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MSc Air Transport Management - Cranfield vs City

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MSc Air Transport Management - Cranfield vs City

Old 22nd Feb 2019, 19:42
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MSc Air Transport Management - Cranfield vs City

Hi everybody,

I am planning to continue further studies starting late this year/early next year and I'm in the process of deciding between either choosing Cranfield or City on their MSc in Air Transport Management (Executive).

I've seen some useful discussions going on about this subject here on PPRuNe, but all of them are a bit old and therefore may be out-of-date. Would it be possible to get a more updated input about both courses and share opinions from those in the know?

Any input or additional information to help me having a more educated decision would be very much appreciated.

Cheers!
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Old 22nd Feb 2019, 23:06
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I don't have any experience with these schools but if I were you I would pick City University since they offer a part-time program. If you are a current pilot I guess the full-time program would not work with you right?
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Old 24th Feb 2019, 08:46
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Tharaka737,

Both City and Cranfield have the Executive MSc, therefore part-time.

Cheers!
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 09:36
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You are comparing two excellent courses here: both universities are very good, both courses are very good, both courses are taught by people who really know what they're doing. You probably can't make a bad choice here. Both have superb library facilities, very good staff, an excellent global reputation.

So what are the differences:

Geography: City is in the middle of London, Cranfield is on an airfield site well out in the country (about an hour's drive North of London, or about 40 minutes by train then half an hour by bus or taxi). The implications of this are much higher living costs whilst at City, moderately higher transport costs whilst at Cranfield.

People: City tends to have a lot of the teaching done by (top level) industry professionals, Cranfield tends to have a lot of the teaching done by world-leading academics based there. So the Cranfield course will have a greater academic focus, and the City course will have greater industry focus.

[I have not attended, or taught on, either course - but I have colleagues at both universities who I have a lot of respect for, and I've had quite a few conversations about the delivery of the course with professors at both universities, and spent quality time on both campuses.]

G
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Old 3rd Mar 2019, 12:52
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Has any one undertaken or have an opinion on the one year full time course at Coventry?

https://www.coventry.ac.uk/course-st...anagement-msc/


This is of interest to me as I do not live to far from Coventry and would potentially be able to study full time over the next academic year as my medical is currently suspended and will remain so until at least November 2020.

Has anyone ever undertaken one of these courses without having previously studied at degree level? I do not have a degree and it is over 30 years since I gained my rather unimpressive A levels.
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 12:15
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I haven't - I know the aviation safety / aero-eng people at Coventry, and they're good - but I'm less convinced that Coventry have much skill in aviation management. They appear to not have external accreditation on the course yet, to have just rehashed somebody else's standard syllabus, and they are seeking that accreditation from an institute who have nothing to do with aviation: a more conventional and appropriate route would be the Royal Aeronautical Society.

It's not that unusual for ATM MSc courses to accept ATPLs as equivalent to a BEng/BSc for admission, and my guess is that Coventry are probably desperate for students on this new course, and likely to be pretty relaxed. But, I'm a lot less convinced that it'll be a good course. Also you will struggle that long out of education going straight into a full time MSc - that level of education is extremely full-on, and challenging for somebody with a newish BSc.

If you want a good management qualification close to home, Warwick Business school have an excellent reputation - but it'll be a generic MBA, not an aviation qualification. If you want a good ATM MSc I would look seriously at the 1 hour drive down the M1 to Cranfield. Do think about preparation - whether they'll let you in or not. But with the academic year normally starting in September (Cranfield also start courses offset by 6 months in March, but you've missed that I think) you've got half a year to get back into study currency.

G
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 14:46
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
I haven't - I know the aviation safety / aero-eng people at Coventry, and they're good - but I'm less convinced that Coventry have much skill in aviation management. They appear to not have external accreditation on the course yet, to have just rehashed somebody else's standard syllabus, and they are seeking that accreditation from an institute who have nothing to do with aviation: a more conventional and appropriate route would be the Royal Aeronautical Society.

It's not that unusual for ATM MSc courses to accept ATPLs as equivalent to a BEng/BSc for admission, and my guess is that Coventry are probably desperate for students on this new course, and likely to be pretty relaxed. But, I'm a lot less convinced that it'll be a good course. Also you will struggle that long out of education going straight into a full time MSc - that level of education is extremely full-on, and challenging for somebody with a newish BSc.

If you want a good management qualification close to home, Warwick Business school have an excellent reputation - but it'll be a generic MBA, not an aviation qualification. If you want a good ATM MSc I would look seriously at the 1 hour drive down the M1 to Cranfield. Do think about preparation - whether they'll let you in or not. But with the academic year normally starting in September (Cranfield also start courses offset by 6 months in March, but you've missed that I think) you've got half a year to get back into study currency.

G
Thanks very much. Unfortunately as I live in Staffordshire Cranfield is 2 hrs away.
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 15:50
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Hmm, not a lot of choice there - much the same time by train to City.

G
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 17:05
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
You are comparing two excellent courses here: both universities are very good, both courses are very good, both courses are taught by people who really know what they're doing. You probably can't make a bad choice here. Both have superb library facilities, very good staff, an excellent global reputation.

So what are the differences:

Geography: City is in the middle of London, Cranfield is on an airfield site well out in the country (about an hour's drive North of London, or about 40 minutes by train then half an hour by bus or taxi). The implications of this are much higher living costs whilst at City, moderately higher transport costs whilst at Cranfield.

People: City tends to have a lot of the teaching done by (top level) industry professionals, Cranfield tends to have a lot of the teaching done by world-leading academics based there. So the Cranfield course will have a greater academic focus, and the City course will have greater industry focus.

[I have not attended, or taught on, either course - but I have colleagues at both universities who I have a lot of respect for, and I've had quite a few conversations about the delivery of the course with professors at both universities, and spent quality time on both campuses.]

G
Hi Gengis,

thank you very much for your valuable inputs. I had read all youíve added to other posts in the past relating to this subject (Cranfield Vs City) and was looking for a more updated input.

Relating to the differences youíve stated;

Geography:
As Iím looking at the part-time option on both Universities, I understand not much traveling will be required - they commit to 5/6 time traveling to campus on either option, on the academic part - when it comes to the Dissertation, then I believe it will have much to do with yourself and the tutor and the relationship youíll gain.

People:
Having the utmost respect for academics (which I honestly do have) I am looking more for an inside view of he industry. If I were to give more value to the academic side of it, I would probably be going for a more generic MBA (which was one of the initial options).

That being said, would you recommend a more generic MBA or this ATM MSc? The main objective of this return to school is to get my head running again, learn more about an industry I truly love and feel passionate about, but at the same time to get another option for a future career more out of the cockpits. From a financial point of view would I be better off investing in this more specific MSc or the money is better spent on a generic (but respected) MBA?

Looking forward to reading from you,
C212-100
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 17:39
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I hope I qualify as both an academic insider, and an aircraft industry insider - but I'm also an engineer and pilot, so business management isn't really my forte: I do flying machine stuff.

I think that an MBA is the route if you want to go into top level strategic / financial business management. I think that the MSc ATM is the route if you want to be a specialist middle to senior manager in the aircraft industry managing stuff that demonstrably involves air transport - aeroplanes, management, business development, etc.

G
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Old 4th Mar 2019, 18:02
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
I hope I qualify as both an academic insider, and an aircraft industry insider - but I'm also an engineer and pilot, so business management isn't really my forte: I do flying machine stuff.

I think that an MBA is the route if you want to go into top level strategic / financial business management. I think that the MSc ATM is the route if you want to be a specialist middle to senior manager in the aircraft industry managing stuff that demonstrably involves air transport - aeroplanes, management, business development, etc.

G
Hi Gengis,

I believe you do qualify and that is one of the reasons I respect your opinion and thoughts on this matter. Me, I am a mere pilot (been it for 17 years now) that always felt interested in the things happening "behind the doors" but "(..)to go into top level strategic /financial business management(...)" is not my objective - at least not at the moment.

When you refer to "(...) top level strategic / financial business management (...)" you're referring to C-Level, would you also out the COO in that more top level strategic part of the organization?

I believe that if at some moment in time that desire or aspiration to aspire to top level shows up I'm always in time for a proper MBA. Would you agree?

At the moment managing aeroplanes, business development and, who knows preparing a business plan for something I see the opportunity for would be my top objective. But the most important reason of the investment in the ATM MSc (or an MBA) is to learn more about the business. At the same feeling academically prepared, if an opportunity shows up, to take it if I feel the desire to do so. At the moment, the most I would see myself in an organization would be as COO. It is the operational sides of things that drive my passion.

Looking forward to reading a bit more from you, sir. Thank you very much for your time.
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 15:50
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One sure way of ensuring you don't end up in airline management as a pilot is to have a qualification in it! This may sound a bit cynical, but no-one - and I mean absolutely no-one I know who has done one of these courses has ever been chosen for management as a result. This may be because an airline's management don't want someone turning up who is going to make them look bad - or because no one can possibly know better than they do. It's usually a job for the boys anyhow. if your face doesn't fit, forget it.

The advice to do a generic MBA is a good. But the issue here is that everyone seems to have one these days, and choosing the correct course to make you stand out is difficult. Another option is to look at some of the other courses in aviation science which some universities offer. I was looking for a MSc course in transport safety and I narrowed the choice down to the Safety Management MSc at UNSW Australia, the Safety and Human Factors MSc at Cranfield, and Safety and Accident investigation MSc - also at Cranfield. The former is all correspondence and several of my colleagues had embarked on it and lost steam after about 6 of the required 9 modules - and not all the modules interested me. So I discounted it. Of the two Cranfield courses, the Safety and Accident Investigation won, mainly because the modules looked more interesting, but also because it also qualifies you as an accident investigator. Both Cranfield courses are attendance and the accident investigation course requires 11 weeks in the first 2 years. I managed this despite living in Hong Kong.

I have found the course fascinating - all the modules were good and none of it was boring. There is also a huge amount of latitude in what you may chose for your research project. It's also a highly regarded course and I have had a several of invitations to apply for jobs as a result.
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 20:18
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Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
One sure way of ensuring you don't end up in airline management as a pilot is to have a qualification in it! This may sound a bit cynical, but no-one - and I mean absolutely no-one I know who has done one of these courses has ever been chosen for management as a result. This may be because an airline's management don't want someone turning up who is going to make them look bad - or because no one can possibly know better than they do. It's usually a job for the boys anyhow. if your face doesn't fit, forget it.
Dear Dan,

Thank you for your message.

I agree with most of it, nevertheless if you think rationally and thoroughly about it, you will agree that getting yourself a degree (whatever it is) shall not - by itself - grant you access to whatever management position. It is my understanding that for any management position you need a lot of soft skills that no degree will grant you - you either have it or not. At the same time, obviously any middle or top level position is a position of trust, so you will always have to be chosen by someone high above and they will need to have a deep and close knowledge of yourself as an individual as well as a professional.

My intention to get either an MBA or one of the ATM MSc we are talking about is to get a knowledge on areas that I know little of. I'm not doing it for the sake of getting myself a management position, it may never happen and still I may feel the money was well spent - as far as I'm concerned it is all about educating myself above anything else.

Originally Posted by Dan Winterland View Post
The advice to do a generic MBA is a good. But the issue here is that everyone seems to have one these days, and choosing the correct course to make you stand out is difficult. Another option is to look at some of the other courses in aviation science which some universities offer. I was looking for a MSc course in transport safety and I narrowed the choice down to the Safety Management MSc at UNSW Australia, the Safety and Human Factors MSc at Cranfield, and Safety and Accident investigation MSc - also at Cranfield. The former is all correspondence and several of my colleagues had embarked on it and lost steam after about 6 of the required 9 modules - and not all the modules interested me. So I discounted it. Of the two Cranfield courses, the Safety and Accident Investigation won, mainly because the modules looked more interesting, but also because it also qualifies you as an accident investigator. Both Cranfield courses are attendance and the accident investigation course requires 11 weeks in the first 2 years. I managed this despite living in Hong Kong.

I have found the course fascinating - all the modules were good and none of it was boring. There is also a huge amount of latitude in what you may chose for your research project. It's also a highly regarded course and I have had a several of invitations to apply for jobs as a result.
Safety and Accident Investigation is an area that interests me a lot and that is another line of study I may think about in the future - again as another step of education. Would you be willing to elaborate about the invitations to apply for jobs? Would it be jobs still compatible with continue flying or something that would get you out of the cockpits?

Again, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 03:04
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Would you be willing to elaborate about the invitations to apply for jobs? Would it be jobs still compatible with continue flying or something that would get you out of the cockpits?
Various offers, mostly related to the aviation industry, but not all. None were followed up as they didn't come near the salary I'm on at the moment and I'm not quite ready to leave the flight deck. Safety is a growth industry and there seems to be a shortage of experienced and qualified safety personnel in all industries. Particularly those who are versed in the philosophy of 'new safety' or 'safety two' - something which you will learn on the Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation course.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 09:23
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Some developing thoughts....

- Dan is clearly a Cranfield fan, as am I! But, City is still good.

- The difference between "face fits" and "qualifications" is an interesting one. Being seen within your industry / company / community as a "safe pair of hands" without doubt should, and in the western world *usually* does, mean vastly more than paper qualifications. There are certainly parts of the world - the middle-east particularly where the person with the right bit of paper will always trump the person with years of relevant experience, but most places that's not true. A sample of two, but comparing myself and my wife: I've got a BEng and PhD - both in aerospace engineering, my wife has a BSc in building technology and an MBA. We both do pretty well for ourselves, and I've done jobs where the PhD is essential to the role (as it is basically a research licence, in the same way that a CPL is a licence to fly an aeroplane), and we've both managed reasonably large "stuff" - but I don't think that anybody has ever either queried my lack of a formal management qualification, whilst the only thing that it's been considered relevant to for my wife is when she teaches management theory in a university: she also oversees large building projects, and there it's all about her experience and skill, not her management qualifications.

- However, there's an interesting thread at the moment on the Society of Flight Test Engineers bulletin board. A chap there has a BSc in computer science, went into the military, was trained by a military school as a flight test engineer (FTE is the person who in a flight test environment manages the test pilot, and often flies with them to manage the trials components of a flight test whilst the TP manages the actual aeroplane), in which role he's been working in the USA for 18 years. The US immigration people have just refused to renew his visa on the grounds that the USA has plenty of people with 30 year old computer science degrees, so he clearly can't be anything special. IF, say, he'd done a relevant MSc at some point in the last 20 years, it might have given him the essential credibility, not with his employer: but with external bodies like that.


So basically the right reason to do these qualifications is to use them to learn stuff, and then to use what you've learned and also (never discount this) the network of people you built up during the learning process. BUT, there will be occasions when having that qualification can be really useful.

G
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 12:14
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post

So basically the right reason to do these qualifications is to use them to learn stuff, and then to use what you've learned and also (never discount this) the network of people you built up during the learning process. BUT, there will be occasions when having that qualification can be really useful.

G
Exactly my thoughts on all this. Thank you, G!

Regards,
C212-100
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