This module takes students though the fundamental principles of ballistics for ammunition design. The teaching is conducted in a military environment using static displays and the explosive range to aid the teaching environment.

This module can be taken as an Accredited Short Course or a Standalone Short Course.

Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 30 Sep - 04 Oct 2019
    • 05 - 09 Oct 2020
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost
    Accredited Short Course fee - £1,760
    Standalone Short Course fee - £1,750

What you will learn

The course enables participants to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the internal and external ballistics of a gun and its ammunition,
  • explain the key parameters of ammunition design such as propellant mass, projectile mass and calibre and their subsequent effect on the performance of a gun,
  • identify the forces and moments acting on the projectile in flight and explain how a projectile may become unstable,
  • calculate simplified projectile mechanics including rigid body motion relating to translation, rotation and gyroscopic effects,
  • identify the main types of ammunition and their modes of operation.

Core content

The teaching includes the following topics:

  • internal ballistics,
  • intermediate ballistics,
  • external ballistics,
  • rocket propulsion,
  • sabot design for kinetic energy ammunition,
  • charge and shell design for ammunition,
  • fragmentation and blast from ammunition,
  • fuses and terminal guidance,
  • an introduction to smart ammunition,
  • kinetic energy ammunition and cannon ammunition.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as an Accredited Short Course, 10 credit points can be put towards either the Gun Systems Design MSc or the Military Vehicle Technology MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.


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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.