Metal Additive Manufacturing MSc course is offering Manufacturing and Materials Excellence Scholarship, which could cover up to 40% tuition fee. Offer holders are encouraged to apply for this scholarship as soon as possible. The application deadline is Friday 28 June, and the outcome will be announced in July. The successful applicant for this scholarship would need to pay deposit for securing the fund.
Contribute to the future of sustainable manufacturing by specialising in metal additive manufacturing processes, capabilities, system design and modelling. This MSc delivers the specialist knowledge, skills and experience required to work in this cutting-edge field, enabling you to become part of the bigger sustainability landscape.

Metal additive manufacturing holds the potential to revolutionise the way we manufacture products, reduce material waste, energy consumption, and transportation emissions, while also enabling the production of lightweight and complex parts that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional manufacturing methods. Metal AM technologies play an important role in improving the sustainability of a range of industries, including the production of lightweight parts in aerospace, automotive and medical industries.

During the course, you will gain practical experience through assignments as well as group and individual projects carried out in close collaboration with leading industrial technology suppliers and end-users. Access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, such as one of the world's largest metal 3D printers, will allow you to develop industry-relevant skills and contribute to the development of innovative and sustainable applications for this technology.


  • Start dateFull-time: October. Part-time: throughout the year
  • DurationMSc: Full-time one year Part-time up to three years; PgDip: Full-time up to one year Part-time two years; PgCert: Full-time up to one year Part-time two years.
  • DeliveryTaught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

This MSc is for students with suitable backgrounds in science and engineering who are keen on learning new manufacturing technology. Typically, students hold degrees in subjects such as mechanical engineering, materials engineering and they may have work experience in different industries for several years.

Why this course?

Metal additive manufacturing has the potential to revolutionise manufacturing by reducing material waste, increasing design freedom and providing the ability to produce complex parts that would be difficult or impossible to produce using traditional methods.

At Cranfield University, you will benefit from over 20 years’ experience in large-scale additive manufacturing of metallic structures on all fronts such as:

  • Process design and modelling
  • Incorporation of ancillary processes (cold work, metrology, inspection)
  • Development of specialist hardware and CAM software
  • Qualification of material properties and definition of design and manufacturing rules. 

As a student, you will gain access to our state-of-the-art additive manufacturing facilities including Wire + Arc AM systems (based on robotic arms), CNC gantries, laser-wire additive manufacturing systems and powder-based systems. Cranfield University also has one of the largest metal 3D printers ever made. This enables the production of metal parts at significantly reduced time and cost when compared to existing methods. 

You will also get experience across a range of materials, including alloys such as titanium, aluminium, iron, nickel and copper-based systems as well as exotic elements such as tungsten, molybdenum, and tantalum.

The teaching and project work draws knowledge from a team of approximately 30 people, and you will have the chance to work on projects within the WAAMMat consortium. This currently includes 20 industry partners (including Airbus, BAE SYSTEMS, Lockheed Martin and more). Find out more about WAAMMat.

Discover the unique facilities available to you as a student on this course.


Part-time route

We welcome students looking to enhance their career prospects whilst continuing in full-time employment. The part-time study option that we offer is designed to provide a manageable balance that allows you to continue employment with minimal disruption whilst also benefiting from the full breadth of learning opportunities and facilities available to all students. The University is very well located for visiting part-time students from all over the world and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies.

As a part-time student you will be required to attend teaching on campus in one-week blocks for three modules, while both in-person and distance learning options are available for other four modules. For a total of seven taught modules, six to be delivered in one week for each and one in two weeks, an overall duration that you are with us would normally be 2-3 years. Teaching blocks are typically run during the period from October to March, followed by independent study and project work where contact with your supervisors and cohort can take place in person or online. The project work could be also conducted in students’ companies or organisations, providing further study flexibility. Students looking to study towards the MSc will commence their studies in the October intake whereas students who opt for the research-based MSc by Research may commence either in October or January.

We believe that this setup allows you to personally and professionally manage your time between work, study and family commitments, whilst also working towards achieving a Master's degree.

The Metal Additive Manufacturing MSc at Cranfield provided me with theoretical and practical exposure to develop an in-depth understanding of the subject which helped me immensely to secure a job in the Additive Manufacturing field.
As a part-time student, I was pleased to cover many topics throughout the Metal Additive Manufacturing MSc, which directly related to many challenges I faced with Additive Manufacturing development at my company. I enjoyed the flexibility the course offered, and combining a work-based problem with the individual research project was a real benefit.

Cranfield University stands out as a premier institution offering a unique Metal Additive Manufacturing course. This intensive one-year program is facilitated by leading experts specializing in the Direct Energy Deposition (DED) process. Meticulously designed to align with industrial demands, the course offers comprehensive insights into this field.

The curriculum encompasses a diverse range of challenging projects, fostering profound learning experiences intertwined with cutting-edge advancements in the Additive Manufacturing sector.

For individuals aspiring to forge a career in Metal AM, I wholeheartedly endorse this program as an invaluable stepping stone.

Informed by Industry

The course was meticulously crafted in collaboration with key stakeholders across various sectors. Our industrial partners continue to contribute to developing sponsored projects as well as keeping the course content relevant and industry-focussed. This strategic approach ensures that the university education is seamlessly aligned with industry needs and best practices.

Course details

The course includes seven taught compulsory modules, which are generally delivered from October to March. The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests. These provide the 'tools' required for the group and individual projects.

Course delivery

Taught modules 40%, Group project 20% (dissertation for part-time students), Individual project 40%

Group project

The group project experience is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. Teams of students work to solve an industrial problem. The project applies technical knowledge and provides training in teamwork and the opportunity to develop non-technical aspects of the taught programme. Part-time students can prepare a dissertation on an agreed topic in place of the group project.

Industrially orientated, our team projects have support from external organisations. As a result of external engagement, Cranfield students enjoy a higher degree of success when it comes to securing employment. Prospective employers value the student experience where team working to find solutions to industrially based problems are concerned.

Example of recent group projects from related courses include:

  • WAAM of 15-5 PH stainless steel using Plasma arc process
  • In-process cold-work of WAAMed aluminium to eliminate porosity
  • Laser Interferometric Technology to Monitor Additive Manufacturing

Individual project

Students select the individual project in consultation with the Course Director. The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge and overcome genuine problems.

Example of recent individual thesis projects from related courses include:

  • Electrical property characterisation of copper and aluminium components made by additive manufacturing
  • Relationships between build rate and mechanical properties in Ti-6-Al-4V
  • Study of building horizontal and inclined walls using additive layer manufacture


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.

Metal Additive Manufacturing Processes

    The aim of this module is to cover the fundamental physics of heat-source - material interaction in additive manufacturing, to then introduce various AM techniques (selective laser melting, electron beam melting, wire arc AM, blown powder). The mechanisms of the individual techniques will be explored to include the benefits, challenges, limitations and suitability of each process. Practical examples will be used throughout to enable selection of a suitable process for a particular application.
    • ​Fundamentals of arc processing.
    • Fundamental of laser/beam processing.
    • Metal AM processes.
    • AM process selection.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Describe various heat sources and their interaction with different feedstocks.
2. Compare the different AM processes and describe machine architectures.
3. Evaluate the different AM processes for a specific application.
4. Appraise the benefits, challenges and limitations associated with the use of AM techniques.

Post Processing for Additive Manufacturing

    This module will enable you to understand, describe and evaluate the different post processing techniques currently used on AM parts and allow them to select the most appropriate one for a specific AM process and application. It will explore the underlying material science concepts for these processes.
    • Post-processing techniques.
    • Shot-peening.
    • Heat treatments.
    • Hot isostatic pressing.
    • Materials science.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. ​​Evaluate the different post processing techniques used on AM parts, including those required for removal of support structures, improvement of surface characteristics and structural integrity.
2. Appraise the benefits and limitations of each post processing technique with respect to each AM process.
3. Propose the most suitable post processing technique for a specific AM process and application.
4. Assess the benefits of in-process cold work on the properties and microstructure of parts.​

Metal Additive Manufacturing Metallurgy

    The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the microstructures and metallurgical characteristics of Additively Manufactured (AM) structures in a range of alloys, and how the metal and heat source interaction affects microstructure and strengthening behaviour of different alloys.
    • Mechanical properties of metals.
    • Dislocations and strengthening mechanisms.
    • Failure.
    • Grain structure and recrystallisation.
    • Phase Diagrams.
    • Phase transformations: Development of microstructure and alteration of mechanical properties.
    • Principles of metallographic examinations.
    • Steel/Stainless Steels/Nickel.
    • Aluminium, copper, and other non-ferrous alloys.
    • Titanium.
    • Heat treatments.
    • Dissimilar AM.
    • Corrosion.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Analyse phase diagrams and continuous temperature transformation diagrams for a range of alloys to explain the microstructural changes that occur.
2. Relate material microstructure to mechanical performance.
3. Evaluate specific materials for different applications to ensure they meet the requirements of the design brief.
4. Relate the heat treatment to the microstructure, mechanical properties, residual stress and defects.
5. Compose procedures and methods for preventing formation of undesirable phases and defects for dissimilar metallic AM parts.

Management of Manufacturing Quality

    The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the fundamentals of quality management related to additive manufacturing, welding, and other processes, including quality systems and non-destructive examination, and to provide you with the knowledge to manage health and safety in the work place.
    • Overview of standards and their function.
    • Introduction to quality assurance.
    • Quality control during manufacture.
    • Welder and operator qualification.
    • Introduction to Non-destructive examination (NDE) and types of defects.
    • Destructive testing methods.
    • Non-destructive testing methods (dye penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current, acoustic emission, radiographic inspection, tomography, ultrasonic inspection).

Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. Appraise the standards and the relationship between standards and a particular application, to achieve the required quality.
2. Assess the different NDT techniques, explain the principles upon which they are based, and interpret their results.
3. Assess the probability of occurrence of the different defect types for a selection of materials and manufacturing techniques.
4. Manage workplace practices to ensure adequate health and safety.

Additive Manufacturing System Design


    This module will enable you to design their own additive manufacturing cell (including manipulation equipment, and sensing), or integrate an existing additive manufacturing machine in a broader production line. It also introduces you to experimental design and how to develop suitable parameters for part production.

    • Sensors for Additive manufacturing.
    • Manipulation.
    • Jigs and fixtures.
    • Cell design.
    • Project planning.
    • Factory layout.
    • Experimental design.
    • Part shielding.
    • Thermal management.
Intended learning outcomes

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

1. ​​Design and justify a programme of experiments for producing a simple structure and demonstrate the effect of the main input parameters, and analyse data produced from these experiments so that the relationship between process inputs and outputs is understood.

2. Plan an AM cell for manufacturing a specific AM part that includes selection of a robot, and methods to manipulate the part, fixturing and sensing of the part, equipment for loading and unloading, labour requirements and an estimation of the time to manufacture.

3. Calculate and justify the cost of a typical additive manufacturing operation including labour costs, overhead costs, and consumable costs.

4. Plan a factory layout that incorporates all required operations (feedstock storage, machine preparation, material preparation, AM cell and the finishing operations for the part).

5. Construct a project plan for the installation of the AM system.

Finite Element Analysis for Additive Manufacturing

    Provide both an introduction to the theory underpinning finite element analysis, and hands on experience using a well-established package named Abaqus, to understand finite element analysis in the context of metal additive manufacturing.
    • Introduction to finite element analysis.
      o Overview of the FEA method.
      o Concepts, procedure and terminology of FEA.
      o Advantages and general applications of FEA.
      o FEA in metal additive manufacturing.
    • Theory of FEA method.
      o Mathematical theory for obtaining approximate solution.
      o Finite element formulation for solid mechanics.
      o Finite element formulation for heat transfer.
    • Implementation of FEA.
      o Simplification and specification.
      o Solution techniques.
      o Assessment of results.
      o Mistakes, errors, accuracy and limitations.
    • Introduction to FEA software ABAQUS
      o Pre-processing.
      o Running job and troubleshooting.
      o Post-processing.
    • FEA of metal additive manufacturing.
      o Key phenomena and problems.
      o Thermal analysis.
      o Mechanical analysis.
    • o Other sophisticated aspects, e.g., molten pool fluid dynamics, solidification, grain growth, and solid state phase transformation.
    • Practice: modelling wire arc additive manufacturing of a small metal wall using ABAQUS.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module you should be able to:
1. ​Describe and review finite element analysis (FEA) method and its applications.
2. Recognise and evaluate considerations for applying FEA to the modelling of metal additive manufacturing.
3. Identify the limitations associated with the use of FEA.
4. Demonstrate a FEA approach for solving a range of mechanical and thermal problems.
5. Use a FEA software package to obtain modelling results and critically assess the results.

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.


This MSc course is accredited by;

Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

Please note accreditation applies to the MSc award, PgDip and PgCert do not meet in full the further learning requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Your career

This qualification takes you on to a wide range of careers involving metal additive manufacturing processes, with experts needed in all fields from design, processes or simulation. Responsibilities include research, development, design, engineering, consultancy and management across a broad range of industrial sectors.

Students in the past have gone on to hold positions including:

Additive Manufacturing Engineer
Applications Engineer
Design Engineer
Research Assistant

Companies that our students work for include:

Rolls-Royce Wayland Additive
GKN Aerospace Addept3D

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.

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.