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Defence Simulation and Modelling (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

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!

Student Profiles

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).
If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.
Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) ideally in a related subject. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director. For further and specific information please visit the course page.

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