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Course content

Course Description

The course addresses the design, development, procurement, use and management of models and simulations for applications in experimentation, training, testing, analysis and assessment of military forces, systems and equipment.


On successful completion of the course you will be familiar with the technologies, methodologies, principles and terminology of Modelling and Simulation as used across defence, including the challenges and issues as well as the benefits. Through use of facilities such as the Simulation and Synthetic Environment Laboratory (SSEL), with its wide range of specialist applications, students will gain a broad understanding of modelling and simulation in areas such as training, acquisition, decision-support, analysis and experimentation.

•10 places are normally available for the full-time cohort
•The course is suitable for both military and civilian personnel, including those from defence industry and government departments

Start date: Full-time: annually in September. Part-time: by arrangement

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 first language is not English must attain an IELTS score of 6.5.

Course overview

The modular form of the course, consisting of a compulsory core and a selection of standard and advanced modules, enables each student to select the course of study most appropriate to their particular requirements.

Standard modules normally comprise a week of teaching (or equivalent for distance learning) followed by a further week of directed study/coursework (or equivalent for part time and distance learning).

Advanced modules, which enable students to explore some areas in greater depth, are two week (or equivalent for part time and distance learning) individual mini-projects on an agreed topic in that subject, which includes a written report and oral presentation.

- MSc students must complete a taught phase consisting of eight standard modules, which includes two core modules (Foundations of Modelling and Simulation and Networked and Distributed Simulation), plus four advanced modules, followed by an individual thesis in a relevant topic. Thesis topics will be related to problems of specific interest to students and sponsors of local industry wherever possible.

- PgDip students are required to undertake the same taught phase as the MSc, but without the individual thesis.

- PgCert students must complete the core module (Foundations of Modelling and Simulation) together with five other modules; up to three of these may be advanced modules.


Part-time students will typically not study as a cohort, but will follow an agreed individual programme of study, attending courses as convenient.
Advanced Modules, which typically comprise individual self-study, can be selected to follow on from any standard modules that have been chosen.
Standard Modules, which typically involve traditional classroom instruction and/or VLE-based delivery, can be chosen from the following:

- Foundations of Modelling and Simulation
- Networked and Distributed Simulation

- Advanced Computer Graphics
- Advanced Discrete and Continuous Simulation
- Advanced Logistics Modelling
- Advanced Modelling and Simulation
- Advanced War Gaming and Combat Modelling
- Computational Statistics
- Computer Graphics
- Discrete and Continuous Simulation
- High Performance and Parallel Computing
- Intelligent Systems
- Intelligent Systems - Research Study
- Logistics Modelling
- Networked and Distributed Simulation Exercise
- Neural Networks
- Programming and Software Development in C
- Statistical Analysis and Trials
- War Gaming and Combat Modelling
- Weapon System Performance Assessment

Individual Project

An individual research project on an agreed topic that allows you to demonstrate your technical expertise, independent learning abilities and critical appraisal skills.


Continuous assessment, written examinations, oral vivas and (MSc only) thesis.

Proportions of different assessment types will vary according to programme and modules taken. For an MSc these might typically comprise 15-24% continuous assessment (written and oral), 36-45% written examinations and 40% thesis/dissertation.

Career opportunities

Equips you for simulation-specific appointments within the armed forces or government, or in the defence related activities of commercial organisations.

For further information

On this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/Courses/Masters/Defence-Simulation-and-Modelling

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





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