A number one UK university

We are a specialist postgraduate university with world-class, large-scale facilities and a staff-to-student ratio that is one of the best for any university in the UK. Our global success is reflected in our rankings and awards:

  • We have the largest number of engineering master's students in the UK, HESA 2018/19.
  • We are ranked number one in the UK for aerospace engineering (five times more master's students in the UK study at Cranfield each year than at the university in second place), HESA 2018/19.
  • We're number one in the UK for transport and automotive postgraduates (with over twice as many students as the university in second place), HESA 2018/19.
  • UK top 10 for commercial research, consultancy and professional development, HESA 2018/19.

The Times Higher Education World Rankings, The Times World Rankings, The Complete University Guide and The Guardian, which focus on helping prospective undergraduate students to compare universities, don't list Cranfield University as we are postgraduate only.

Research rankings

Our research is industry-relevant and informed by our close links to business:

  • 81% of the research at Cranfield is classed as world-leading or internationally excellent, Research Excellence Framework 2014. This score informs the allocation of research funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Read more about our research.
  • The nano membrane toilet was named by the Financial Times as one of the ’50 ideas to change the world’ in 2017. Read more about our latest research in New Perspectives.
  • We're number one in aerospace engineering PhDs (one third of all aerospace engineering research degrees of the 150 graduating in the UK), HESA 2018/19.
  • We are number one in production and manufacturing engineering PhDs (27% of the 100 graduates in the UK studied at Cranfield), HESA 2018/19.

Cranfield School of Management rankings

Cranfield School of Management consistently ranks highly for its MBAs, management qualifications and executive education:

  • Cranfield School of Management’s Management MSc was ranked 5th in the UK and 36th in the world in The Economist WhichMBA? 2021 Masters in Management (MiM) ranking
  • In the Financial Times Executive Education rankings, Cranfield School of Management is consistently ranked among the top 20 business schools in Europe and one of the top 10 in the UK for both its open and customised executive development programmes. We are in the top 10 in the world for the international reach of our customised programmes.
  • We are ranked third in the UK and tenth in the world (outside the US) in Forbes’ ranking of The Best International MBAs: One-Year Programs 2017.
  • In the Times Higher Education/Wall Street Journal World University Rankings 2019 – Business School Report Master’s in Finance, our Finance and Management MSc is ranked second in the UK, fourth in Europe and sixth in the world.

More information on our School of Management rankings.

HR Excellence in Research

 panel panel hr excellence in research

The University was awarded the prestigious European award for HR Excellence in Research in June 2015.

Read our application and action plan.

Progress against 2015 action plan
2017 action plan

Progress against 2017 action plan
2019 action plan

2019 updated action plan

Progress against 2019 action plan
2021 action plan

Six-time winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize

The high-quality and distinctive nature of our work has been recognised through numerous prizes and awards, including the award of the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education on six separate occasions, for our:

  • Flying classrooms and laboratories: delivering in-flight aerospace engineering training for the worldwide aviation industry, 2019.
  • Research and education in large-scale soil and environmental data for the sustainable use of natural resources, 2017.
  • Education and research into safe water and sanitation for the world's poorest communities, 2015.
  • World-leading work in aviation safety through research and training in air accident investigation, 2011.
  • Role in humanitarian demining, 2007.
  • Fellowship in Manufacturing Management, 2005.

Find out more about Cranfield's Queen's Anniversary Prize

Philip Aspinall

Above all, Cranfield is about its people. I am really proud of the impact our collective efforts have locally, nationally and internationally and the wide range of students and organisations that benefit from our work.

Philip Aspinall, Chief Operating Officer