MSc in Advanced Motorsport Engineering

Application Dates
Course Overview
Masters (Coursework)
Tuition Fees
see website
Cranfield, United Kingdom
1 Year
Prior Study
Bachelor honours degree
Graduation Results
Not applicable
Study Field


Motorsport is an exacting world that requires total commitment from its engineers. Without their skills and expertise, teams don’t even get to race. This MSc will hone your skills and expertise in relation to motorsport and high performance engineering through a rigorous combination of teaching and motorsport related project work.

Who is it for?

Developed in collaboration with leading motorsport companies, this postgraduate programme prepares graduates for a career in motorsport or high performance engineering.

Why this course?

This course aims to provide you with a sound understanding of the fundamental scientific, engineering and managerial principles involved in motorsport, and their implementation within a high performance technology context.

You will cover design, construction and operation of competition vehicles, and related aspects of materials science, aerodynamics, structural analysis, vehicle systems, and management techniques related to motorsport.

You will be taught the skills required for the planning, execution and reporting of motorsport projects and to prepare them for a variety of roles in motorsport.

Cranfield University has undertaken research, consultancy and testing for the motorsport sector since the 1970s. The University is home to the FIA approved Cranfield Impact Centre and Cranfield Motorsport Simulation which work with F1 and leading motorsport companies. We have an international reputation for our expertise in aerodynamics, CFD, materials technology, including composites, safety of motorsport vehicle structures, power-train development, vehicle dynamics, simulation, data acquisition and electronics, tyre characterisation and modelling. This track record ensures the course is highly respected by the motorsport industry.

  • Practical sessions using Cranfield's facilities and equipment
  • Engagement with motorsport practitioners
  • Motorsport related project work.

Informed by Industry

The Industrial Advisory Board or Steering Committee is a very important factor in the success of the Cranfield Motorsport MSc programme. It includes representation from key individuals and leading organisations in global motorsport.

The board supports the development and delivery of the MSc Advanced Motorsport Engineering, ensuring its relevance to motorsport. It also assists students where careers are concerned, supports teaching and group design and individual thesis projects.

As of January 2018 the composition of the Cranfield University Motorsport Steering Committee is:

  • Adrian Reynard, Director – ARC, Cranfield University Honorary Doctorate and Motorsport Visiting Professor to Cranfield University (Chair of the Panel)
  • Paul Crofts, Motorsport Consultant (Deputy Chair of the Panel)
  • Chris Aylett, Chief Executive - The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) 
  • Rodi Basso, Motorsports Director – McLaren Applied Technology Group 
  • Simon Blunt, General Secretary - The Motor Sports Association (MSA) 
  • Owen Carless, Head of Stress, Rear of Car - Red Bull Technology 
  • Jamie Dye, Managing Director – Fortec Motorsports 
  • Jane Gilham, Head of Human Resources - Xtrac Ltd Jane Gilham 
  • Ian Goddard, Head of Technical Partnerships – Renault Sport Formula One Team 
  • John Grant, Chairman – British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) John Grant 
  • Sylvain Filippi, Chief Technical Officer, Virgin Racing Formula E Team 
  • Ron Harvelt, Managing Director - One Group Engineering 
  • Rob Kirk, Head of Motorsport Electronics, Cosworth 
  • David Lapworth, Technical Director – Prodrive 
  • Cristiana Pace – Motorsport Consultant 
  • Mike Pilbeam, Director - Pilbeam Racing Designs 
  • Stuart Robertson, Head of Circuit and Rally Safety, FIA 
  • Neil Spalding, Director - Sigma Performance and Technical Consultant Moto GP 
  • Stefan Strahnz, Chief Engineer - Business Process Transformation – Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team
  • Pat Symonds, Technical Consultant – Formula One Management and Visiting Professor to Cranfield University 
  • Christopher Tate, Motorsport Consultant 
  • Iain Wight, Business Development Director -Williams Advanced Engineering 

Cranfield University is a member of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) and is supported by the Motor Sports Association (MSA). Its Motorsport MSc students assist the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) with respect to the British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone. The Advanced Motorsport Engineering MSc programme is linked to AVL through AVL's University Partnership scheme. Students have access to AVL Boost software.

Your teaching team

  • Clive Temple
  • Dr Hrushikesh Abhyankar
  • Dr Veronica Marchante Rodriguez
  • Dr Laszlo Konozsy
  • Professor Kevin Garry
  • Jennifer Holt
  • Dr James Brighton
  • Professor Mark Jenkins

Our students regularly engage with motorsport practitioners through group design and individual project work supported by industry. Our extensive network of contacts provides students with the opportunity to undertake exciting projects addressing real-life challenges in motorsport, while gaining important additional skills.

In addition, a number of external lecturers from the world of motorsport will deliver sessions during modules as well as contributing to the group design project phase and to the support of individual thesis projects.


MSc in Advanced Motorsport Engineering is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). Re-accreditation for the MSc in Advanced Motorsport Engineering is currently being sought from the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

Course details

The MSc course consists of nine one-week assessed modules, of which eight are assessed, which take place during October to February, a group design project and an individual thesis project.

Students who excel on the Masters' course have their performance recognised through prizes from our partners and associates presented either on the day of the Motorsport Group Design Presentations or at the Motorsport MSc 'Parc Ferme' Graduation event in the June of the following year.

These are awarded for:

  • Sir Jackie Stewart OBE Prize - Best overall student performance
  • Visiting Professor Adrian Reynard Prize - Best thesis
  • British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) Prize - Best student ambassador
  • Best overall Group Design Project
  • MSA (Motor Sports Association) Prize - Best Group design project presentation
  • Racecar Engineering Magazine Prize - Best Group design project poster.

Group project

Group design projects are usually sponsored by industry partners and provide students with experience of working on real challenges in the work place along with skills in team working, managing resources and developing reporting and presentation skills. Experience gained is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. Projects run from February to May.

The group design project forms an important element of the education and assessment process for our Masters' students. The group design project is an applied, multidisciplinary team-based activity, providing students with the opportunity to apply principles taught during their MSc course. The Presentation Day provides the students with an opportunity to present their work to an audience of industry representatives, academics and their peers.

Our group design projects have proven very successful in developing new conceptual designs which are now implemented in competition vehicles and have even influenced sporting regulations. The nature of the work is very much applied with the students accessing facilities and equipment here at Cranfield together with support from the academic team and motorsport practitioners.


  • Land Speed Record (LSR) motorcycle concept designs

Four student teams developed their concepts for the 500cc streamliner class. Within each team students specialised in disciplines such as CFD, aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, powertrain, materials and structures. They created a wind tunnel model that was tested in the Cranfield facility. In addition to the technical aspects, students engaged in individual competency evaluation, peer review and personal reflection.

Individual project

Each year we have a number of thesis projects with motorsport companies that are subject to Non-Disclosure Agreements. This reflects the competitive and confidential nature of motorsport. However, a number of thesis projects are in the public domain and reflect the opportunity students have to deepen their technical understanding. Recently completed thesis projects include:

  • Simulation of interconnected suspension for LMP applications
  • Applied aerodynamics study for rear wing optimisation 
  • Simulation and design of a split turbocharger for a 2015 F1 engine 
  • Design, manufacture and testing of a novel F1 suspension arm joint 
  • Airbox design: analysis and improvement for a racing sidecar outfit.

The individual thesis project runs until early September. Thesis projects allow the students to deepen their understanding through research work related to motorsport.

“The day before going to Goodwood, I was at Cranfield University attending the Thesis Project Exhibition Day which included presentations for the Motorsport MSc programme, in other words, the bright young minds that will hopefully be coming into motorsport in the near future. With students from around the world, it really was inspirational talking to many of them and learning from them what they had been researching and their conclusions. As long as the sanctioning bodies embrace new technologies and not be afraid of them and go down the spec series route, then motor racing’s future looks exceptionally bright.”  William Kimberley, Editor, Race Tech Magazine


Taught modules 40%, Group project 20%, Individual project 40%.

Compulsory modules

All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course:

  • Composite structures for motorsport
  • Computational fluid dynamics for motorsport
  • Introduction to motorsport
  • Motorsport aerodynamics
  • Motorsport electronics and data acquisition
  • Motorsport power train design
  • Motorsport structural analysis
  • Motorsport vehicle dynamics
  • The business of motorsport

Entry requirements

First or upper second class UK Honours or international equivalent in a relevant STEM discipline such as engineering, aerodynamics, physics or applied mathematics. You must have A-Level mathematics and physics, or their international equivalent.

Selected UK students are expected to attend a formal interview at Cranfield. Selected overseas and EU students will be interviewed by telephone.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic – 7
  • TOEFL – 100
  • Pearson PTE Academic - 68
  • Cambridge English Scale – 190
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - C
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency – C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

Motorsport is a highly competitive sector. Studying at Cranfield will immerse you in a highly focused motorsport engineering learning experience, providing you with access to motorsport companies and practitioners. Securing employment is ultimately down to the student who completes the job applications and attends the interviews.  Successful students go on to be part of a network of engineers. You will find Cranfield alumni working across motorsport and the high performance engineering sector.