Cranfield's dynamic, research intensive and specialised position means our research students are able to study exciting projects that have an impact globally and make a practical difference to the world.

Our passion for the areas we operate in and our long-standing relationships with some of the most prestigious companies in industry mean that studying at Cranfield will open doors for you.

Our research programmes lead to degrees in PhD, Executive DBA, EngD, MPhil or MSc by Research.

Doctor of Philosophy - PhD

Full Time (3 years), Part Time (6 years)

Completion of a PhD involves original research work which results in either developing entirely new areas of study, or is concerned with the application of novel and existing ideas in new ways and new fields of activity.

A programme of support and a dedicated supervisor, together with research training programmes, are provided to help you achieve your PhD.

Our flexible approach to studying at Cranfield allows you to carry out part of your research away from the University, perhaps overseas, and as appropriate if you need to undertake extensive local fieldwork or want to research a problem of local relevance.

Assessment is via the completion of a thesis which demonstrates a significant contribution to learning followed by a viva voce examination - a verbal defence of your written thesis.

School of Management Researchers on the PhD programme are registered for either 4 years (full-time) or 6 years (part-time). Find out more.



Doctor of Business Administration - Executive DBA

Part Time Only  (4 years)

This research programme involves students using their work roles/workplace for the basis of their research.

Completion of three linked research projects, a literature review and a taught element of study will result in a thesis which addresses a specific managerial issue or problem.

The Executive DBA must constitute a contribution to knowledge and/or the significant application of existing knowledge to new situations and must demonstrate your ability to undertake further research without supervision.


Engineering Doctorate - EngD

Full Time (4 years)

Completion of the degree of Doctor of Engineering recognises the completion of a structured programme of learning and/orskills development related to the subject.

The programme is undertaken over four years. Students conduct PhD-equivalent research and undertake Master taught technical course whilst working closely with an industrial sponsor. Successful candidates are awarded the degree of Doctor of Engineering (EngD) and are addressed as doctor.

Assessment is via the completion of a thesis which demonstrates a significant contribution to learning followed by a viva voce examination - a verbal defence of your written thesis.

Master of Philosophy - MPhil

Full Time (2 years), Part Time (4 years)

MPhil is a research oriented Master’s degree that offers a student with substantial grounding in state-of-the-art academic knowledge with advanced research skills.

The thesis produced should demonstrate the candidate’s ability to conduct original investigations and to test ideas, exercising in-depth critical judgement in their area of study.

Assessment is via the completion of a thesis which demonstrates a significant contribution to learning followed by a viva voce examination - a verbal defence of your written thesis.

Master of Science - MSc by Research

Full Time (1 year), Part Time (2 years)

This intensive research degree allows successful candidates to demonstrate their ability to conduct research, whilst benefiting from the support of their supervisors. At the end of the course a Thesis is submitted and assessed by appointed examiners. Your research will represent a contribution to knowledge, or the application of existing knowledge to new situations.