The application process

If you've been in your role for a long time, you might be a little rusty on applications - particularly if there's an academic element. Since this is a competitive process though, it's important that you're at your best. To make sure you're prepared to show us what you can do, here's where you'll find out everything you need to know about the application process.

Ready to apply?

If you’re itching to get started and you already understand the process, click below.

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Why we applied

You're embarking on something big, so it's good to find out from the people who came before you. But why did our current cohort apply? Let's find out.

The application process step-by-step

Step 1: Your initial application image

Step 1: Your initial application

To formally register your interest in the programme, the first thing you’ll do is fill in your application form on Taleo. Whilst this stage might feel like a bit of a formality, please bear with us. It means that we have a definitive list of everyone who wants to apply and can start the process of finding the best and brightest applicants.

Step 2: The critical reasoning test and personality profile

Next up, you’ll take on two online tests: the Critical Reasoning Test and the Personality Profile.

The Critical Reasoning Test

The Critical Reasoning Test will tell us about your problem solving and decision-making skills, and how you personally balance accuracy versus working speed. The assessment is time recorded, not time limited. You can spend as long as you like on the assessment, though your accuracy and time taken to respond to each question will contribute to your overall performance. We’d recommend that you leave at least 45 minutes to do this, making sure you have a strong internet connection before you start.

The Personality Profile

The Personality Profile gives you the chance to show us the way you tend to behave. We’ll present you with a series of very brief scenarios, with two responses to choose from on a sliding scale. You’ll use the slider to tell us truthfully which sounds more like you. You won’t need any experience or previous knowledge: this is all about finding out how you respond to work situations. Again, we’d recommend you have a strong internet connection before you start, leaving at least 25 minutes to complete the test.

We know that online tests like these ones aren’t everybody’s cup of tea. So, to help you prepare, you can download our PDF guide to preparing for assessment here

Step 3: The written assignment

If you’re successful in the online assessment stages, you’ll be sent a brief for your 1,500-word written assignment. You’ll be posed a question related to the course – for example, about your definition of leadership – and you’ll be asked to answer it from your own point of view and experience. You’ll also be expected to look up some basic academic theory around whatever question you’re posed, and reference that thinking in your answer. All this might seem onerous, but it doesn’t have to be perfect – we just want to get an idea of how you’ll approach academia. It also gives you a useful opportunity to see how studying suits you.

If you haven’t written an academic essay before though, or it’s been a while, don't panic. You’ll find some hints and tips in our application preparation guide

Download here

Step 3: The written assignment image
Step 4: The interview image

Step 4: The interview

After you’ve handed in your assignment, now’s your chance to talk about it. To help you get ready for interview, you'll first have a mandatory group webinar - held on Monday 14 January at 10am - 11am - to meet the Cranfield Programme Director, hear about the course, and ask her any questions you might have. 

Then, at your interview with Cranfield, you’ll meet at least one of the professors who’ll be teaching you. They’ll talk with you about how you found the assignment, ask you some challenging questions around it to see how you respond, and talk with you about the programme more broadly. As much as anything else, this is your chance to ask questions and get to know the experts who’ll be delivering your learning.

We want this interview to be an enjoyable discussion of the topic, but we know interviews can be a stressful thing. So, to help you prepare, you can read more in our PDF guide to preparing for assessment.

Step 5: Cranfield registration

The final stage: if you’ve made it through your assessments and you’ve been successful at interview, you’ll be invited to fill in a form to register with Cranfield. This isn’t a formality or a definitive offer though: the university will now have the chance to make their final decision, based on all your assessments so far, about whether you meet the high standards we’re looking for.

Step 5: Cranfield registration image

Getting accepted

If Cranfield accept you onto the course, congratulations are in order - we’ll call you and make a definitive offer. In all likelihood, this will happen from Wednesday 20 – Friday 22 February 2019 and your first taste of the course will be at your induction in early March.

Getting accepted image

Got questions?

We want to be there for you throughout the application process. So, if you have any questions, if you’re having any problems, or if there are any adjustments we need to make for you during the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at:


Ready to apply?

If you know your way around the application process, if you think you’re ready for the commitment involved, and you've chatted it through with your manager, then you’re ready to start your application.