This is an exciting opportunity for candidates who would like to complete an MSc by Research in any topic that fits within the broad remit of design engineering for which the expert supervisor/s within the centre are recognised. 
Particular interests of the supervisors within the centre include, but are not limited to: 
Design Thinking 
Breakthrough Innovation 
Design Led Innovation 
Rapid/Agile Innovation 
Product Design Engineering 
Industrial Design Engineering 
Applied Circular Economy 
Digital Design Innovation 
Design, Strategy and Leadership 
Strategic Creativity 
User Centred Design

Throughout the research studies, you will be given every opportunity for personal academic development through publishing and attendance at conferences and will be encouraged to fully participate in the wider research activities.
In addition, you will be able to benefit from:
Seminars and Events: These include lunchtime research seminars from faculty and visiting academics, and the Doctoral Colloquia which is a forum for researchers to present research in a supportive environment.
Publishing papers: From year one the school will support you in developing your publishing potential and we regularly organise writing workshops to support researchers in this important activity.
Supervisors: At Cranfield we place great importance on supervision and the relationship a student has with his or her supervisor. The relationship is intended to be a stimulating and fruitful partnership, in which the supervisor provides guidance on the nature of research and the standards expected, and the student develops as a competent researcher, fully utilising the wide range of resources available.

At a glance

  • Application deadlineOngoing
  • Award type(s)MSc by Research
  • Duration of awardOne year full-time, two-three years part-time
  • EligibilityUK, EU, Rest of world


These will be aligned specifically to your proposed research topic and specialisms of the relevant academic staff member.

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a degree within any S.T.E.A.M field (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) or an equivalent international qualification or closely aligned discipline. Ideally, applicants should have suitable organisational experience. 
All cases will be reviewed on a 1-2-1 bases and online interviews (via Teams or Skype) will be expected.


This is a self-funded opportunity. Fees and funding information

Scholarships and bursaries may be available: Brian Meredith Net Zero Scholarship


How to apply

Apply here for the Design Engineering MSc by Research

There are two official intake dates for 2024 (June 3 and September 30) for full-time and part-time applicants. However, cases can be made to commence at any time in the year subject to there being a strong case and Director of Research approval. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Paul Lighterness for more information. 
We highly recommend you prepare the following information, as this will be requested at the application stage. Your proposal should demonstrate your interest and your potential to carry out independent research.
Short two-page proposal declaring: 


  • Formulate and define a clear, interesting research question, challenge, or problem.
  • Clearly state the research aim and three or four supporting objectives.
  • Establish the relevance and value of the proposed research question, highlighting its originality and significance. 
  • Outline the methodology you propose to use to carry out your research, including the data sources and source material you plan to use.
  • Suggest what you hope to discover at the end of your research and what new areas it might open up (your contribution)
  • Provide a provisional timeline for your research
If known, the name of the academic supervisor within the centre you are interested in being your lead supervisor, if unknown (not to worry – your case will be matched up with the appropriate expert for review) 
If you need any support in drafting the research proposal, please feel free to contact Paul Lighterness who will be able to help you develop this. 

If you need to follow up on your application our Admissions team will be pleased to help you