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Course content

Course Description

This course has been designed specifically to provide an opportunity to a wide range of attendees, which include military officers, defence industry staff, government servants and civilian students.

The course offers advanced academic background necessary for students to contribute effectively to technically demanding projects in the field of explosives and Explosives Ordnance Engineering (EOE). It does this by introducing them to up-to-date and current research, which enables them to obtain a critical awareness to problem solving and capability to evaluate both military and commercial best practice in the field of EOE.

This course enables students to learn in a flexible manner as it offers both part-time and full-time learning all with full access to an outstanding remote virtual learning environment and on-line literature through our extensive library facilities. Other qualities and transferable skills include opportunities that will enhance employment potential in this field, problem solving, self-direction and informed communication skills.

This course meets the educational requirements for the Engineering Council UK’s register of Chartered Engineers (CEng); the course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).


This course specialises in explosive ordnance and engineering and is world class in teaching and research. We have a diverse student body drawn mainly from personnel linked to the military from numerous industries and institutions in the UK as well as overseas providing a rich educational experience. Our class size is normally 20 - 25 comprising a combination of full and part time students.

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

Duration: Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three 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 7.0

Course overview

Part One of the MSc course contains an introductory period followed by academic instruction, which is in modular form. Students take ten core modules covering the main disciplines and choose two optional modules based upon their particular background, future requirements or research interests. To qualify for the Explosives Ordnance Engineering MSc, students must successfully complete formal examinations, individual coursework, one group project and a research project.

Research project:
In Part Two, students undertake a research project - a list of prospective projects is provided each year by the teaching staff. Alternatively, with the agreement of the teaching staff/supervisor, students may undertake appropriate research of their own choice.

The structure of this course has been devised so that students learn the fundamental elements of EOE from an academic perspective whilst having the opportunity to learn something new by selecting elective modules.


The MSc is 200 credits of which 90 are compulsory, 80 are for the thesis and 30 credits are elective.

The PgDip is 120 credits of which 90 are compulsory and 30 credits are elective.
Full modules are 10 credits each; half modules are 5 credits each.

- Ammunition Systems 1 (Warheads)
- Ammunition Systems 2 (Delivery Systems)
- Ammunition Systems 3 (Target Effects)
- Future Developments: Scanning the Horizon in EOE
- Insensitive Munitions (Half Module)
- Introduction to Explosives
- Manufacture and Material Properties of Explosives
- Gun Propellants
- Research Methodology
- Testing and Evaluation of Explosives (Half Module)
- Transitions To Detonation (Half Module)
- EOE Project Phase

- Explosives and the Environment (Half Module)
- Explosives for Nuclear Weapons
- Pyrotechnics
- Computer Modelling Tools in Explosives Ordnance Engineering (Half Module)
- Risk Assessment for Explosives (Half Module)
- Forensic Investigation of Explosives and Explosive Devices
- Rocket Motors and Propellants

Individual Project

The aim of the project phase is to give the students an opportunity to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired on the taught phase of the course to a practical problem in EOE. A list of available project titles is produced in the first few months of the course so that a student can make an early choice and begin planning their programmes well before the project phase begins. Suggestions for projects may come from a variety of sources, for example an individual student’s sponsor, a member of staff, or the wider EOE community.

Group Project

To integrate module learning into an overall critical evaluation of new trends in EOE the students undertake a group project, which considers current ‘Hot Topics in EOE’, for example, nanotechnology, insensitive munitions, analysis and detection and environmental initiatives. The group project involves the students working together to research these hot topics and to critically appraise the facts, principles, concepts, and theories relating to a specific area of EOE. They do this as a group and then individually prepare elements of a presentation that they feedback in groups to their peers in an open forum. The presentation is then graded from an individual and group perspective.

The group project enables the students to work as a team, enhances their communication skills and encourages the ability to present scientific ideas in a clear and concise manner. It also gives the students an understanding of the procedures and challenges associated with peer review and grading and prioritisation of presented work against a clear assessment framework.


Coursework, examination, group project and individual thesis (MSc only).

Career opportunities

Many of the students are linked to military employment and as such are sponsored through this route. Therefore the majority of the students continue to work for them on completion of the course. However, the course has the potential to take you on to enhanced career opportunities often at a more senior level across a range of roles corresponding with your experience.

For further information

on this course, please visit our course webpage http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/explosives-ordnance-engineering.html

Visit the Explosives Ordnance Engineering (MSc/PgDip) page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!






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