MSc Safety and Accident Investigation


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Developed in close collaboration with the rail accident investigation community, this course offers a unique combination of research-based learning and learning from real-world experiences, ensuring that students gain the skills and knowledge from the best of both academia and industry.

Who is it for?

The course is primarily aimed at those involved, or about to become involved, in rail accident investigation and other safety-related industries.

The course is suitable for those with a technical or operational background in rail or safety engineering and management, accident investigators, and those employed by national investigation agencies, operator, infrastructure providers, regulators, and manufacturers.

Why this course?

The course structure has been developed in close collaboration with the accident investigation community and with the endorsement of the Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre’s Industrial Advisory Board.

An important aspect of this course is the use of hands-on workshops and simulations to develop the practical skills required as an investigator. This is complemented by sessions and modules that enable you to conduct rigorous research and scientific analysis, along with technical writing, investigation and interviewing techniques.

Cranfield University is very well located for visiting part-time students from all over the world and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments. This PgCert programme benefits from a wide range of cultural backgrounds which significantly enhances the learning experience for both staff and students.

Course details

The course is delivered on a modular basis and consists of a combination of conventional learning tools and hands-on experience through field exercises and simulations.

The programme commences with attendance on the three-week module in Fundamentals of Investigation followed by a three-week module in Applied Rail Accident Investigation. The two compulsory modules have input from a significant number of external presenters from the Safety and Accident Investigation field.


Taught modules 100%


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2018–2019. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2019 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good UK honours degree (or equivalent) in any discipline, or a recognised lower qualification plus relevant work experience in rail/safety-related areas.

Applicants without a good UK honours degree (or equivalent) are encouraged to attend one or two modules (such as Fundamentals of Accident Investigation and Applied Rail Accident Investigation) as an Associate Student on a Continuing Professional Development course rather than applying as an MSc student.

Last updated Jan 2020

About the School

Cranfield's distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world.

Cranfield's distinctive expertise is in our deep understanding of technology and management and how these work together to benefit the world. Read less
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