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Course content

Course Description

If you are involved in any aspect of defence acquisition, then this course is relevant to you. Whether you are involved in establishing or managing capability requirements; engaged in procurement, commercial or contracting activities; or developing and implementing support solutions, this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills required for effective management of defence acquisition. This course offers three pathways - General Acquisition, Through Life Support and Commercial. The MSc programme also provides recognition by a number of professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), as this is a CIPS-accredited course, accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and, eligibility for a Chartered Management Institute Diploma.


To be successful in the defence acquisition community requires a clear understanding of the fundamental issues that impact on the establishment of sound commercial relationships; the development of integrated acquisition solutions and the delivery of operational excellence. We aim to develop the ‘T’ shaped individual, with a broad appreciation of strategic issues, and a greater understanding of defence acquisition. The course provides and develops the skills to critically analyse management theories (acquisition), which can be applied to modern, increasingly commercialised, national and international defence acquisition management, in order to enhance the quality of decision making. The range of backgrounds of both staff and students is diverse and includes national and international commercial organisations, the not for profit sector, civil service and the armed forces. Cohort size is 45.

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgCert - one year, Part-time PgCert - two years, Full-time PgDip - one year, Part-time PgDip - two years

English Language Requirements

Students whose native language is not English must attain an IELTS score of 7.

Course overview

The course is made up of 12 modules of which 11 are compulsory and 1 is elective. The course is split into three components. The first component consists of 8 compulsory modules including Financing Acquisition and Sourcing Strategies in the Industrial Interface. The second component consists of your chosen pathway (General Acquisition, Through Life support or Commercial), 3 compulsory modules and 1 elective module. The third component consists of a 20,000 word research-based thesis.


- Introductory Studies
- Strategic Management and Introduction to Acquisition
- Financing Acquisition
- Project & Programme Management
- Sourcing Strategies and the Industrial Interface
- Managing Acquisition Change
- Knowledge in Defence
- Leading Acquisition Change
- Supply Network Management in Defence and the Commercial Environment
- Supply Network Analysis and Modelling
- Cost Estimation and Planning
- Advanced Negotiation
- Commercial Relationships in the Defence Environment
- Sustainability in Defence
- Availability, Maintainability, Reliability & Supportability
- Efficient and Effective Through Life Support
- Defence Capability Management

- The International Dimensions of Defence Acquisition
- Capability, Requirements and Systems
- Personal and Organisational Development

Individual Project

The individual research project begins with a one week compulsory module on Research Methodology and the subsequent production of a 20,000 word research-based thesis.


A mixture of examinations, assignments, case study analyses and individual reports.

Career opportunities

Takes you on to career development in the equipment capability area, a Defence Equipment and Support organisation (or other relevant areas such as Defence Estates), defence manufacturers, commercial organisations or Government departments. It also provides a relevant lead-in towards PhD studies focused upon acquisition.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage - https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Defence-Acquisition-Management

Visit the Defence Acquisition Management (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!






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Recipient: Cranfield University at Shrivenham

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