Cranfield welcomes applications from students from all over the world to join our diverse and dynamic research community
The latest research opportunities for students are available now across our eight thematic areas. In addition to these opportunities, we also welcome applications from prospective students who have a research proposal or idea that they would like to develop, find out more about routes to study a research degree at Cranfield University.
A member of staff from the Cranfield Doctoral Network will be happy to discuss your options with you. Our academic staff are internationally recognised leaders in their fields and this allows us to support students from a range of backgrounds and with varied research interests.
Our programmes are highly competitive and although there are no set application deadlines we recommend applying as early as possible to secure your place. This is particularly important if you also want to apply for on-campus accommodation or need to apply for a visa to study in the UK, as these activities will take additional time after your course offer has been made.
Research students at Cranfield register on three main intakes throughout the academic year. These set intake dates allow you to join a more cohesive cohort and feel part of the wider research community straightaway.
You will receive a high quality induction programme, providing information on degree management and the exciting research and networking opportunities available, such as those available through our Doctoral Training Network.
Cranfield campus research intake/induction dates:
- 6 June 2022
- 26 September 2022
- 30 January 2023
- 5 June 2023
- 25 September 2023
- 29 January 2024
- 3 June 2024
- 30 September 2024
Note: for PhD in Leadership and Management (Cranfield School of Management), there are two start dates only – February and September.
Shrivenham site research intake/induction dates:
- 13 June 2022
- 3 October 2022
- 6 February 2023
- 12 June 2023
- 2 October 2023
- 5 February 2024
- 10 June 2024
- 7 October 2024
How to apply for a course
The following specialisms are primarily located at the Cranfield campus, and an online application is available for applications related to these.
- Energy and Power
- Environment and Agrifood
- School of Management
- Transport Systems
- Defence and Security - based at Shrivenham
Once you have submitted your online application we will email you to confirm that we have received it. Within two working days, we will also provide you with a username and password so you can access the student portal, EVE. In EVE you will be able to:
- view your application and personal details,
- view the progress of your application,
- upload additional documents, if required, in support of your application,
- request changes to your application,
- contact us with any questions you may have about your application,
- update your contact details,
- withdraw your application (prior to receiving a decision),
- request to be considered for a deferral (if you have received an offer).
To help speed up the application process, please provide your supporting documents (e.g. degree certificate) as soon as possible.
We only require electronic copies of these documents during the application process, which you can provide securely in the Applicant Portal or by email, there is no need to send photocopies by post. Please do not send us hard copies of your original documents.
The University offers opportunities for students registered on an award-bearing course at another institution to spend time at Cranfield, either undertaking modules and/or research, to make use of our facilities in support of your current studies.
If you are interested in becoming a Visiting Student please contact Admissions to discuss your suitability:
Cranfield campus - firstname.lastname@example.org
Defence and Security at Shrivenham - email@example.com
Admissions feedback, complaints and appeals
Applications may be unsuccessful for a number of reasons. Sometimes there are more applications than places on a particular course, or an application may not meet the standard entry requirements.
We don’t routinely provide feedback to applicants on the reasons for our decisions. If you wish to request feedback on an unsuccessful application, please email Admissions (for courses based at Cranfield campus, Bedfordshire) or our Academic Registry, (for Defence and Security courses at Shrivenham).
Complaints and appeals
We are committed to ensuring that all applications are considered fairly and within our defined procedures. Where applicants require sponsorship under the UK’s points-based immigration system, we are subject to external restrictions and requirements, which may affect our offer decision.
We will therefore only consider appeals or complaints in the following circumstances:
- if you believe there has been a significant failure in the admissions procedure, or
- if you believe you have been discriminated against unlawfully.
Cranfield University will not consider complaints or appeals based on any other reason, including where incomplete or inaccurate information has been provided. In line with our data protection policies, we don’t consider any appeals or complaints from anyone on your behalf. We do not share personal information with anyone outside the University, without your express consent.
Appeals or complaints should be made by email to:
- Admissions for applications made to courses based at Cranfield campus, or
- the Academic Registry for Defence and Security courses at Shrivenham.
You should receive a response acknowledging your complaint, or appeal, within 10 working days.
The Assistant Registrar or senior colleague will review your complaint or appeal and consult the relevant Head of School, or an appropriate representative. You will receive a full reply to your complaint, or appeal, including a reason for any final decision. This may include more detail about the initial outcome of your application. The outcome of any decision will be the final position of the University. The University will retain a record of your complaint or appeal for monitoring purposes to enable us to regularly review and improve our service.
Student protection plan
We publish a Student Protection Plan in line with the Office for Students (OfS) expectations. The plan sets out the University's approach to ensuring the continuation and quality of study for students should a risk to the continuation of their study arise.
Terms and conditions
We provide prospective students with information about our terms and conditions as part of the documentation issued when we offer a place on our courses.