Unlike other UK universities, Cranfield University is a postgraduate public research institute with over 4000 students enrolled in degrees in science, engineering, technology and management disciplines. Over 50% of the students enrolled at Cranfield University are studying there on a part-time basis. More than half of the overall student population is over the age of 30.

According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, most UK engineers holding a master’s in engineering degree are Cranfield graduates. The same agency also reports that the university is number one for aerospace, transport, and automotive engineering in the UK. (2018/19)

Cranfield University ranks at the fifth position in the UK for mechanical, aeronautical, and manufacturing fields – QS World Rankings 2020. Otherworld ranking institutes and university guides such as Times Higher Education, The Times, The Guardian, etc. don’t list Cranfield University as the educational institute that only offers postgraduate courses.


Standing as one of the leading engineering postgraduate research and educational institutes in the UK, Cranfield University was founded in 1946 as the College of Aeronautics. In its nascence, the Cranfield Campus was built on the Royal Air Force base in Bedfordshire, England. Over the next two decades, with Roxbee Cox (Lord Kings Norton) as vice-chair and chair, the university undertook many developments. It contributed to aircraft research and design. The university diversified and established the Cranfield University School of Management along with a manufacturing faculty.

In 1969, the College of Aeronautics was granted the Royal Charter along with degree-awarding powers. It was also renamed to the Cranfield Institute of Technology, giving it a status of a full-fledged university. In the next almost 20 years, the Institute merged with the National College of Agricultural Engineering to form Silsoe College. The university also partnered with the Royal Military College of Science. In 1993, there was another amendment made to the institute’s Royal Charter with it finally being renamed to Cranfield University. In 2003, the UK university admitted its last batch of undergraduates and went completely post-grad.

Today, Cranfield has evolved into one of the UK’s best post-graduate universities with great taught and research programmes offered via the Aerospace School, Transport and Manufacturing, Water School, Energy and Environment, Management, and Cranfield Defence & Security. The Cranfield campus is located adjacent to Cranfield, Bedfordshire, within the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor. Besides academic and research facilities, the campus has its own airport, hotels, recreational facilities, accommodation, and on-campus nursery and preschools for students’ families.

Ranking and Achievements

Cranfield University, being a fully postgraduate institution, is not featured in regular league tables. However, its Cranfield School of Management has secured a place among the top 10 business schools in the UK and 34th in Europe in the 2021 Financial Times European Business School Rankings.

Furthermore, its full-time MBA programme has been ranked 5th in the UK and 60th globally in the full-time MBA ranking for 2021. Additionally, our business school’s triple accreditation and frequent recognition in global rankings position us in the top 1% of elite business schools across the world.


Student Statistics

  • Undergraduate –0%
  • Postgraduate – 100%
  • Full-time students –47%
  • Part-time students –53%
  • UK students–56 %
  • EU students-14%
  • International students –30%
  • Female – 28%
  • Male –72%

Breakdown of the Fee Structure

International students can expect to pay starting from £12,000


Cranfield University also provides many scholarships, bursaries, and grants for students. The university’s website has over 100 scholarship opportunities provided on the basis of academic excellence and need. In addition to the Academic Excellence Scholarship, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship, Alexander S. Onassis Scholarship, Agrifood Charities Partnership, and the British Council Scholarships for Women in STEM are a few examples.

Cranfield, in an effort to sustain rewarding relationships with their past grads, launched a 20% alumni discount scheme for courses offered by the Cranfield School of Management. A wholly postgraduate educational institute, Cranfield University in the UK provides students with research and advanced academic opportunity to facilitate their pursuit of a rich learning experience in science and engineering fields.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to add further qualifications or a recent grad wanting to get a Master’s, we can help you through the application process.

Facilities & Services

Cranfield University has a Student’s Association that works for student welfare and organises various events throughout the academic year. For students with school-going children, there is a nursery and preschool on campus grounds. This is an important addition as Cranfield students are mostly adults who have families and professional careers.

This UK university also supports the mental health and wellbeing of all students, providing free counselling services through qualified counsellors. Cranfield students can also get support and advice from the Big White Wall online community at any time during the day. Cranfield further provides support for students with disabilities in the form of guidance, advice, and Disabled Students’ Allowance. Where necessary, the university also makes adjustments in exams.

The campus also has a Careers Service department that helps graduates find placements and advises students looking to travel the entrepreneurial route.

Student Life

While the Cranfield campus has numerous facilities such as a bank, post office, shops, and bars, students can access more leisure facilities in Milton Keynes, Bedford, and Oxford. Besides a thriving social life on- and off-campus, Cranfield students have access to industrial and large-scale facilities such as cabin evacuation, flying, welding, sol dynamics, and biomechanics labs, off-road testing facility, equipment crash testing facilities, flight deck simulator, oil and gas engineering rigs, experimental farm, and more.

The university has also dedicated resources to its library and information services with three libraries, over 200 research databases, 22,000 e-journals, and an extensive collection of books, software applications, learning tools, computing facilities, and specialist support.


Students that choose to live on-campus in dorms can choose between a range of accommodations including self-catered and catered halls for different budgets. Students can also choose en suite rooms or flats with shared bathrooms. Since more than half of the population is over 30 years of age and already engaged in professional careers, family homes and apartments are also available on a short-term basis.

All accommodation types, from shared halls to flats, are fully-furnished and have internet connections.


Cranfield village, Milton Keynes and Bedford are in close proximity to the campus. Students can get around these locations through Uno buses and other bus connections. If you want to go to London, the mainline railway services will get you there within 45 minutes.

All facilities around campus are in walking distance and can be accessed on foot. Luton Airport is also close by. Other than that, students can use car hiring services such as Uber to travel around the campus.


Cranfield University’s campus can be reached from central London in approximately 40 minutes by train, with Milton Keynes and Bedford being the closest towns. The university is conveniently located near London Luton airport, while Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted airports can be easily accessed by train or coach.

For Cranfield Defence and Security, it takes approximately 50 minutes to travel by train from London and 25 minutes from Bristol. Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol, and Oxford can all be reached within an hour’s drive, while London is less than two hours away by car.


What is Cranfield University?

Cranfield University is a postgraduate, research-intensive public university located in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, England. The university specialises in aerospace, defence, technology, and management.

What programmes does Cranfield University offer?

Cranfield University offers a range of postgraduate courses in areas such as engineering, technology, management, and defence and security. It also offers research degrees, executive education programmes, and professional development courses.

How is campus life at Cranfield University?

Cranfield University has a vibrant campus life with a range of student-led clubs and societies. There are numerous events and activities held throughout the year, including sports tournaments, cultural festivals, and guest lectures.

What are the entry requirements for Cranfield University?

The entry requirements for Cranfield University vary depending on the course and programme. Generally, applicants are expected to have an undergraduate degree in a related field, and some courses may require relevant work experience.

How much does it cost to study at Cranfield University?

The tuition fees for Cranfield University vary depending on the course and programme. As a postgraduate university, fees tend to be higher than for undergraduate programmes. Scholarships and bursaries may be available for eligible students.

What career opportunities are available after studying at Cranfield University?

Cranfield University has a strong industry focus and is well-regarded by employers. Graduates are highly sought-after and typically go on to successful careers in their chosen fields, both in the UK and internationally.

Is accommodation available on campus at Cranfield University?

Yes, Cranfield University offers a range of on-campus accommodation options for students, including halls of residence and apartments. Off-campus accommodation is also available in nearby towns such as Milton Keynes and Bedford.

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