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Vehicle and Weapon Engineering (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

Course Description

This course is delivered in Detroit, MI, US. Although open to non-US students it is the responsibility of the student to arrange suitable visas and cover travel costs. The course provides education and training at postgraduate level for those who expect to fill technically demanding appointments concerned with the design, development, procurement and operation of vehicles.

It will provide students with the technical knowledge and understanding of weapon systems and military vehicles to make them effective in their specification, design, development and assessment. Special attention will be given to recent advances in defence technology; and to educating students in the analysis and evaluation of systems against changes and developments in the threat.

Course overview

The taught element consists of 14 modules covering major aspects of defence technology, providing a balanced and broad coverage of key aspects, issues and constraints associated with the design, development, performance and integration of weapon and vehicle systems.

In addition to the taught part of the course, students can opt either to undertake an individual project or participate in a group design project. The aim of the project phase is to enable students to develop expertise in engineering research, design or development. The project phase requires a thesis to be submitted and is worth 80 credit points.

Earning the appropriate credits can lead to the following academic awards:

- Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) – any combination of modules (building a total of 60 credits).
- Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) – all modules (120 credits).
- Master of Science (MSc) – all modules (120 credits) plus project (80 credits).

The programme is delivered in Detroit by delivering one or two modules per visit. There are three visits in a year (April, June and Nov/Dec). Each standard module consists of a one-week course of lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Students are required to pass an assessment which includes a written exam (50%) on the last day of the course and course work (50%) to be submitted within eight weeks from the last day of the course.

Modules are taught three times a year in Detroit, USA. This allows 60 credits to be attained in two years and 120 credits over three years.

Core modules (10 Credits)

- Fighting Vehicle Design or Finite Element in Engineering
- Modelling, Simulation and Control in Defence Engineering or Systems Engineering and Assured Performance

Compulsory Module (10 Credits) for MSc and Elective for PGCert

- Armoured Fighting Vehicle and Weapon Systems Study

Elective Modules (100 Credits)

- Fundamentals of Ballistics
- Weapon System Technology
- Vehicle Systems Integration
- Electric Drive Technologies
- Military Autonomous Vehicles
- Light Weapon Design
- Gun Systems Design (Gun Systems Stream)
- Military Vehicle Dynamics (Vehicle Stream)
- Military Vehicle Propulsion and Dynamics (Gun Systems Stream)
- Military Vehicle Propulsion (Vehicle Stream)
- Military Vehicle Propulsion
- Solid Modelling CAD (optional)

Individual Project

In addition to the taught part of the course, students can opt either to undertake an individual project or participate in a group design project. The aim of the project phase is to enable students to develop expertise in engineering research, design or development. The project phase requires a thesis to be submitted and is worth 80 credit points.

Examples of current titles are given below:

- Use of Vibration Absorber to help in Vibration
- Validated Model of UGV Power Usage
- Power and Mobility Enhanced Robotic Platform (PMERP)
- Conceptual Design of a Behind Armour Battery Pack
- Effect of Ceramic Tile Spacing in Lightweight Armour systems
- Investigation of Suspension System for Main Battle Tank
- An Experimental and Theoretical Investigation into a Pivot Adjustable Suspension System as a Low Cost Method of Adjusting for Payload
- Investigation of New Compact Suspension Concepts for the Light Armoured Vehicle III
- Analysis of Amphibious Operation and Waterjet Propulsions for Infantry Combat Vehicle.


Continuous assessment, examinations and thesis (MSc only).


For more information on funding please contact the Programme Director, Dr Amer Hameed, email

Career opportunities

Takes you on to employment within the armed forces or defence research establishments.

Further Information

For further information on this course, please visit our course webpage - http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/masters/vehicle-and-weapon-engineering.html

Visit the Vehicle and Weapon Engineering (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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