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Cranfield University: Aviation Digital Technology Management

Institution Cranfield University View institution profile
Department School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing
Study type Taught


Increasingly more intelligent aircraft are being introduced and point to the future of electric and hydrogen powered aircraft, autonomous flying taxis and space commercialisation. As more intelligent and conscious aircraft enters service, aircraft and support systems are also becoming more intelligent.

This MSc programme aims to develop professionals to innovate and apply digital technology in the aerospace industry. The course adds the digital component to aeronautical engineering graduates. It helps them to expand from the design and manufacture foci of established aeronautical engineering programmes to the wider aviation industry opportunities. The course is also a route for the large number of non-aerospace engineering and computing graduates who aspire to enter the aviation industry. In addition, the course is a career development path for aerospace industry professionals to boost their digital and innovation skills.

Who is it for? This course is applicable to a broad range of applicants with backgrounds from aerospace, engineering, maths, physics and computing to experienced professionals looking to gain new skills in the area of digital aviation technology.

Why this course? New and emerging generations of connected aircraft like the neo and MAX are entering service at pace. Aviation digitalisation spans the aircraft, airline, airport, airspace, MRO, ground operations and the wider ecosystem. New skills in Internet of Things, robotics, AI, machine learning, AR/VR, big data analytics, predictive maintenance, blockchain, etc are sought by the industry. While the digital technology is similar to other industrial sectors, the safety conscious and highly regulated aviation industry imposes technology adoption hurdles specific to the aerospace regulatory and culture.

The Aviation Digital Technology Management MSc is designed to equip you with the skills required to pursue a successful career in transforming the aviation industry, applying the knowledge learned to introduce new digital technologies to improve the industry as a whole. Cranfield has:

  • Unique Cranfield Global Research Airport learning environment.

  • World leading research centres - Cranfield University Integrated Vehicle Health Management Centre (IVHM) has been leading research in the predictive health maintenance with technology adopted by major aircraft manufacturers.

  • Digital MRO and Hangar laboratories together with the Cranfield Boeing 737-400 ground demonstrator are part of our Digital Aviation Technology Centre.

  • HILDA Digital High Performance Computing Ecosystem with up to 10.5 Peta Flops processing power, 2.5 PB storage and 200GBits/s network.

  • Work with industrial standard aviation IT systems.

Practical research projects make up 60% of the study. The Group Design Project (GDP) develops the students’ professional practice to work as part of a team, plan and management project, and communicate ideas and results. The GDP design, implement, validate and test an aspect of digital aviation, applying the knowledge acquired in the taught modules and integrate the various methods learnt.

The Individual Research Projects (IRPs) allow the students to specialise on a digital aviation topic relevant to their career development. The real-world relevance of the research project topics is an effective differentiator in the job market.


Cranfield is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.


We have many world-class, large-scale facilities, including our own global research airport, which offers a unique environment for transformational education and research, living laboratory for testing transformative technologies and new approaches to deliver enhanced social, economic and environmental outcomes. 

Cranfield teaches over 5,000 postgraduate students each year and employs around 1,500 academic and support staff.  Our staff-to-student ratio is one of the best for any university in the UK.

As one of the UK's most business-engaged University, …

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