From 2018 the Technology Innovation and Management for a Circular Economy MSc has been withdrawn. To better suit the needs of industry Cranfield provides a suite of short (CPD) courses for professionals, senior managers, and executives to equip you with the knowledge and skills to manage the transition towards a circular economy. 

The transition towards a circular economy has been rapid over the last four years. This MSc provides industrial professionals, senior managers, and executives with the knowledge and skills to manage the transition of their organisation towards a circular economy.

Overview

  • DurationTwo Years
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This course aims to provide industrial professionals with technological knowledge, system-level understanding and personal competency to design, evaluate and implement transformational solutions for the future.

Your career

This course will equip professionals with the ability to manage the implementation of transformational circular innovation within their own organisation.

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 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?

Our changing economy is placing ever-greater demands on the skills and expertise of the workforce and up-scaling of new models relies largely on the ability to equip our current and future leaders with the skills to adapt, innovate, and flourish. There will be a need for cross-curricular, multi-disciplinary learning, connecting designers with engineers, material scientists, anthropologists, marketers and business students in order to harness sustainability as a transformational force.

Course details

The course will be delivered through a combination of face-to face and online teaching. The course will adopt a thematic approach to teaching and learning to enable cross-disciplinary learning to meet course learning objectives.

Course delivery

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

Group project

Group projects provide teams of students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy type project, usually with an industrial sponsor.

Individual project

The final individual thesis project takes up the remainder of the course.  It allows students to demonstrate their ability to think and work in an original way and overcome genuine problems in design, supported by external organisations.

Modules

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.


Course modules

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

Understand and Analyse the Circular Economy

Aim

    Within this module learners will develop the knowledge and skills to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the key principles, benefits, challenges and underlying the philosophy associated with a circular economic model. They will be taught, and have the opportunity to use, state of the art tools, methods and approaches, being used within industry across sectors to critically analyse the economic, environmental, social and organisational impact of implementing aspects of the circular economy both within a specific business and across different industrial sectors.

Syllabus

    Circular Economy Context – Introduction to dynamic systems and metaphors including complex adaptive systems, learning through metaphors, valuing stocks as well as flows within a Circular Economy and the true ‘value’ of waste. Systems of feedback including linear vs circular feedback systems, formats of feedback and their value (e.g. materials, data, and information), analysis of feedback rich case studies and the consideration of feedback related to the different strands of the course. Tools and methods for considering and analysing micro and macro scale change and their system level impacts including system enablers (e.g. social, political, cultural, and geographic). FLO: 1) Compare and explain different philosophies associated with a circular economy; 2) Analyse the system level impacts of transformational change from social, political, environmental, economic and cultural stances.    

    Biological Systems – Introduction to properties of waste biomass and methods for critical appraisal and how to use them to design closed loop processing systems. Organic waste to compost and anaerobic digestion. Case studies on emissions of closed loop industrial systems of waste. Waste bio refinery: novel technologies and public perceptions. FLO: 1) Demonstrate a critical appraisal of the waste biomass properties and how to use them to apply concepts and principles of the circular economy to design closed loop processing systems; 2) Demonstrate a in-depth knowledge of the waste materials that are currently processed into closed processing loops aligned with biological cycles (for example: composting and anaerobic digestion)

    Renewable Energy Systems – Introduction to fundamental renewable energy technology and how it works (Intermittency, storage and smart grids). Availability of required resources and methods of comparative analysis (solar coverage, wind speed, biomass availability). Matching needs, resources and available technology including methods for calculating energy supply and demand and multi-criteria decision analysis. FLO: 1) Demonstrate a critical appraisal of the available renewable energy technologies, state-of-the-art and development requirements; 2) Use of appropriate multi-criteria decision analysis tools to be able to assess available resources, stakeholder requirements and technology scales to determine the most appropriate technology options for a specific scenario; 3)Apply an understanding of renewable energy technologies to critically discuss the role in, and the importance of, a circular economy. 

    Materials Innovation – Introduction to the different types of materials currently used across industrial sectors including critical materials, their properties and methods used for assessment. Government targets and strategies for a circular economy and impact on materials. Principles and properties of circular materials and methods of circular assessment for new materials. Materials manufacturing processes. FLO: 1) Identify and describe Circular Economy principles related to materials evaluation and management as well as governmental targets, principles and strategies; 2) Describe the different types of materials used in different industries, their key properties and terminologies used to assess them.

    Circular Manufacturing - Energy: Embodied and process, ancillary processes. Materials conversion processes as the underpinning of all physical products, Sankey diagrams for materials’ and energy flows, Materials as an energy carrier leading to philosophy of dematerialisation, Manufacturing from a systems approach, Redistributed manufacturing – infrastructure and social implications,Remanufacturing – what is it? Impact on design and business models, Whole life cycle analysis. FLO: Critically analyse materials and energy flows for a given production process and identify the drivers and barriers to transformational change within manufacturing of the future.

    Circular Design – History of design for sustainability and the transition from ‘green’ to ‘circular’. Skills, principles and practices of designing for a circular economy. Systems thinking and circular design including critical analysis of system rebound effects. Tools and methods for applying a design thinking approach for circular design including service design, whole system design and design for behaviour change. FLO: Take a justified approach to the selection of appropriate design tools and methods for a given circular strategy

    Circular Value Chains – Introduction to recognised approaches and models to support the development of knowledge and systematic understanding of the major principles and concepts of supply chain design and will continue to examine and evaluate circular economy principles in relation to the key supply chain operating processes within the SCOR framework (namely: Supply chain planning and design; Procurement and Sourcing; Manufacturing; Distribution and logistics).  A key element will be the management of reverse logistics systems. The strand will continue by evaluating the implications of circular economy principles on supply chain design and equip students with analytical and management tools to provide students with a critical awareness leading to a capability to synthesise supply chain design and circular principles.  FLO: 1) Discuss the principles and concepts underpinning supply chain design and analyse their implications for a circular economy.


Intended learning outcomes

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

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the key principles, benefits, challenges and underlying philosophy associated with a circular economy model and critically evaluate the economic, environmental, social and organisational impact of implementing aspects of the circular economy within your own business and across industrial sectors 

To achieve the module level ILO’s a student will need to complete the level formative learning outcomes (FLOs) reported in the syllabus content.

 


Innovate Evaluate and Manage the Circular Economy

Aim

    Within this module learners will develop the knowledge and skills to design and evaluate novel solutions of circular activity within the context of an organisation and demonstrate understanding of its impact across the wider ecosystem. They will be introduced to the tools and approaches necessary to construct a comprehensive business case and implementation strategy for the application of their own ideas. Learners will be able to systematically appraise methods by which the transition towards circular economy an be effectively managed and reflect on their own role as a change maker within that process.

Syllabus

    Disruptive Innovation – A history of innovation including an analysis of innovations of the past and how they have resulted in radical change. Innovation theory. Introduction to, comparative evaluation and application of tools, techniques and approaches for achieving disruptive change including the latest advances in digital technologies. Discussion and debate on the application of disruptive innovation and technologies for a circular economy. FLO: Critically evaluate disruptive innovation of the past and discuss how lessons learned can be applied to the transition towards a circular economy; 2) Compare current and future technologies and analyse their potential for achieving circular system level change.

     

    Circular Business Models – Changing models of innovation including; traditional vs emerging models of innovation, rational for changing models, challenges for new innovation models, outcomes and impacts of traditional vs new business models. Learners will explore the nature of ‘value creation’ as a processual concept including: the value creation process, embedded value, use value and nature and forms of different types of value created. Business model innovation – learners will explore different types of business model associated with the circular economy (e.g. product as a service, sharing economy, product life extension) and be taught how to develop a business plan for the implementation of a particular value proposition for a company. FLO: 1) Demonstrate an understanding of changing models of innovation over history and discuss how they are being shaped by today’s globally challenged business context; 2) Analyse and evaluate different methods of circular value creation for businesses of varying sizes across sectors; 3) Design an outline circular business plan demonstrating a particular value proposition for your organisation.

     

    Managing the Transition to a Circular Economy – Future sustainability challenges of scaling and transition: learners will explore the factors hindering companies and sectors from transitioning towards a regenerative, restorative and net positive economy. This will include: issues relating to scaling and transition, institutional and policy context, system innovation and change. Typologies of change including the nature of change, learning and innovating, incremental vs transformative change and challenges of managing change. Determinants of change for a circular economy including: leadership for sustainability issues (e.g. ethics, authenticity, skills), accounting and economics, pro-social marketing and corporate political behaviour. FLO: 1) Identify and discuss the challenges of transitioning towards a circular economy including scaling, policy and system innovation; 2) Analyse and evaluate different typologies of change and select the most appropriate typology for a given context; 3) Apply appropriate tools and methods to design a change management plan for your organisation in the transition towards a circular economy.    

     

    Materials Innovation – Materials selection properties and software. Analysis of materials flows throughout the technosphere and biosphere. Materials biodegradability and innovations for a circular economy. Materials product life cycle assessment and analysis of circular approaches e.g. maintenance, repair, refurbishement and recycling on material properties and value. FLO: 1) Examine and analyse how product materials degrade to design “closing loops” materials strategies; 2) Describe and evaluate the approaches to product/material maintenance, life cycle assessment and prediction, repair, refurbishment.

     

    Circular Manufacturing – Sustainable Manufacturing Business Tools, sustainable value creation in production, Value mapping tools and techniques, Business transformation tools. FLO: Apply sustainable manufacturing business tools to build a circular business model for a given company and evaluate its lifecycle impacts.

     

    Circular Design – Circular design strategies and the influence of new / circular business models on design. Information communication technologies, additive manufacturing and implications for circular design. Application and evaluation of circular design tools and methods. Methods and indicators of assessment for circular design including use of the ‘Circularity Indicators’ tool. FLO: Apply the most appropriate tools and methods to design a circular product, service or system and evaluate its circularity.  

     

    Circular Value Chains – Learners will be introduced to tools and methods to evaluate novel solutions of circular activity through the use of case study examples and research undertaken within CLSCM.  It will explore and systematically appraise the value chain elements and business case requirements to facilitate the transition towards a Circular Economy.  A key aspect will be an appraisal of the role of reverse logistics as an agent for change. FLO: Apply appropriate tools and methods to design a reverse logistics system and evaluate its impacts across the supply.

Intended learning outcomes

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

Design and evaluate novel solutions of circular activity, within a business context and wider ecosystem, and construct a comprehensive business case and implementation strategy for application. Systematically appraise methods by which the transition towards a circular economy can be effectively managed and reflect on your role as a change maker within that process.

To achieve the module level ILO’s a student will need to complete the level formative learning outcomes (FLOs) reported in the syllabus content.

Teaching team

You will be taught by a wide range of subject specialists from Cranfield with support from industrial professionals, who draw on their expertise and industrial experience to provide stimulating and relevant input to the learning experience of the course.