The aim of the course is to present the fundamentals of improvised explosive devices and assess how chemical analysis techniques are applied in forensic explosives investigations.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 24 - 28 Feb 2020
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,750 Concessions available

Course structure

One course per year. 5 days course. This course is delivered through lectures, laboratory classes, and field exposure to IED scenarios.

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:

  • Evaluate the methods available for the detection and analysis of explosives
  • Distinguish between the types of improvised explosive device and assess the methods used to identify and investigate them
  • Interpret the infrared, proton nuclear magnetic resonance and electron ionisation mass spectra of important explosive compounds
  • Decide on a procedure for identifying an explosive compound.

Core content

  • Survey of methods used for the detection and analysis of explosives
  • Types of improvised explosive devices and their investigation
  • Sampling of bulk and trace explosives for forensic analysis Infrared and Raman spectroscopy
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Mass spectrometry techniques including Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry
  • Chromatographic methods and detectors in explosives analysis
  • Thin layer chromatography
  • Gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Reverse phase high performance liquid chromatography
  • Ion chromatography and size exclusion chromatography Capillary Electrophoresis and other separation methods for explosives.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This short course will be taught at Masters standard as it is one of the modules that comprise the postgraduate Forensic Modular Masters Programme. Registering for this accredited short course and successfully passing the associated assessment will gain you 10 Cranfield credits. These could then be used to apply for a transfer towards a PgCert/PgDip or MSc in the Forensic Programme should you wish to complete one of these courses within 5 years.

Who should attend

Appropriate degree or experience.


The short courses are modules of the Forensic Modular Masters Programme, which is accredited by  The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences.



There are a limited number of MOD sponsored places available. 

Accommodation options and prices

Please contact us for information regarding accommodation.

Location and travel

Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

For further location and travel details

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.