Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent, in mathematics, physics or an engineering discipline.

In general, our intake comes from both a physics and engineering background. Students from other sciences, mathematics, or computing backgrounds are welcome to apply and we will consider applications on a case by case basis.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

Months of entry


Course content

Space still remains largely unexplored and there is always the possibility of making new discoveries. The field of astronautics and space engineering have driven the development of many new technologies, such as GPS, satellite communications, and weather forecasting. Although the space sector contributes significantly to the economy, it still represents a vast market with untapped potential for development and commercialisation.

There is a continuing need for talented employees with a good understanding of spacecraft systems engineering, coupled with a broad range of technical skills. Evolving constantly since 1987, the MSc in Astronautics and Space Engineering has consistently prepared graduates for highly successful careers in the space sector, from earth observation to planetary exploration, launch vehicles to spacecraft operations, and much more.

This course is also available on a part-time basis for individuals who wish to study whilst remaining in full-time employment. Cranfield University is well located for part-time students from all over the world, and offers a range of support services for off-site students. This enables students from around the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

Who is it for?

The MSc is suitable for students with a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent, in mathematics, physics or an engineering discipline. Students from other sciences, mathematics, or computing backgrounds are welcome to apply. We also offer a part time route for students looking to remain in employment while studying.

Why this course?

This master's degree is highly respected around the world, and many of our students obtain employment/research offers in the space sector before the course finishes. You will gain unique exposure to potential employers through interaction with our industry partners at events such as the group design project industry presentation, guest lectures and dedicated interview days, dedicated interview days and alumni conferences. In many space companies and agencies within Europe you will find our former graduates, some in very senior positions. We are also delighted to have our first astronaut graduate, Katherine Bennell-Pegg, who is currently in training with ESA. Many of our graduates continue to contribute to the course forming a valuable network of contacts for those entering the industry and this course will equip you with the skills required to join them in a successful career in industry or research.

During the Astronautics and Space Engineering MSc, you will have the opportunity to take part on a Student Experience Flight in our National Flying Laboratory Centre’s (NFLC) light aircraft. This flight experience will complement your MSc studies, focussing on the effects of control, spatial disorientation and the effects of “G” forces. During the flight you will have the opportunity to take control of the aircraft. Each experience is 2 to 3 hours in duration and includes a pre-flight safety briefing outlining the details of the manoeuvres to be flown, a flight of approximately 1 hour, and a post-flight debrief.

In addition to the academic activities, many of our students participate in a range of exciting space-related extracurricular activities with CranSEDS, our local branch of UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS). This society participates in events such as rocket and rocket engine build and testing, satellite design and Lunar/Mars rover competitions, and has an impressive track record of success in these endeavours.

Informed by industry

The course is directed by an Industrial Advisory Panel which includes representatives from a range of organisations from the sector. This panel ensures that the course content equips you with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers.

Fees and funding

Please see the university website for further information on fees for this course and the different funding opportunities available.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24-60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1234 758083