MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics

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


This course has been designed to reflect the wide applications of Computational Fluid Dynamics. You will learn to understand, write and apply CFD methods across a wide broad range of fields, from aerospace, turbomachinery, multi-phase flow and heat transfer, to microflows, environmental flows and fluid-structure interaction problems. Tailor your course by choosing from a range of specialist modules covering application-specific methods and techniques.

Who is it for?

Designed to meet the education needs of graduates and professional engineers who are looking to kick-start an industrial or research career in the rapidly growing field of Computational Fluid Dynamics. This course bridges the gap between the introductory level of undergraduate courses and the applied expertise acquired by engineers using CFD in industry. You will gain the knowledge and appreciation of CFD methods necessary for a strong foundation to a career in this exciting engineering discipline.

Why this course?

The MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics provides a solid background so that you will be able to apply CFD methods as a tool for design, analysis and engineering applications. With a strong emphasis on understanding and application of the underlying methods, enthusiastic students will be able to write their own CFD codes during the course.

Sharing some modules with the MSc in Aerospace Dynamics gives you the opportunity to interact with students from other disciplines. In recent years, our students have been had the opportunity for work-based placements at the Aircraft Research Association (ARA), European Space Agency (ESA), Ricardo and DAF Trucks.

Informed by Industry

Our strategic links with industry ensures that all of the materials taught on the course are relevant, timely and meet the needs of organisations competing within the computational analysis sector. This industry led education makes Cranfield graduates some of the most desirable for companies to recruit.

The Industrial Advisory Panel is comprised of senior industry professionals provides input into the curriculum in order to improve the employment prospects of our graduates. Panel members include:

  • Adrian Gaylard, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)
  • Trevor Birch, Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Chris Fielding, BAE Systems
  • Evgeniy Shapiro, Ricardo
  • Stephen Rolson, Airbus
  • Clyde Warsop, BAE Systems
  • Peter Hall, MBDA
  • Richard Pattenden, Qinetiq
  • Stephen Hughes, AWE
  • Marco Hahn, Aircraft Research Association (ARA)

Your teaching team

You will be taught by experienced academic staff from Cranfield University including:

  • Dr Antonis Antoniadis, Course Director
  • Dr Panagiotis Tsoutsanis
  • Dr László Könözsy
  • Dr Zeeshan Rana

Our staff are active researchers as well as tutors, with clients that include AWE, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC), Jaguar Land Rover, BAE Systems, MBDA, MoD and SEA. Our teaching team work closely with business and have academic and industrial experience. Knowledge gained working with our clients is continually fed back into the teaching programme, to ensure that you benefit from the very latest knowledge and techniques affecting industry.

The course also includes visiting lecturers from industry who will relate the theory to current best practice. Previously our students have received lectures from industry speakers including:

  • Clyde Warsop, Executive Scientist, BAE Systems
  • Marco Hahn, Senior Project Scientist, ARA
  • Keith McKay, Consultant, ex-BAE Systems
  • Johnathan Green, Senior Project Manager, BMT Fluid Mechanics Ltd
  • Geoff Le Good, Managing Director, GL Aerodynamics
  • Adrian Gaylard, Technical Specialist - Aerodynamics, Jaguar Land Rover
  • Andy Wade, Technical Services CFD Team Leader, ANSYS
  • Richard Mitchell, Technical Services Structural Mechanics Team Leader, ANSYS
  • Matthew Sorrell, CFD Team Leader, Red Bull Technology.


The MSc in Computational Fluid Dynamics will meet, in part, the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng (Hons) accredited for CEng will be able to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

  • Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE)

Course details

The taught modules are delivered from October to April via a combination of structured lectures, and computer based labs.

The core part of the course consists of modules which are considered to represent the necessary foundation subject material. The course is designed to reflect the broad range of CFD applications by providing a range of optional modules to address specific application areas. Students on the part-time programme will complete all of the compulsory modules based on a flexible schedule that will be agreed with the course director.

Individual project

The taught element of the course finishes in May, at which point you will have an excellent understanding of CFD methods and applications. From May to September you will work full-time on your individual research project. The research project gives you the opportunity to produce a detailed piece of work either in close collaboration with industry, or on a particular topic which you are passionate about.

Recent Individual Research Projects include:

  • A Study of A-pillar Vortices on the Jaguar XF Using Transitional Turbulence Models
  • Aerodynamic Analysis and Optimisation of the Aegis UAV
  • Performance Analysis of Hypervapotron Inlet Region
  • Phase Separation of Oil-water Flow in a Pipe Bend
  • CFD Simulation of a Novel CO Sensor
  • Shock Wave Interaction with Biological Membranes for Drug Therapy
  • High Resolution Implicit Large Eddy Simulation of Ariane 5 Aerodynamics.


Taught modules 50%, Individual research project 50%.

Compulsory modules

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

  • Introduction to Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
  • Numerical Methods for PDEs
  • Numerical Modelling for Steady and Unsteady Incompressible Flows
  • Numerical Modelling for Steady and Unsteady Compressible Flows
  • Classical Turbulence Modelling
  • Advanced Turbulence Modelling and Simulation: LES and DNS
  • High Performance Computing for CFD
  • Managing Uncertainty in Simulations: Validation and Verification
  • Grid Generation / CAD
  • Data Analysis, Data Fusion and Post Processing
  • The Role of Experimental Data in CFD

Elective modules

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

  • CFD for Aerospace Applications
  • CFD for Micro and Nano Flows
  • CFD for Rotating Wings
  • CFD for Automotive Flows
  • CFD for Mutiphase Flows and Combustion
  • CFD for Environmental Flows
  • CFD for Fluid-Structure

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree or equivalent in mathematics, physics, computing or an engineering discipline.

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

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 – 6.5 overall
  • TOEFL – 92
  • Pearson PTE Academic – 65
  • Cambridge English Scale – 180
  • 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

Strategic industrial links ensure that the course meets the needs of the organisations competing within the computational sector therefore making our graduates some of the most desirable in the world for companies to recruit. An increasing demand for CFD specialists with in depth technical knowledge and practical skills within a wide range of sectors has seen our graduates employed by leading companies including:

  • Alstom
  • BAE Systems
  • Cummins Turbo Technology
  • BHR
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
  • Rio Tinto
  • Rolls-Royce plc
  • Siemens.

Roughly one third of our graduates go on to register for PhD degrees, many on the basis of their MSc individual research project. Thesis topics are often supplied by individual companies on in-company problems with a view to employment after graduation - an approach that is being actively encouraged by a growing number of industries.