, including multi-layered structures and functionally gradient materials and select appropriate coating manufacturing processes, giving examples of their applications.
3. Describe oxidation and high temperature corrosion processes, including the factors that control the rates of corrosion at high temperatures.
4. Summarise and critically discuss the main types of corrosion damage, the conditions under which they occur.
5. Explain the principles of aqueous corrosion and select appropriate methods of corrosion control.
6. Predict the behaviour of friction and wear, including abrasive, erosive and sliding wear. Design for wear resistance, including the selection of suitable coating systems.
7. Review possible interactions between corrosion and wear processes. Give examples of microstructural characteristics used to describe materials and recommend techniques to characterise surfaces and describe their principles of operation.

Functional Coatings and Thin Films

Module Leader
  • Professor Jose L. Endrino

    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.

    • 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.

Finite Element Analysis

Module Leader
  • Dr Ioannis Giannopoulos

    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.

    • Background to Finite Element Methods (FEM) and its application
    • Introduction to FE modelling: Idealisation, Discretisation, Meshing and Post Processing
    • Tracking and controlling errors in a finite element analysis. ‘Do’s and don’ts’ of modelling.
    • Illustration of basics of FEM using the Direct Stiffness method to define both terminology and theoretical approach.
    • Problems of large systems of equations for FE, and solution methods.
    • FE method for continua illustrated with membrane and shell elements.
    • Nonlinear analysis in FEM and examples
    • NASTRAN application sessions

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.

Precision Engineering

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Morantz

    To instil determinism as a precision engineering philosophy and provide awareness and understanding of the principles and state of the art concepts employed in “high end” ultra precision manufacturing industries.

    • This module will introduce determinism as a manufacturing philosophy. introduce the principles applied to precision engineering systems, including:
    • Kinematics, Structures, Slideways, Spindles, bearings, measuring systems, actuators, advanced CNC systems, dynamic performance analysis, machine calibration, geometric error budgeting.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Critically evaluate ultra precision engineering issues in a deterministic and logical manner.
2. Demonstrate fundamental understanding and critical awareness that random results are a consequence of random procedures.
3. Critically review, assess and evaluate the design of precision machines and motion systems based on their adherence to established principles of precision engineering.
4. Articulate a critical awareness that the main enemy of precision and ultra precision motion is uncontrolled or “stray” energy.
5. Demonstrate conceptual thinking to critically evaluate how stray energy influences the response of precision engineering systems.

Operations Management


    To introduce core factors of managing operations.

    • An introduction to manufacturing and service activities
    • Capacity, demand and load; identifying key capacity determinant; order-size mix problem; coping with changes in demand
    • Standard times, and how to calculate them; process analysis and supporting tools; process simplification
    • What quality is; standards and frameworks; quality tools; quality in the supply chain
    • Scheduling rules; scheduling and nested set-ups
    • Roles of inventory; dependent and independent demand; Economic Order Quantity; uncertain demand; inventory management systems and measures
    • Information systems – at operational, managerial, and strategic levels; bills of material; MRP, MPRll and ERP systems
    • Ohno’s 7 wastes; Just-in-Time systems (including the Toyota Production System, and Kanbans)
    • Class discussion of cases, exercises, and videos to support this syllabus
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

1. Apply the ‘Framework for the Management of Operations’ to all operations, from pure service to pure manufacturing.
2. Identify the key capacity determinant in an operation, and carry out an analysis to develop the most appropriate approach in response to changes in demand.
3. Select and apply appropriate approaches and tools to determine standards and improve processes.
4. Determine the information needed to support businesses, in particular manufacturing operations.
5. Analyse problems rigorously to develop options, and select an appropriate option taking into consideration relevant factors such as risk, opportunities, cost, flexibility, and time to implement.
6. Select appropriate Just-in-Time (JIT) tools to improve operations.
7. Develop appropriate quality systems for the whole of their supply chain – from supplier, through operations to customers – and ensure these systems are sustained and a culture of continuous improvement prevails.

Metrology and Optical Testing

Module Leader
  • Dr Paul Morantz
    The modules covers state of the art technologies as used in technology based manufacturing companies and additionally introduces the latest research. This is intended to prepare students to have a broad understanding of the subject enabling them to make a positive contribution in their chosen industry.
    • The purpose, science and philosophy of measurement
    • Interferometry and optical testing of surface form
    • The characterisation of surface texture
    • Contact and non-contact measurement of dimension and geometry
    • Measurement of displacement
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:
1. Demonstrate critical awareness of the fundamental science for the systematic application of measurement.
2. Critically evaluate component geometry specifications.
3. Critically evaluate and specify metrology requirements for functional surfaces.
4. Demonstrate conceptual thinking for the identification of appropriate task specific measurement procedures in a range of applications.
5. Demonstrate critical awareness of current research and performance capabilities for the selection and use of displacement measurement technologies.
Rushabh promo

Studying at Cranfield gave me a lot of opportunities. The best example is the group project which probably wouldn't be possible at any other university. This allowed me to tackle industry problems. Cranfield is quite unique in this sense, having more industrial engagements. 

Rushabh Shah, Development Engineer


Re-accreditation for the MSc in Manufacturing Technology and Management is currently being sought with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS), Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) 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.

In 2019, Cranfield Manufacturing and Materials was honoured to receive a commemorative award from the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) recognising continued accreditation for over 15 years. There is a re-accreditation visit in 2020 from IOM3 and IET.

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.

Your career

Takes you on to essential leadership roles in a range of sectors that are required to drive UK high value manufacturing forward and provide the vision for future prosperity.

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.