To design modern efficient aircraft requires a complex combination of aerodynamic performance, lightweight durable structures and advanced systems engineering. This specialist MSc Aerospace Vehicle Design option explores how different structural and systems elements can be designed and integrated using up-to-date methods and techniques.

Who is it for?

This option is suitable for those students wishing to gain an overview of the whole aircraft design process as well as the design of aircraft structures and systems.

Why this course?

This Aircraft Design option aims to provide a comprehensive overview of whole aircraft configuration design as well as, structures and systems. A holistic teaching approach is taken to explore how the individual elements of an aircraft can be designed and integrated using up-to-date methods and techniques. You will learn to understand how to select and integrate specific systems such as fuel systems, and their effect on the aircraft as a whole.

We have been at the forefront of postgraduate education in aerospace engineering since 1946. Aerospace Vehicle Design at Cranfield University was one of the original foundation courses of the College of Aeronautics. Graduates of this course are eligible to join the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA), an active community which hold a number of networking and social events throughout the year.

Cranfield University is well located for students from all over the world and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Course details

The Aircraft Design option consists of a number of mandatory modules and a minimum of 60 hours of optional modules, which are selected from optional modules. You are also required to complete a group design project and an individual research project.

A unique feature of the course is that we have four external examiners, two from industry who assess the group design project and two from academia who assess the individual research project.

Compulsory modules

All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

  • Aeroelasticity
  • Aircraft Performance
  • Aircraft Stability and Control
  • Design and Analysis of Composite Structures
  • Design for Manufacture and Operation
  • Design of Airframe Systems
  • Detail Stressing
  • Fatigue, Fracture Mechanics and Damage Tolerance
  • Flight Experience
  • Initial Aircraft Design
  • Loading Actions
  • Reliability, Safety Assessment and Certification

Elective modules

A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

  • Aerospace System Development and Life Cycle Model
  • Aircraft Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft Power Plant Installation
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Crashworthiness
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Integrated Vehicle Health Management
  • Landing Gear Design
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Structural Stability

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in an engineering discipline. There is a limited opportunity for candidates with other qualifications to enter the course via a one-year Pre-Master's preparatory course, which provides the necessary level of knowledge of engineering principles applicable to aerospace design.

Your career

This MSc is valued and respected by employers worldwide. The applied nature of this course ensures that our graduates are ready to be of immediate use to their future employer and has provided sufficient breadth of understanding of multi-discipline design to position them for accelerated career progression.

Graduates from this option have gone on to pursue engineering careers in disciplines such as structural design, stress analysis or systems design.

Many of our graduates occupy very senior positions in their organisations, making valuable contributions to the international aerospace industry. Typical student destinations include BAE Systems, Airbus, Dassault and Rolls-Royce.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated April 20, 2019
This course is Campus based
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Oct 2019
1 year
23,000 GBP
Overseas - Home/EU: £11,250
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