About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management. We are focused on the specialist themes of aerospace, defence and security, energy and power, environment and agrifood, manufacturing, transport systems, and water.

Cranfield teaches over 5,000 postgraduate students each year. Our staff-to-student ratio is one of the best for any university in the UK (one member of academic staff to every five students). Cranfield is a six-time winner of the prestigious Queen's Anniversary Prize, the only national honour given to educational institutions for work carried out in the public interest.

Cranfield Defence and Security

Cranfield Defence and Security has an unrivalled reputation for defence education, research and consultancy. Our expertise is trusted by governments, armed forces, industry and security services around the world.

As a postgraduate academic provider to the UK’s Ministry of Defence, we offer a unique gateway to delivering practical education and solutions that make a real difference to the lives of military, security and civilian personnel.

Our portfolio includes: defence and security engineering (design, manufacture, mobility, impact, armour, propulsion, aerodynamics, robotics, autonomy), defence chemistry, forensic sciences, weapons systems, digital warfare and cybersecurity, resilience, counterterrorism and organised crime, defence engagement, complex acquisition, defence commercial, simulation, experimentation and analysis, management, leadership and business skills and test and evaluation.

Cranfield Forensic Institute

Cranfield Forensic Institute (CFI) has extensive expertise and exceptional facilities in a wide range of forensic sciences specialities. Our education and research is unsurpassed.

CFI was established as the home for the many forensic-related disciplines already active at Cranfield University, such as ballistics, explosives, materials science, engineering failures and forensic computing.

These were greatly enhanced by the addition of forensic archaeology and anthropology, making us the only university in the world to accommodate these disciplines within a science and technology faculty.

Cranfield University is investing £3.5 million in the latest forensic science technology at its Cranfield campus. Building on Cranfield’s distinctive strength in defence and security, this forensic science teaching and research facility will be unparalleled in the UK.

You will have access to all our new facilities including: a virtual reality autopsy table, digital forensics laboratory, crime scene investigation rooms and a simulated mass grave excavation site.

 CFI has become a leading international player in the field known for the best research and postgraduate teaching and we significantly enhance the employability of our students by producing postgraduates of the highest quality.

The majority of our MSc’s are accredited by the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.

Find out more about CFI

Forensic and Counterterrorism Courses

Our Forensic MSc Programme includes:

Forensic Archaeology and Anthropology MSc

Intrigued by archaeology and anthropology? The course is designed to provide you with an understanding of how traditional and advanced techniques from archaeology and physical anthropology can be applied in the forensic context.

Forensic Ballistics MSc

This course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive insight of the field of firearms, ammunition and ballistic investigations. This MSc is highly practical and hands-on, aiming to produce a clear understanding of how firearms and ammunition function, the science of ballistics and the role of the forensic firearms examiner.

Forensic Explosive and Explosion Investigation MSc

This course introduces you to the investigation of explosive and CBRN crime scenes considering both pre- and post-blast scenes. This MSc develops your ability to apply forensic intelligence and exploitation techniques, and blend it with open source intelligence.

Forensic Investigation MSc

A highly practical and hands-on MSc, designed to give an understanding of the cutting-edge research and latest forensic methodologies. This enables you to resolve issues in relation to civil and criminal law.

Forensic Investigation of Heritage Crime MSc – NEW FOR 2020

Due to the rise in heritage crime there is currently an increasing demand for highly qualified subject matter experts. New for 2020 is our globally unique MSc. Developed from discussions with cultural heritage bodies, NGOs, military and police, this MSc will provide you with real world skills that will enhance your employability.

Our Counterterrorism MSc Programme includes:

Counterterrorism MSc

The need for accessible, comprehensive and reliable research and education on terrorism and counterterrorism remains profound. This MSc addresses those needs offering you an exceptional and cutting edge programme in this critical area.

Counterterrorism, Risk Management and Resilience MSc

This MSc is a specialist course designed particularly for those working in the risk management and risk mitigation sectors. This course provides you with the fundamental knowledge, core expertise and much more necessary to understand, analyse, prevent and mitigate terrorism.

Open Day

Join us for one of our Online Open Days – Register Here

2nd September 2020                                                              

21st November 2020

Want to find out more about CFI?

Read our Forensic Blogs

Read our recent news articles

Follow us on Twitter


As a student on the Cranfield campus you will have a wide choice of off-campus accommodation options, enabling you to immerse yourself in British culture. Experience English village life in Cranfield, live in the vibrant modern city of Milton Keynes or base yourself in the historic, riverside towns of Bedford or Newport Pagnell. All locations benefit from excellent transport connections to campus, with travel to London via Milton Keynes in 35 minutes and via Bedford in 50 minutes.

Life at Cranfield

Cranfield University offers a peaceful location in the English countryside, allowing you to focus on your studies, yet is only a short distance from many exciting cities and towns.

Cranfield campus is set in extensive grounds with:

  • Its own airport,
  • Two hotels with full accommodation and conference and banqueting facilities,
  • Sports and recreation facilities,
  • Student accommodation options comprising family homes and single student apartment blocks,
  • An adjoining Technology Park, home to nearly 60 science, technology and knowledge-based businesses.

Explore rankings data for Cranfield University

All ranked institutions have an overall score and 4 pillar scores. However for each pillar, only institutions ranked in the top 500 overall or the top 500 in this pillar have a publicly visible score

Key statistics

  • 6.1
    No. of students per staff
  • 70%
    Percentage of International Students
  • 25 : 75
    Student Ratio of Females to Males
  • 2,832
    Number of FTE Students
Based on data collected for the (1) 2020 World University Rankings