History: Founded as the first postgraduate College of Aeronautics after the Second World War on the site of RAF Cranfield in 1946. Then became Cranfield Institute of Technology, achieving university status in 1969 and renamed Cranfield University in 1993.

Address: Two sites: Cranfield in Bedfordshire, and the Cranfield Defence and Security School (formerly the Royal Military College of Science), at Shrivenham in Wiltshire.

Ambience: A mature atmosphere and a focused learning environment for ambitious individuals. It is the only UK university with its own airfield and waste water treatment facility.

Who's the boss? Professor Sir Peter Gregson was appointed Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University in August 2013. Previously he was at Queen's University Belfast where he led the university into the Russell Group of research intensive UK universities in 2006. Educated at Imperial College London, he was awarded a Knighthood for Services to Higher Education in 2011.

Prospectus: 01234 758 008 or order a prospectus online here.

UCAS code: Post graduate university only, so not part of UCAS.

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Postgraduates usually require a first or second-class honours degree. MBA students need three years in industry.

Vital statistics: A postgraduate-only university offering Masters, PhDs and other doctorates, and short courses. Main study areas include aerospace, automotive, defence and security, energy, environment, management and manufacturing. About 4,500 students, of whom just over 3,800 are full-time and the rest part-time. Students from over 100 different countries, including many non-EU countries.

Added value: Excels at finding work for its graduates - 94 per cent enter relevant work or embark on further study within 6 months of graduating. The secret is that many students do research for top companies while at Cranfield. Student support is impressive– Cranfield has an excellent student to staff ratio.

As part of a long-term plan to develop the Cranfield campus and its facilities, three investment projects in aerospace and transport totalling £54m are planned. These include a £35m Aerospace Integration research centre (AIRC) and a £10m integrated transport systems engineering centre, both due to open in 2016. The most recent announcement is a £9m 'Intelligent Mobility" research facility known as MUEAVI (Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation), which includes a "smart" roadway to be built on campus, also by next year.

Teaching: Cranfield cannot take part in the National Student Survey because it does not have undergraduate students, but participates in the voluntary National Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. Its School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA accreditation.

Any accommodation? Yes- Cranfield campus has its own 'village', comprising halls of residence, and family houses. Rooms in halls on the Cranfield campus start at £88, with rooms in shared houses from £80 per week. At Shrivenham, staff help students to find self-catering rooms, shared housing or houses to rent in the local area. British military students normally live in military accommodation on site. See here for more information.

Cheap to live there? About average at both campuses - private off-campus accommodation ranges from £70 to £110 per week.

Transport links: Ideally you need a car but you can, of course, fly to Cranfield campus, which is one hour from London up the M1 between junctions 13 and 14. You can take the train and a bus from Milton Keynes or Bedford for Cranfield. Shrivenham is close to Swindon. Both campuses are close to rail and bus links for travel to large towns or cities.

Fees: MSc courses vary considerably, check out the website for more information

Bursaries: Several funding options are available for postgraduate study. The university has its own competitive postgraduate loan scheme. For more details visit the website or check out their 'funding finder'.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Quiet on campus but close to Milton Keynes and Bedford. Both campuses have bars and social activities.

Sporting reputation: League tables credentials are constructed for undergraduate universities and therefore aren’t applicable to Cranfield. Facilities at Cranfield include a fully equipped sports hall, playing fields and tennis courts. Facilities at Shrivenham campus include a a golf course , an outdoor heated swimming pool and riding stables.

Glittering alumni: John Fozard, who designed the Harrier jump jet; Alan Brown, designer of the Stealth Fighter, Antony Jenkins, Group Chief Exec of Barclays; Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of John Lewis.