As a specialist postgraduate university located at the heart of the UK's Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford arc, our world-class programmes, unrivalled facilities, close links with business, industry and governments, and international outlook all combine to attract students and teaching staff from around the globe. The result is a long track record of creating leaders and innovators in our specialist areas of science, technology, engineering and management. Our graduates are in demand and their association with Cranfield brings benefits throughout their careers.
Thriving in a mature and stimulating environment, students develop as professionals and learn how to apply their expert knowledge and skills in the global economy.
Focusing on the aerospace, defence and security, environment and agrifood, energy and power, manufacturing, transport systems and water sectors – as well as on leadership and management – our influence has helped to change the way society thinks, works and learns.
We have developed solutions to real world problems – for example in water and sanitation, aviation safety and humanitarian mine detection and clearance – that have improved the lives of millions of people around the world.
Together, we generate and transform knowledge, translating it for the benefit of society and for diverse organisations, from micro SMEs to the largest blue-chip multinationals, from national governments to NGOs and charities. We influence policy and bring ground-breaking new technologies and products to the market.
Career development and sustainable success
Studying at Cranfield will unlock your potential, develop your talent and greatly enhance your employability. Students graduating from Cranfield leave with the skills, knowledge and inspiration to forge long and successful careers.
Our alumni are in demand and prosper in some of the world’s most prestigious organisations, progressing to senior positions and making a difference in business, industry and for society across the globe.
Of all the postgraduate students in the UK, over half study for their MSc in aerospace engineering at Cranfield, 28% study for their MSc in automotive engineering and 15% study for their MSc in production and manufacturing. The Research Excellence Framework classes 81% of our research as world-leading or internationally excellent.
Rankings and awards
Cranfield is a five-time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education. We are ranked in the top ten UK universities for commercial research, consultancy and professional development and Times Higher Education ranked us first in the UK for research income per academic in 2017.
The Times World Rankings, Times Higher Education World Rankings, The Complete University Guide and The Guardian focus on helping prospective undergraduate students to compare universities, and so, as a specialist postgraduate University, Cranfield is not listed.
Read more about our rankings and awards.
A unique learning environment
Our staff-to-student ratio of 7:1 is one of the best of any university in the UK. Our students tell us that our hands-on, practical approach, our specialist focus and the depth and excellence of our education, research and industry links are what attracts them here.
A mature, postgraduate environment, world-class, industry-scale facilities, our passionate teams of academics and a community of like-minded students from more than 100 countries, combine to make Cranfield a unique place to learn.
Explore the campus and browse our industry-scale facilities and purpose-built resources via our virtual tour.
You will be working alongside other talented individuals who may be studying full-time or part-time. This provides many networking opportunities with a wide group of fellow students from different backgrounds, each contributing to a rich learning experience.
Many of our teaching staff have industry backgrounds and are leading academic experts in their fields, providing real-life learning challenges that you will encounter in your career. Our teaching quality has been independently assessed and received the highest recommendation possible from the Quality Assurance Agency.
Given the profile of learners at Cranfield and their motivation, we have a centre for andragogy focused on the science of collaborative, problem-based adult learning.
World-class, large-scale facilities
Built on a former RAF base, Cranfield is one of only a few universities in the world to own and run its own airport, maintaining an aerospace heritage stretching back more than 70 years.
Many of our facilities are industry standard, used by other universities and serve as essential, front-line resources for the UK as a whole. These include the National Flying Laboratory Centre, the National Wind Tunnel facility and the National Reference Centre for Soils.
We also host the National Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements, an aircraft measurement platform used by the UK atmospheric research community on campaigns throughout the world.
Cranfield’s Crash Impact Centre is one of just three FIA-approved test centres in the world, crash-testing Formula One cars, and our Accident Investigation Laboratory is dedicated to our internationally-renowned work in aviation, marine and rail safety. The Structural Integrity Laboratory studies the mechanical behaviour of components and material samples up to 250,000 tonnes and has machines unique to any university in Europe.
Our National Centre for Explosives Chemistry is used to develop and characterise explosives, propellants and pyrotechnics, while our Accident Investigation Laboratory is dedicated to our internationally-renowned work in aviation, marine and rail safety.
The Aerospace Integration Research Centre – a £35 million innovative centre focusing on the integration of advanced technologies to reduce the time from academic innovation to industrial application – opened in 2017, and the Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre, due to open in 2020, will spearhead the UK’s research into digital aviation technology.
Unrivalled links with business, industry and government
Cranfield has close links with business and industry. We're number one in the UK for research income from industry per academic (Times Higher Education, 2017) and our programmes are designed with industry partners to ensure they are relevant and up-to-date. We are equipping our graduates with the knowledge and skills to meet the latest challenges facing both public and private sector organisations.
Through our many partnerships, applied research projects, executive education, and professional development programmes, we have mutually beneficial relationships with around 1,500 companies and organisations. These include many of the largest and most successful global businesses including Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, EasyJet, Coca-Cola, and the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Cranfield Defence and Security, located at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham in Wiltshire, works in close partnership with the UK Ministry of Defence, providing specialist skills training. These unique qualifications are much sought-after by governments, the military and security agencies worldwide.
Cranfield University Technology Park, adjacent to the University campus, is a centre for innovation and home to around 50 companies.
Find out more about who we work with.
A global outlook and an international community
Talented graduates and enquiring minds from more than 100 countries come to Cranfield each year to advance their education. This international community reflects the diversity of many global organisations and multinational companies. Our students and the businesses and governments we work with have a global outlook and we share their passion to solve global challenges.
Of the 4,871 students at Cranfield (including Shrivenham) in 2018, 54% were from the UK, 21% from EU countries and 25% from the rest of the world. We have 30 international alumni groups, including in Australia, Japan, India, Switzerland and Russia. During a typical year, our academics deliver courses in 45 countries outside the UK.
Find out more information on our International pages.
Our programmes are structured to offer many choices for students, from which qualification you would like to achieve, to options for full and part-time study, including short courses. On some courses, you can choose to start your studies at different times of the year. Our taught programmes can deliver an MSc, MBA, MRes, MDes, PgDip or PgCert.
Visit our Awards page for a brief description of each of these qualifications.
Whether you come to Cranfield as an individual or with your family, you will receive a wide range of support and assistance, before, during and after your stay with us. We provide advice and guidance to help you to select the right course to meet your aspirations, access potential sources of financial support and find accommodation that best meets your needs.
We have Student Advice Centres, extensive library facilities, IT support, careers services and, on completion of your studies, access to one of the most influential alumni communities in the world. This diverse and dynamic global network of more than 60,000 people delivers lifelong benefits and a range of professional services.
For more information on the services Cranfield offers please visit our Support Services page
Alternatively, if you have any queries you can email the Student Advice team.
Take a virtual 360° tour of one of our lecture theatres below.