Postgraduate Courses

MSc / Apprenticeship in Aviation Safety Management, Risk and Regulation

In partnership with Cranfield University

Webinars: Learn more about this course

Join us and Cranfield University to learn more about our MSc/Apprenticeship in Aviation Safety Management, Risk and Regulation.
Reserve your spot now for one of our three webinars scheduled throughout 2024.

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In partnership with Cranfield University, we launched this postgraduate course in 2020 to provide a spectrum of technical knowledge in the context of safety management, risk and regulation in aviation. It is developed for safety professionals and regulators to deepen their understanding of safety management, risk-based regulation, law and human factors.
Course Overview

Professionals working in aerospace, commercial air transport industries, and regulators must possess detailed knowledge of existing and emerging safety management issues facing the industry during the design, production, operation, and maintenance of products and systems. This enables the aviation industry and regulatory authorities to make more informed risk management decisions, ultimately leading to safer, more cost-effective operations.

The course aims to provide a globally unique offering to meet the needs of safety professionals in the industry and the regulator, offering the opportunity to engage with real safety problems of today and future challenges.

This part-time programme meets the requirements of the Level 7 Risk and Safety Management Professional Standard. Eligible organisations will be able to use their Apprenticeship Levy to cover the cost of the programme. For more information on the apprenticeship route, please click here.

Next Cohort January 2025
Duration MSc: three years part-time; Postgraduate Diploma: two years; Postgraduate Certificate: one year
Delivery Taught modules:

  • MSc: Taught modules – 40%; Group project – 20%; Individual research project – 40%
  • PgDip: Taught modules – 65%; Group project – 35%
  • PgCert: Taught modules – 80%; Group project – 20%.
Qualification MSc, PgDip, PgCert
Study type Part-time
Campus Online
Course Details

The whole part-time MSc is expected to be completed in three years. The PGDip takes two years, with all taught and group project modules to be successfully completed. The PGCert is expected to be completed in one year, with taught modules 1 and 2 and group project 1 to be successfully completed.

  • Module 1 – Advanced Safety and Risk Management (compulsory – year 1)
  • Module 2 – Aviation Legislation & Regulatory Approach (compulsory – year 1)
  • Module 3 – Aircraft Accident Investigation and Response (compulsory – year 2)
  • Module 4 – Responding to Risk in Sociotechnical System (compulsory – year 2)

Taught modules: 40%; Group projects: 20%; Individual research project: 40%

Why this course? 

This programme is delivered through the specialist Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre, operating for 40 years to support global safety and investigation. This course is unique as it combines the knowledge and expertise of the centre’s academic staff with the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s senior staff.

Informed by industry

Cranfield University has worked closely with CAA International to develop this unique course. The UK CAA is world-leading in the adoption of “performance-based regulation”, which aims to focus regulatory efforts on areas representing greatest risk.

Your career

Most students on this course will probably be already in full-time employment at the time of attending the course. However, this MSc prepares them for a higher level of responsibility in a variety of areas. The course has a unique blend of subjects covering the varied topics within risk and safety management, which will have a huge benefit for people within all aviation sectors. It is therefore entirely possible that the course will enable people to take on additional responsibility and/or transition to other areas within the aviation industry.

"Completing the MSc + Apprenticeship in Aviation Safety Management, Risk, and Regulation has been an immensely enriching experience. The three-year course required significant time management and personal sacrifice to meet its rigorous assignment deadlines. The curriculum, tailored for aviation safety professionals, greatly enhanced my technical knowledge and practical skills in aviation safety and risk management. As this was an apprenticeship, we were required to complete a professional qualification component in addition to the academic requirements. Balancing this with our daily jobs, especially during the dissertation phase, was particularly challenging but ultimately rewarding. The apprenticeship emphasised cross-functional collaboration, providing invaluable insights that are directly applicable to my role at the CAA.

Graduating from this programme is a monumental achievement that has equipped me with advanced skills essential for my role as a Senior Technical Advisor at CAAi. This journey has transformed my approach to risk-based regulation and safety management."

Vladimir ValionkinSenior Technical Advisor, CAAi

"Attending the Aviation Safety Management, Risk and Regulation Mastership (MSc + Apprenticeship) was an immensely positive experience that significantly enriched my technical knowledge in aviation safety and risk management. The comprehensive curriculum, designed specifically for industry safety professionals and regulators, further elevated my knowledge base and the practical focus on current challenges and emerging issues in the industry. The apprenticeship element and associated OJT further built on importance of focusing on cross capability interdependences in a rapidly evolving world, reducing silo thinking and provided invaluable insights that are directly applicable to my work at the CAA. Engaging with experts and peers on various levels of career stages from the industry and other National Aviation Authorities fostered a collaborative learning environment that was both inspiring and supportive."

Karolina CyrnekRisk Based Oversight Lead, UK CAA

"The Aviation Safety Management, Risk and Regulation MSc has allowed me to hone my skills towards a career in a field of aviation that is future proof despite the evolution of the industry and the global system. Knowing that the course at Cranfield was created with the UK CAAs input assures me of its validity and gives me a great sense of pride. The diverse range of topics covered in the MSc, along with the focused knowledge, skills, and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship program, have become ingrained in my daily routine. I constantly find myself reflecting on the behaviours and practices I have learned, applying them not only in my professional endeavours but also in my personal life. This integration of course principles into my everyday actions is a true testament to the effectiveness and impact of the programme."

Felicia BarrettAirspace Specialist (Correspondence), UK CAA

“The regulation of aviation safety has evolved significantly from just compliance checking. The implementation of safety management systems in industry and the practice of risk-based surveillance in the regulator, pioneered in the UK, have fundamentally changed the regulatory landscape. Never has it been more important for regulators and industry across the world to have a common understanding of how these tools can drive improved safety performance.

We have chosen to work with Cranfield University in designing this course because of their exclusive focus on aviation and postgraduate education; access to a working airfield, with virtual control tower and aircraft, make this a unique place to learn.”

Ben AlcottDirector of the Professional Services Group, UK CAA
Class of 2024

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