Ultra Precision Technologies Masters Course (MSc) at Cranfield University

The MSc in Ultra Precision Technologies is a truly world-class programme, led by Cranfield University, with support from the following organisations, recognised as leaders in their field:

  • Optical Science Laboratory, University College London
  • Institute of Manufacturing, University of Cambridge
  • OpTIC Glyndwr

Why the need for a modular MSc in Ultra Precision

High technology products fundamentally depend on a range of ultra precision systems and processes. Next generation products for space, aerospace, energy production, opto-electronics and displays, sensors and advanced medical devices demand ultra precision technologies in order to achieve their superior functionality.

Continually developing manufacturing technologies are essential in order for the next generation of UK products to succeed, by offering greater levels of customer satisfaction through greater functionality and improved performance, at reduced manufacturing cost. Ultra precision processes and applications are increasingly being adopted to gain such advantages by providing the interface, through which many advanced and emerging products operate at the functional level.

This master's programme has been designed to meet the UK, EU and international demand for staff with the relevant knowledge and skills to deliver new ultra precision technologies. Students will be equipped with an understanding of the underlying principles of important ultra precision technologies as well gaining exposure and understanding of their state-of-the-art applications.

The Ultra Precision Technologies masters course covers all aspects of ultra precision technologies including; the philosophy of determinism, fundamental precision design and metrology principles, critical computer-based design and application tools, detailed knowledge of ultra precision processes and their application. Strategic approaches to safeguard technology management, intellectual property and product innovation are reviewed.

Masters in Ultra Precision Technologies Course Objective

Students studying this modular MSc in Ultra Precision Technologies will benefit from a unique postgraduate training experience.

In particular, the course is designed to:

  • Provide the students with an in-depth understanding of ultra precision techniques and structured surface properties to enable the deterministic manufacture of pivotal functional components required for key high technology products.
  • Provide the students with a systematic knowledge of appropriate technological, management and environmental issues and solutions which are required when developing next generation ultra precision surfaces and products.
  • Prepare students for a career in the range of international industrial sectors, which are dependent on ultra precision technologies, and to provide them with the enabling skills to find employment and to contribute to these sectors.
  • Prepare students to undertake independent research involving the development of new skills for project planning, critical evaluation of literature, evaluation of results, discussion of findings and writing a thesis.
  • Develop team based skills, in a professional context, to solve ultra precision manufacturing problems within a manufacturing organisation.


The MSc in Ultra Precision Technologies course is accredited by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) on behalf of the UK Engineering Council as meeting the academic requirements for Chartered Engineer status.

Career Opportunities

The unique nature of the Ultra Precision Technologies masters course, underpinned by the reputation of the delivery partners and strong links with industry, enables successful students to secure positions and develop their careers in a range of international industrial sectors, which are dependent on ultra precision technologies. Graduates are also provided with the enabling skills to find employment and to contribute to these sectors.


The demand for individuals with skills and experience in ultra precision technologies and processes is increasing. Consequently, we have secured a number of industrial studentships of up to £14,000 for high quality students dependent on qualifications and experience from a number or companies and organizations

For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. For information on funding opportunities please visit: www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/uptf

A formal offer of a place on this course must first have been received before consideration can be given for funding.

Course Structure

The Ultra Precision Technologies masters course comprises eight one-week assessed modules, an introductory module, a group project and an individual project.

The modules include lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through written examinations and assignments. The modules equip students with the knowledge required to complete the group and individual projects. The course components detailed above are weighted as follows:

  • Taught Modules   40%
  • Group Project                20%
  • Individual Project 40%

For part-time students an individual research project can replace the group project

Understanding "tomorrow's technologies" Effective application of ultra precision demonstrating personal learning and application


Modules are taught at either Cranfield University, OpTIC or the University of Cambridge.




Precision Engineering



Metrology and Optical Testing



Managing Innovation and New Product Development



Computer-aided Engineering for Ultra Precision



Optical Design and Fabrication



Surface Engineering and Coatings



Modern Optical Technologies



Laser Micromachining and Surface Structuring



Group Project

The group project is an applied team based activity, in which students apply the skills gained through the taught modules to an industrially-defined problem. Success depends on the integration of various activities in relation to agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Students submit a project report and present their findings to representatives from the public sector and/or industry.

Individual Project

For the individual thesis project students select a project in consultation with the Course Director. It provides students with the opportunity to research, develop and apply technologies in their chosen area, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Students develop their depth of understanding and ability to provide ultra precision solutions. Part-time students then undertake their individual project at their place of work.

Alternatively, the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip), comprising eight taught modules, the introductory module and the group project, and Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) comprising six taught modules, are available.

Start Date and Duration

The full-time course is of 12 months' duration commencing October. Part-time students will be expected to undertake the course over a two to three year period. The modular format of the taught element permits a high degree of flexibility of attendance at Cranfield for part-time students who may commence the course at any time during the year.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Cranfield University.

For more information on this source, please visit Cranfield University.


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