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Course content

The course provides a detailed exposure to the context, issues and methods used to analyse the increasingly complex problems which are found in the defence environment and to support decision making.

Who is it for?

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

Why this course?

The course provides a detailed exposure to the context, issues and methods used to analyse the increasingly complex problems which are found in the defence environment and to support decision making. It exposes the types of analysis and allows practical experience of tools and methods which are used, ranging from judgemental analysis through mathematical techniques to models and simulations. The course includes judgemental elicitation and analysis techniques, mathematical analysis methods (including optimisation), war gaming and combat modelling, logistics modelling and simulation methods. The use and utility of all the methods are explored through practical exercises and studies.

On successful completion of the course you will:

  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the methods, techniques and tools for modelling defence problems and systems
  • Be able to critically assess a range of approaches and methods to help support defence analysis and decision-making.

Informed by Industry

The aim of the Industrial Advisory Panel, which is common to all components of the AMOR Postgraduate Suite, is to offer advice and input to the Course Director and the teaching team in terms of curriculum content, acquisition skills and other attributes that the practitioner community may be seeking from graduates of the course. Currently the Industrial Advisory Panel for this program has members on it from both Defence Industry (including Cassidian, BAE Systems and AWE) and the MOD.

Course details

MSc students must complete a taught phase consisting of 12 standard modules, which includes two core modules (Introduction to Operational Research Techniques and Decision Analysis), 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 or 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 (Introduction to Operational Research Techniques) together with five other modules; up to three of these may be advanced modules.

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 elective options chosen.

Your career

The course equips you for appointments within the armed forces or government, or in the defence related activities of commercial organisations, or further research leading to a PhD.

Visit the Military Operational Research - MSc page on the Cranfield University at Shrivenham website for more details!





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