PhD Studentships

Cranfield University

Research at Cranfield University

Research degrees offer you time to pursue your ideas in your chosen specialist area of interest.  At Cranfield, we provide the framework to apply your work to make a real difference.  Students graduating from Cranfield leave with the skills, knowledge and inspiration to forge long and successful careers across the globe in academia, business or industry. 

Cranfield has strong links with business and industry.  Our programmes are designed with industry partners to ensure they are relevant and up-to-date, and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the latest challenges facing both public and private sector organisations.


We specialise across eight main research themes - Aerospace, Defence and Security, Energy and Power, Environment and Agrifood, Management, Manufacturing, Transport Systems and Water.  We work in an exceptional, multi-disciplinary fashion, ensuring a holistic lens is applied to any challenge or opportunity. We have a number of studentships available in these areas for you to explore further .

Making a practical difference

Our research is relevant and informed.  Recent applications include –

  • Innovation in the welding process delivering large savings to the oil and gas industry
  • Assessing the potential of vertical axis wind turbines for the offshore market (NOVA)
  • Influencing national policy on gender diversity on top corporate boards
  • Autonomous vehicle research
  • Understanding ice formation to improve aircraft safety
  • Reducing fresh produce waste through improved packaging

Cranfield Doctoral Network

Being a researcher can be a challenge.  Here at Cranfield, we support you during the whole process.  As a research student, you will be part of a dynamic, focused and professional study environment and will become a member of the Cranfield Doctoral Network. This Network brings together both research students and staff, providing a platform for researchers to share ideas, identify opportunities for collaboration and creates smaller communities of practice.


Cranfield has world class facilities, many of which are unique in the UK and at near industrial scale. These include a fully equipped airport and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (BAe146-aircraft); soil assets such as the Land Information System and World Soil Survey and Catalogue, on-site sewage treat works with its own dedicated pilot-plant hall, an off-road dynamics testing facility, munitions range for energetic materials evaluations, and ballistics test ranges. These are available for student use and indeed, our relationships with industry are deeply woven into the fabric of our teaching and research activities with lectures, sponsorship for projects, collaborative commercial activity, and networking opportunities.

Teegan Johnson, Cranfield Aerospace PhD, Current student

“I wanted to study aerospace at Cranfield because it’s highly applied so you know that if your work isn’t going to directly be used in industry, it may contribute to something that will. By carrying out work in an applied sphere, you know your work’s going to have an effect on the wider world; and I think that’s the most fascinating thing about doing it”.

Find out more today, download a brochure or come to our next Open Day on 10 March 2018.