12 months
24725 GBP/year
11850 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Aerospace Vehicle Design - Aircraft Design programme offered by the Cranfield University explores how different structural and systems elements can be designed and integrated using up-to-date methods and techniques.

Visit the official programme website for more information


Key facts

To design modern efficient aircraft requires a complex combination of aerodynamic performance, lightweight durable structures and advanced systems engineering.

The Aerospace Vehicle Design - Aircraft Design programme offered by the Cranfield University aims to provide a comprehensive overview of whole aircraft configuration design as well as, structures and systems. 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.


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.


The MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) & Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Programme Structure

Examples in conceptual aircraft design topics: 

  • Aircraft configurations appropriate to hybrid-electric designs
  • Design and testing of a bird like flapping wing ultra-light aircraft
  • Design of a human powered helicopter
Examples in aircraft structural design and analysis topics:
  • Investigation in the numerical representation of damage on CFRP stiffened panels and behaviour under combined loading
  • Delamination growth of carbon fibre composites under fatigue loads
  • Experimental Testing and Numerical Analysis of Aircraft Bolt Jointed Sandwich Composites
Example aircraft systems design and analysis topics:
  • Systems/Structure design modifications to increase manufacture and assembly rates
  • The development of a hypersonic air-breathing propulsion model and the sizing and integration of a propulsion concept
  • Environmental control system for aircraft with variable fresh air
  • The design of a propeller for an electric microlight aircraft



Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Although there are no set application deadlines, we recommend that you apply as early as possible to secure your place.


180 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Lower Second Class

Other requirements

General 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 Pre-master's course, which provides the necessary level of knowledge of engineering principles applicable to aerospace design.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    24725 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 24725 GBP per year during 12 months.
  • National

    11850 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 11850 GBP per year during 12 months.

Living costs for Bedford

660 - 1140 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Aerospace Vehicle Design - Aircraft Design
Cranfield University


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