Strengthen your engineering capabilities

The new Level 7 Apprenticeship Standard, the Postgraduate Engineer, offers industry the opportunity to develop their graduate on a highly-regarded postgraduate programme to develop their engineering competence, whilst actively taking forward your organisation’s capabilities.


  • Start date1 November
  • Duration24 months part-time
  • QualificationPgDip
  • CampusDependent on delivery mode

Programme details

The programme has been mapped against the Postgraduate Engineer Standard and has been developed for companies who want a full offering that delivers against all aspects of the Standard. Integral to the programme is the PgDip Engineering Competence, which is comprised of eight modules, and culminates in a group project to apply the module content to a real workplace situation. 

Modules within the Postgraduate Diploma

  • General management
  • Design-driven innovation
  • Product development
  • Operations management
  • Business process analysis and engineering
  • Cost engineering
  • Manufacturing systems engineering
  • Project and programme management
  • Group project

The award for each module is 10 credits with 40 credits awarded to the group project

Who is it for?

The programme is ideally suited for companies who want to accelerate the development, and improve retention of early career engineering management staff by enhancing their postgraduate development and training offering, using contributions to the Apprenticeship Levy. It is designed to support the organisation in achieving high quality capabilities as participants gain a blend of leading-edge engineering and management skills in an engineering context. It is a real benefit to companies who would like the complete process of the Apprenticeship to be managed and coordinated by Cranfield University.

The course has been developed in collaboration with industry and the Institute of Apprenticeships to meet the Level 7 Postgraduate Engineer Apprenticeship Standard.

Benefits to your learners

Your early career professionals will benefit from a postgraduate qualification and personal development opportunity with one of the UK’s top postgraduate universities, specialising in technology and management. The applied nature of the programme enables personalised, specific and organisationally aligned development.

They will be equipped to:

  • Analyse business processes
  • Identify opportunities for innovation
  • Manage projects
  • Develop new products
  • Refine operations
  • Deliver improved results.

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 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 details

In this section

Course modules

Project and Programme Management

    To develop your understanding and practice of project and programme management as a core competence in operations and change management, in the role of internal or external consultants.

    • Project and Programme Management.
    • PM Tools and Techniques.
    • IT Project Management.
    • Introduction to PRINCE 2.
    • Introduction to Managing Successful Programmes.
    • Project Readiness.
    • Organisation and People issues.
    • Project Complexity and Risk.
    • Project Management simulation.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Distinguish the concepts of change, transformation, project, and programme and portfolio management.
2. Apply the basic project management methods.
3. Compare PRINCE2 and Managing Successful Programmes approaches.
4. Manage the dynamic uncertainty in project execution.
5. Construct a business change project plan using PRINCE2 approach and templates.

Optimising Whole Life Cost and Performance Management


    To introduce Cost Engineering principles, procedures and practices that will contribute to the development of affordable products and services with the focus on optimised whole life cost and performance.

    Economic Through Life System development, understand why Cost Engineering (CE).
    CE principles, cost estimation and modelling techniques, CE process, whole life costing, Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) costing, cost of hardware development and manufacture, cost of through life support.
    Dynamic cost modelling, Knowledge management for Cost Engineering, affordability engineering, risk analysis and uncertainty management, systems thinking for cost.
    Holistic life cycle related CE case studies for improved business intelligence: Building awareness of software tools (e.g. TruePlanning, SEER-H).
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Critically apply the key techniques for whole life costing and performance management.
2. Analyse cost estimates for robustness and identify performance measures for a complex engineering system. 
3. Appraise and estimate the cost of different through-life scenarios, by evaluation of maintenance and whole life costs, while achieving required asset performance.
4. Evaluate the risk and uncertainties involved in cost and performance estimating.
5. Critically evaluate the terminologies and key concepts used in cost accounting.

Operations Management


    To introduce you to 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 you will be able to:

1. Assess the key capacity determinant in an operation, and carry out an analysis to develop the most appropriate approach in response to changes in demand.
2. Select and apply appropriate approaches and tools to determine standards and improve processes.
3. Determine the information needed to support businesses, in particular manufacturing operations.
4. Assess and select appropriate Just-in-Time (JIT) tools to improve operations.
5. 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.

Manufacturing Systems Engineering


    To develop your understanding of complex manufacturing systems engineering through the application of different modelling and simulation tools, techniques and methodologies with a view to analyse and (re)design manufacturing systems that maximise value to customers while minimising waste.

    • Introduction to modelling: taxonomy, overview of methods and techniques.
    • Design of manufacturing layouts.
    • Group Technology & Cellular manufacturing in the context of Human centred factory design.
    • Manufacturing Systems modelling using discrete-event simulation, Systems dynamics and Agent-based simulation techniques and methodologies.
    • Case study Analysis of manufacturing systems using simulation.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

1. Differentiate the applicability of different layout types applicable in manufacturing businesses.
2. Assess how production layout and system design influences productivity and, in particular, appraise the effectiveness of cellular configurations.
3. Design a graphical simulation model using an industry leading discrete-event simulation tool.
5. Contrast discrete-event simulation to other modelling techniques especially in addressing emerging manufacturing paradigms.
6. Devise an experimental procedure and interpret the consequential results of the simulation model.

Lean Product Development


    As a 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 you should be able to:

1. Assess the application of product development process in lean environment and addressing global collaboration.

2. Design a process of product development based on the principles of set-based concurrent engineering.

3. Formulate the process of selection of materials and manufacturing processes.

4. Appraise the application of tools and techniques to support product development such as QFD, DFM, DFA, and FMEA.

5. Create and manage product development knowledge to solving product design and development problems and to enable trade-off between design solutions.

General Management


    To give you 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 you will be able to:

1. Interpret and organize the objectives, principles, terminology, and systems of management accounting.
2. Assess the inter-relationships between functional responsibilities in a company.
3. Assess and select among the different management styles, team roles, different cultures, and how the management of human diversity can impact organisational performance.
4. Interpret and analyse the structure, aspects, and tools for project management.
5. Critically assess the ethical and social responsibilities within an engineering context.


Design Driven Innovation Processes


    This module introduces the core concepts, systematic methods, and tools for design-driven innovation of product-service systems through group assignments.

    It emphasises formal treatment of product-service systems as well as systematic methods for exploring the design space creatively and exhaustively. Through exercises given during the module, the student will develop the ability to compare and compose appropriate building blocks for the delivery of value creation, and to build shared understandings for managing and implementing the innovation process effectively. The assignment topic will be given in collaboration with an industrial partner.

    · Innovation Overview
    · Design thinking and design process modelling.
    · Lean Stratup Product-service systems
    · Hoshin Kanri
    · TRIZProblem-solving
Intended learning outcomes

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

1. Assess the concept of innovation and create competitive advantage of product-service systems.

2. Design a process of Lean Strat-up for developing businesses, products and services.

3. Apply methods for systematic and exhaustive definition and exploration of the design space.

4. Evaluate different design solutions effectively and solve its problems.

5. Create strategy to define enterprise goals of their product-service system to be communicated throughout the company and then put into action.

Business Process Analysis and Engineering


    To develop your understanding and practice of business process analysis and engineering as a core competence in operations and change management, in the role of internal or external consultants.

    • Business Process Management.
    • Manufacturing and Services Processes.
    • Modelling and Charting Tools.
    • Lean and Six-sigma Processes.
    • Business Analysis and Improvement Workshop Techniques.
    • Re-engineering and Improvement Cases.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Relate the range of business processes in manufacturing and service sectors.
2. Construct business process model and charts.
3. Propose business process improvements using lean and six sigma approaches.
4. Plan and execute business problem analysis.
5. Plan and create business solution design.

Teaching team

How to apply

Next steps

If you would like to find out more general information about the course and your eligibility to attend the programme, please arrange a one-to-one discussion with the course director before you make a formal application.

For employer related enquiries, fees and funding, and the expression of interest/application process, please contact our Apprenticeships Team:

Employers: please complete our Expression of Interest form.

Prospective students: please ask your employer to submit an Expression of Interest form to indicate their willingness to sponsor you.

Applications for apprenticeship routes have to come via the Expression of Interest form. Apprenticeship applications received via the application button on the non-apprenticeship pages will not be processed.

Expression of Interest form