Be part of the mechanical engineering drive to a sustainable future

The Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc is designed to prepare you for a successful mechanical engineering career leading large, complex projects. You will learn state-of-the-art mechanical engineering methods, apply them to real world problems via industrially focused modules and research projects, whilst gaining the essential management skills to bring your ideas to life. Ranked in the UK top 5 for mechanical engineering, Cranfield offers a unique, postgraduate-only environment, with near-industrial scale engineering facilities and a teaching team with extensive experience of solving real world issues within industry.


  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: October
  • DurationOne year full-time; two-three years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%; Group Project 20%; Individual Research Project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This course is designed for engineering, physics or mathematics graduates who wish to develop a successful mechanical engineering career in industry, government or research. It will equip you with the advanced engineering and management skills demanded by leading global employers, including project management, design, computer-aided engineering, operation and optimisation of machinery, structural mechanics and integrity, and technology leadership. 

Your career

This course has been designed to provide you with engineering skills and experience which are transferable to the sector of your choice, including energy, aerospace, automotive or manufacturing. Our focus is on ensuring that you can make an impact from day one in your career. We do this by teaching you the state-of-the-art skills in mechanical engineering, enabling you to apply what you learn through industrially relevant group and individual research projects and equipping you with technology leadership skills. 

Graduates of this course have gone on to work in a range of roles, including:

  • Mechanical Design Engineer at Siemens,
  • Production Line Supervisor & Lean Implementer at GKN Land Systems,
  • Staff Engineer at BPP Technical Services Ltd working on offshore oil and gas engineering,
  • Engineer at Det Norske Veritas,
  • Management Associate at BMW Group UK Limited,
  • Project Engineer at BASF Coatings S.A.

Cranfield Careers and Employability Service

Cranfield’s Career Service is dedicated to helping you meet your career aspirations. You will have access to career coaching and advice, CV development, interview practice, access to hundreds of available jobs via our Symplicity platform and opportunities to meet recruiting employers at our careers fairs. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers. Support continues after graduation and as a Cranfield alumnus, you have free life-long access to a range of career resources to help you continue your education and enhance your career.

Why this course?

By combining advanced mechanical engineering topics, with a thorough underpinning in the management skills required to lead large, complex projects, this course will prepare you for a successful career.

  • Study at a top 5 ranked UK university for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering,
  • Develop your technology leadership capabilities with the world-renowned Cranfield School of Management,
  • Participate in individual and group projects focused on your personal interests and career aspirations,
  • Learn from lecturers with extensive, current experience of working with industry on solving real world mechanical engineering challenges,
  • Benefit from near-industrial scale facilities for project work in energy and power, aerospace, automotive, transport and manufacturing. 

This MSc is supported by our team of professorial thought leaders.

The highlight for me was definitely the group project – working in relation to wind turbines. We studied a new component used in the base and the foundations of wind turbine structures and it was just a fantastic experience. I worked with some really great fellow students and took on a bit of a leadership role that I found I really enjoyed.
The highlight of my course has been the amount of friends that I have made here. Also, the amount of skills that I've developed and the amount of networking opportunities that I've got being a Cranfield student. My advice to future students – make the most of what you have at Cranfield.
I am very happy with my time at Cranfield so far because in addition to learning different cultures, different and complementary ways of learning, this course has given me a real deepening of my scientific knowledge applied in the field of energy. In addition, the lecturers are real experts in their field. They provide high-level training and advanced research on materials, structures and implementation processes for energy and power.

Informed by Industry

The Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc is closely aligned with industry to ensure that you are fully prepared for your career:

  • Cranfield’s long-standing strategic partnerships with prominent players across numerous sectors ensures that the course content meets the current needs of global employers,
  • The teaching team are heavily involved in industrially funded research and development, enabling you to benefit from real-world case studies throughout the course,
  • Engineering modules are state-of-the-art, covering a range of topics including structural mechanics and integrity, design, computer-aided engineering, materials and corrosion, operation and optimisation of machinery, and project management,
  • A dedicated ‘Engineering Project Management’ module develops the essential management skills required by employers,
  • Student projects are often linked to the department’s industrially-funded research – ensuring relevance to employers,
  • The course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and The Energy Institute.

Course details

The taught element of the course comprises of eight modules and is delivered between October and February.

Water course structure diagram

Modules are delivered over two weeks, in the early part of the year, the modules cover the fundamentals of advanced mechanical engineering. These are intensive weeks, consisting of all day teaching. During this period, there are some weeks which are largely free of structured teaching to allow time for more independent learning and reflection, completion of assignments or exam preparation.  

After the winter break there are three modules that involve more active problem-based learning and typically include practical or laboratory sessions, case studies or group work. These are an opportunity for you to apply and integrate your knowledge. These modules are all assessed by assignments that are completed during the two-week period. The focus on group work and application within these modules provides a valuable transition into the Group Project.

Course delivery

Taught modules 40%; Group Project 20%; Individual Research Project 40%

Group project

The group project runs from late February until early May and enables you to apply the skills and knowledge developed during the taught modules. It provides you with direct experience of bringing knowledge to bear on an industrially relevant problem that requires a team-based multidisciplinary solution. You will develop a fundamental range of skills required to work in a team including team member roles and responsibilities, project management, delivering technical presentations and exploiting the variety of expertise from each individual member. Industry involvement is an integral component for the group project, to give you first-hand experience at working within real life challenging situations. 

In recognition of the fact that the modern design engineer cannot be divorced from the commercial world, you will provide a presentation and poster. This provides the opportunity to develop presentation skills and effectively handle questions about complex issues in a professional manner. All groups submit a written report and deliver a presentation to the industry partner.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Recent group projects include:

Individual project

The aim of the individual research project, which takes place between May and August, is to provide you with direct experience in undertaking a research/development project in a relevant industrial or research area. It therefore offers the opportunity to apply your knowledge and skills and focus your interests in a particular area of interest.  You will submit a research thesis and make a formal presentation of your findings to a panel of academics and industry experts.

For part-time students it is common that their research thesis is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work and supported by academic supervision.

Recent individual research projects include:

  • Comparison of a panel method and Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) method to estimate the aerodynamic coefficients of a profile flying in ground effect,
  • The stress shielding effect of cracks in loaded components,
  • Review and modelling of heave and roll motion passive damping systems for offshore floating support structures for wind turbines.


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.

Structural Integrity

Module Leader
  • Dr Burak Cerik

    This module provides you with an understanding of pertinent issues concerning the use of engineering materials and practical tools for solving structural integrity and structural fitness-for-service problems.

    • Introduction & structural design philosophies,
    • Fatigue crack initiation,
    • Fracture mechanics (1) – derivation of G and K,
    • Fracture mechanics (2) – LEFM and EPFM,
    • Fracture mechanics (3) – evaluation of fracture mechanics parameters; K and J,
    • Fracture toughness testing and analysis; KIC and JIC,
    • Creep deformation and crack growth,
    • Non destructive testing methods,
    • Inspection reliability,
    • Defect assessment, fatigue and fracture mechanics of welded components,
    • Fracture of composites,
    • Corrosion engineering.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Assess fitness-for-service issues and propose appropriate structural integrity solutions,
  • Judge the current component life assessment procedures and distinguish their limitations in aspects of structural integrity,
  • Develop a critical and analytical approach towards the engineering aspects of structural integrity,
  • Confidently assess the applicability of the tools of structural integrity to new problems and apply them appropriately.

Fluid Mechanics and Loading

Module Leader
  • Dr Liang Yang

    This module aims to provide you with a theoretical and applied understanding of fluid mechanics and fluid loading on structures.


    Principles of fluid dynamics:

    • Properties of fluids: Control volumes & fluid elements, Continuity, Momentum & Energy equations, stream function & velocity potential, Bernoulli’s equation.
    • Flow structures: Boundary layer theory, laminar & turbulent flow, steady & unsteady flow, flow breakdown & separations, vortex formation & stability,
    • Lifting flows: Circulation theory, Prandtl’s lifting-line theory, sources of drag, aerofoil characteristics.
    • Continuum, Navier-Stokes equations, compressible flow, multiphase flow.
    • Fluid loading on horizontal and vertical axis turbines, Blade Element Momentum theory.
    Dynamics of floating bodies: from simple hydrostatics to complex dynamic response in waves.
    • Ocean Waves Theory and Fluid loading on fixed offshore structures: The Added Mass Concept, Froude Krylov Force, Linear wave theory, Wave loading (Diffraction Theory & Morison Equation),
    • Hydrostatics of floating structures; Buoyancy Forces and Stability, Initial stability, The wall sided formula and large angle stability, Stability losses, The Pressure Integration Technique
    • Dynamics response of floating structures in waves: dynamic response analysis, application to floating bodies, effect of moorings.

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain how the wind, tides and waves are formed, and the factors that influence their distribution & predictability;
  • Evaluate the principal concepts and methods of fluid mechanics, fundamental equations for fluid behaviour, characterisation of flow structures and forces and moments acting on lifting bodies;
  • Evaluate and select the most appropriate model to assess and undertake the simulation of a floating structure static and dynamic stability

Computational Fluid Dynamics for Renewable Energy

Module Leader
  • Dr Patrick Verdin

    To appraise existing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques and tools for modelling, simulating and analysing practical engineering problems related to renewable energy, with hands on experience using commercial software packages used in industry.

    • Introduction to CFD: Introduction to the physics and understanding of governing equations (continuity, momentum, energy and species conservation) and state of the art Computational Fluid Dynamics including modelling, grid generation, simulation, and high-performance computing. Case study of industrial problems and the physical processes where CFD can be used,
    • Computational engineering exercise: specification for a CFD simulation. Requirements for accurate analysis and validation. Introduction to turbulence and practical applications of turbulence models, introduction to turbulence and turbulent flows, traditional turbulence modelling,
    • Advanced turbulence modelling: introduction to Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) simulations and large-eddy simulation (LES),
    • Practical sessions: offshore renewable energy problems (flow around wind and tidal turbines) will be solved employing the widely-used industrial flow solver software FLUENT. These practical sessions will cover the entire CFD process including grid generation, flow solver, analysis, validation and visualisation.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Assemble and evaluate the different components of the CFD process,
  • Explain the governing equations for fluid flows and how to solve them computationally,
  • Compare and contrast various methods for simulating turbulent flows applicable to civil and mechanical engineering, especially offshore renewable energy applications such as wind turbines and tidal turbines,
  • Set up simulations and evaluate a practical problem using a commercial CFD package,
  • Design CFD modelling studies of renewable energy devices.

Engineering Stress Analysis: Theory and Simulations

Module Leader
  • Dr Luofeng Huang

    This module brings together theories and computational practicalities of Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This combination enables you to use FEA for modern engineering purposes, whilst understand the underlying mechanics. You will be provided with step-by-step ABAQUS tutorials to get familiar with basic and advanced functionalities of this finite element software package. The lectures and hands-on practice will help you to develop strong FEA skills such as investigating the stress and strain distribution in complex geometries, components, and structures. 



    Introduction to stress analysis of components and structures, Ductile and brittle materials, Tensile test, Material properties, Complex stress and strain, Stress and strain transformation, Fracture and yield criteria, Plastic deformation, Introduction to Computer-Aided Engineering, FEA methodology, FEA procedure. Fluid-structure interactions.  


    Introduction to ABAQUS, Types of elements, Integration points, Meshing, Mesh convergence, Visualisation, Results interpretation, Beam structures under static and dynamic loading, stress concentration in steel and composite plates, tubular assemblies, 2D and 3D modelling of solid structures, axisymmetry and symmetry boundary conditions, Stress and strain analyses subjected to different loading conditions, Prediction and validation of the stress and strain fields ahead of the crack tip. 

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Develop a strong foundation on stress analysis and demonstrate the ability to analyse a range of structural problems,
  • Define the strength and limitation of different functions within FEA and demonstrate original thinking and judgement to establish a suitable model when approaching a certain problem,
  • Evaluate the importance of mesh sensitivity analysis and validation in finite element simulations,
  • Apply an in-depth awareness of current practice through case studies of engineering problems,
  • Apply advanced skills in using ABAQUS, which will be an asset in both industrial and academic careers. 

Engineering Project Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Gill Drew
    The purpose of this module is to provide you with experience of scoping and designing a project. The module provides sessions on project scoping and planning, including project risk management and resource allocation. A key part of this module is the consideration of ethics, professional conduct and the role of an engineer within the wider industry context.
    • Project management:
      • Project scoping and definition,
      • Project planning,
      • Project risk assessment and mitigation,
      • Resource planning and allocation,
      • Team roles and resourcing
    • Financial management of projects.
    • Ethics and the role of the engineer:
      • Ethics case study,
    • Professional code of conduct (in line with the code of conduct defined by the Engineering Council, IMechE, IChemE and Energy Institute).
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Design and scope a project, including identification of methods, resources required and risk management approaches,
  • Assess the likely financial needs of a new project and develop a project proposal
  • Evaluate ethical dilemmas and the role of the engineer within the context of your chosen industry.

Assessing Risk and Failure

Module Leader
  • Dr Joy Sumner
    To introduce the principles of risk and reliability engineering to engineers, including the associated tools and methods to solve relevant engineering problems in industry.  This will be illustrated through a corrosion-based example, while also highlighting issues with data generation and interpretation.
    • Risk management: processes to identify risk management; risk assessment techniques; failure distributions
    • Reliability engineering: Reliability and availability analysis; reliability analysis techniques; introduction to structural reliability analysis
    • Maintainability
    • Mechanical testing:  in particular development of stress-strain curves.
    • Corrosion monitoring:  using electrochemical methodologies, and electron microscopy.
    • Corrosion mechanisms: including effects of underlying material composition and processing, galvanic corrosion, pitting and crevice corrosion, mechanical interactions, microbial corrosion, corrosion of welds, stress corrosion cracking, hydrogen embrittlement and effects of H2S, High temperature corrosion.
    • Corrosion control: paints, cathodic protection, corrosion resistant alloys, corrosion monitoring, control by design.
      Identification of the role of inspection and Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in risk reduction and reliability improvement.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Identify and analyse the concepts and principles of risk and reliability engineering and their potential applications to different engineering problems;
  • Evaluate the impact of corrosion on the mechanical responses of structural materials and the impact of inhibition techniques on extending life;
  • Assess and analyse appropriate approaches to the collection and interpretation of data in the application of risk and reliability engineering methods, this will be illustrated through the example of critically evaluating analysis and corrosion monitoring techniques to select appropriate methodologies.
  • Evaluate and select appropriate techniques and tools for qualitative and quantitative risk analysis and reliability assessment;
  • Analyse and evaluate failure distributions, failure likelihood and potential consequences, and develop solutions for control/mitigation of risks.
  • Discuss the role of codes and standards.

Elective modules
One of the modules from the following list needs to be taken as part of this course

Component Design

Module Leader
  • Paul Lighterness

    This is a specialised module to advance your technical skills in industry prototyping design processes. This module will also introduce you to the facilities/workshops available at Cranfield.

    • Design thinking and creativity,
    • Collaborative innovation,
    • Understanding the value and use of prototyping for innovation,
    • Introduction to technology readiness levels (TRL’s),
    • How to identify and write good requirement for design,
    • Hands-on use of professional CAD/CAE software,
    • Design skills workshops (sketching, CADCAE, mechatronics, 3D printing),
    • Knowledge of advanced materials and processes (smart materials, bio-inspiration, nano & micro technologies, additive manufacturing).
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Identify, analyse and evaluate user needs and technical considerations to write good design requirements for a new product, service or system,
  • Critically evaluate and apply industrial best practice tools and techniques for converting an idea into commercially viable solutions,
  • Develop and build low fidelity proof-of-concept prototypes, using design best practice methods and agile innovation techniques,
  • Evaluate knowledge of advanced materials and processes appropriate for a new product, service or system,
  • Propose a viable breakthrough innovation proposition through the synthesis of best practice design methods and the application of advanced materials, processes and prototyping.

Design of Offshore Energy Structures

Module Leader
  • Dr Burak Cerik
    This module provides you with the ability to critically evaluate the structural components of renewable energy devices operating in challenging environments, such as offshore wind turbines. Advanced computational methods are used to assess the environmental loads acting on these structural components and of the contemporary methodologies and engineering design tools used for the prediction of these loads.
    • Introduction to Design Processes: From a problem statement and interviews, gather sufficient detailed data to construct a functional specification against which to design a system,
    • Engineering Design Development: Develop a preferred concept design using brainstorming techniques robust decision making and project management processes,
    • Engineering Analysis: Submit the concept design to a rigorous investigation and analysis, choosing and using multiple engineering software’s, suitable to ensure that the design meets the specification previously developed,
    • Practical sessions: As required by the challenge set, conduct appropriate tests and experiments to ensure that the design meets all elements of the specification.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Develop design criteria and functional requirements for renewable energy structures,
  • Develop and undertake design processes aligned with the design guidelines set by the professional engineering bodies,
  • Utilise engineering equations conserving wave dynamics, hydrodynamics and fluid induced loads,
  • Evaluate the importance and the limits of modern physical and numerical modelling approaches. To this end, an introduction is made to the operation of contemporary engineering software, for example, potential flow / diffraction theory and CFD / RANS.


The MSc of this course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and The Energy Institute.

 Energy Institute logo

How to apply

Click on the ‘Apply now’ button below to start your online application.

See our Application guide for information on our application process and entry requirements.