Ultra Precision and Nanoengineering Masters Course (MSc) at Cranfield University

The key features of Cranfield University's Master's programme in Ultra Precision and Nanoengineering include:

  • Specialist facilities
  • Industry related project work
  • Excellent staff to student ratio 2:1.
  • Part-time route available for persons in industry
  • Cranfield graduates are highly sought after by industry

Suitable for

Graduates with science and engineering degrees and an interest in the development of ultra precision and nanoengineered surfaces and their applications.

Career opportunities

Students go on to careers in a range of international research and industry sectors which are dependent on ultra precision and nanoengineering. Our significant industrially supported research allows access to a range of aerospace, space, medical, optics, optoelectronics, energy generation, displays, telecommunications, and semiconductor orientated companies.

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by a range of internationally leading experts from within Cranfield's Precision Engineering Centre, a NASA approved supplier for space telescope mirrors, with additional modules from the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre, the Centre for Energy and Renewable Technologies, and Cranfield School of Management.

Course description

The next generation of products for energy production, medical diagnostics, aerospace, space, displays, telecommunications, semiconductor devices, optics and optoelectronics demand ultra precision engineering of surfaces, down to the nanoscale, to achieve their superior functionality.

The MSc in Ultra Precision and Nanoengineering has been designed to equip engineers and scientists with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience that allow next generation high technology products and processes to be realised.

Students will study the essential aspects of ultra precision technologies and nanoengineering including the philosophy of determinism, fundamental precision design and metrology principles, critical computer-based design and application tools, and detailed knowledge of ultra precision and nanoengineering processes. Many applications of the technology are addressed, with particular emphasis on optics, renewable energy generation (solar, wind, wave), medical diagnostics, space and aerospace.

Full-time students compete for the McKeown Prize for the Best Thesis in Precision Engineering, presented by Pat McKeown OBE.

Course Structure

The course comprises eight taught modules through which students gain an understanding of both fundamentals and state-of-the-art practices in ultra precision and nanoengineering, followed by a group project and individual thesis project.

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


  • Precision Engineering
  • Nanotechnology and Medical Applications
  • Renewable Energy Technology
  • Metrology and Optical Testing
  • Optical Technologies
  • Computer Aided Engineering for Ultra Precision
  • Management of Innovation and New Product Development
  • Surface Engineering and Coatings

Group project

There is a strong emphasis on applying knowledge in the industrial environment. This involves working in teams to fulfil demanding objectives within a tight timescale, applying state-of-the-art technologies and approaches, and delivering results to a high professional standard. For part-time students a dissertation usually replaces the group project.

Individual thesis project

The individual thesis project, usually undertaken as a company placement, offers students the opportunity to develop their research capability, depth of understanding and ability to provide ultra precision and nanoengineering solutions to real problems.


  • Taught modules  40%
  • Group project  20%
  • Individual project  40%

For part-time students a dissertation replaces the group project.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a 1st or 2nd class UK honours degree in a relevant engineering or science-based discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications together with industrial experience may be considered.

Start Date and Duration

The full-time MSc Ultra Precision and Nanoengineering commences each October and is of 12 months' duration. The course is also available on a part-time basis for persons working in industry. Part-time students are expected to complete the programme within three years.


Bursaries available - up to £5k + fees*

Funding opportunities exist, such as industrial sponsorship and School bursaries. For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. Please note that a formal offer of a place on this course must have been received before consideration can be given for funding.

How to apply

Please download an application form, available from: http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/students/courses/page48833.html

Specialist facilities

Students benefit from access to the best equipped precision machining laboratories in Europe, including the Hexagon Loxham Precision Laboratory, a 400m2 state-of-the-art temperature and humidity controlled workspace, and over 100m2 of clean rooms within the Microsystems and Nanotechnology Centre.

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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