MSc in Air Transport Management

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


In today's rapidly changing air transport environment the industry requires access to advanced and comprehensive knowledge, coupled with an in-depth understanding of its needs.
Designed to equip you with the skills required to pursue a successful career in various sectors of the air transport industry including airlines, airport companies and authorities, civil aviation departments, air transport consultancies and aerospace companies. Strong industry links and success in placing graduates in this sector for over 50 years.

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for students with a degree in aeronautical engineering, economics, business studies and geography or those with demonstrable experience in the air transport industry.

This course covers a wide area of expertise related to air transport management whilst enabling you to specialise in appropriated subject areas. This flexibility means that you may tailor the course to your particular interests and aspirations. It aims to provide you with a thorough grounding in all air transport issues as well as managerial, interpersonal, financial and analytical skills.

Why this course?

The MSc Air Transport Management has been established since 1964. The course has an outstanding global reputation with over 1,000 graduates to date. Graduates of this course are featured in our annual CV Book, a publication which is requested by and circulated to our extensive industry partner network, as our graduates are highly sought after. We help students prepare their CV and for interviews for positions all over the world. In addition, we give students access to our exclusive Air Transport Alumni group on LinkedIn. This offers unrivalled networking and job opportunities.

Cranfield University is very well located for students from all over the world, and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This MSc programme benefits from students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds which significantly enhances the learning experience for both staff and students.

Informed by Industry

The course is directed by an industrial advisory committee comprising senior representatives from leading airports and associated sectors. This group meets annually and ensures that the course content remains up-to-date and equips students with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers. Members of the committee attend the group project presentations and are actively involved in recruiting our graduates.

Current members include:

  • Senior Vice President, Boeing
  • Senior Economist, IATA
  • Director, BAA 
  • Senior Manager, Rolls Royce 
  • Senior Manager, Virgin Atlantic 
  • Senior Manager, EasyJet.

Your teaching team

You will be taught by the largest academic group in the world specialising in air transport management. This multidisciplinary group includes a unique blend of air transport economists, marketing specialists and aeronautical engineers with strong publication records and industry experience. Our teaching team includes:

  • Dr Robert Mayer
  • Dr Keith Mason.

Course details

The taught programme for the Air Transport Management masters is generally delivered from October to March and is comprised of nine compulsory modules and one module from the choice of optional modules. Many of the lecture modules include case study project sessions and seminars may also be led by senior visitors from industry. 

Students also receive a subscription to industry databases; OAG Schedules, ICAO data, FlightGlobal, CAPA Centre for Aviation.

Group project

The group project undertaken in April, aims to provide a simulated industrial environment where knowledge and skills gained from the taught component can be applied to solving an air transport management problem.

Students are divided into groups and tasked with setting up an airline in any country of the group's choice. Students can also choose any type of airline business model. The group present and defend their business plans to a board of senior industry executives as well as to the faculty. Each group must also submit a detailed report which will be assessed.

Individual project

The individual project is an opportunity to study a current problem and allows students to choose a subject of interest to explore in detail. Students can undertake independent research on a subject relevant to technical, operational or commercial aspects of the air transport or related industries, including a review of relevant literature, methodological planning, data collection, analysis, presentation of results, and evaluation and discussion of these results.

Previous projects have included:

  • The Impacts of Airline Liberalisation
  • Successes of Airline Business Models
  • Applications in Airline Marketing
  • The Benefits of Airport Privatisation
  •  Low-Cost Airline Expansion throughout Europe
  • The Future of In-flight Entertainment
  • Airline Alliances
  • The Impact of Globalisation on Aircraft Manufacturers.


Taught modules 50%, Group project 10%, Individual research project 40% 

Compulsory modules

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

  • Air Transport Market Analysis and Forecasting
  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Applications of Air Transport Economics and Finance
  • Air Transport Marketing
  • Air Transport Operations
  • Air Transport Strategic Management
  • Introduction to the Air Transport Industry
  • Regulatory Policy and Air Law
  • Theory of Air Transport Economics and Finance

Elective modules

A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

  • Airline Fleet Planning
  • Aviation Safety Management
  • Air Transport Engineering
  • Air Transport and the Environment

Entry requirements

A first or upper second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) in any relevant discipline. A lower qualification plus a number of years' relevant working experience may be accepted as equivalent.

Applicants who do not fulfil the standard entry requirements can apply for the Pre-Masters programme, successful completion of which will qualify them for entry to this course for a second year of study.

English Language

  • 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

Many of our former graduates now occupy senior positions within the air transport industry. The Centre for Air Transport Management has close links with companies and organisations in the industry who consider our students a valuable source of potential recruits.

Former students have taken up employment in a variety of positions in a wide range of organisations. Some of the main recruiting areas in recent years have included:

  • Airlines (e.g. British Airways, Air France, Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, American Airlines, Lufthansa, easyJet,)
  • Aerospace Manufacturers (e.g. Airbus, Bombardier, British Aerospace, Rolls-Royce)
  • Airport Operators (e.g. Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham )
  • Aircraft Maintenance
  • Integrators
  • Consultancy Firms
  • Aviation Insurance and Finance
  • Aviation Journalism