We have been a centre of excellence in the field of accident investigation for almost 40 years. Designed specifically for aircraft accident investigators and those working in related fields, this course will provide you with an academically recognised, high standard qualification.

Who is it for?

The MSc in Safety and Accident Investigation (Air Transport) allows you to receive an internationally recognised qualification in the field of the accident investigation. The majority of students join this course with the intention of receiving a qualification that will allow them to further their career development in accident investigation or other safety-related areas of the air transport industry.

Why this course?

We have been a centre of excellence for aircraft accident investigation for almost 40 years. In 2011, we were awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for our world-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation.

An important aspect of this course is the use of hands-on workshops and simulations to develop the practical skills required as an investigator. This is complemented by sessions and modules that enable you to conduct rigorous research and scientific analysis, along with technical writing, investigation and interviewing techniques.

The course format is suitable for professionals based all over the world, as teaching is in modules, and research and assessments can be completed remotely if necessary. Cranfield 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. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Course details

The programme commences with attendance on the Aircraft Accident Investigation module, which may be completed as two three-week modules in Fundamentals of Investigation and Applied Aircraft Accident Investigation.

Upon completion of these core modules, you can then select four optional modules (covering core investigation skills, management, engineering, human factors and specialist techniques). Most optional modules are one week and many are offered as standalone short courses.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course
  • Fundamentals of Investigation
  • Applied Aircraft Accident Investigation
  • Research Methods
Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list needs to be taken as part of this course
  • Aviation Safety Management
  • Flight Data Monitoring
  • Human Factors in Aviation Maintenance
  • Safety Assessment of Aircraft Systems
  • Investigating Human Performance
  • Crisis Management and Business Continuity
  • Interviewing Techniques for Accident Investigators
  • Introduction to Aircraft Structural Crashworthiness
  • Legal Skills for Accident Investigators
  • Fundamentals of Material Failures for Accident Investigators

Entry requirements

The course is primarily aimed at those involved in aircraft accident investigation and other safety-related industries. Applicants should have a good UK honours degree (or equivalent) in any discipline, or a recognised lower qualification plus relevant work experience in aviation/safety related areas.

Applicants without a good UK honours degree (or equivalent) are encouraged to attend one or two modules (such as Fundamentals of Accident Investigation and Applied Aircraft Accident Investigation) as an Associate Student on a Continuing Professional Development course rather than applying as an MSc student. Please go to the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation CPD webpage.

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Last updated February 15, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
May 2019
May 2020
3 years
22,500 GBP
Overseas - Home/EU: £21,000
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