This course can be taken as a Short Course for Credit or a Standalone Short Course.

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

This five day intensive course focuses on the fundamental principles of small arms design.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£2,350 - Short Course for Credit fee 

    £1,925 - Standalone Short Course fee

Course structure

Lectures are delivered at MSc standard by Cranfield University academics, supplemented by commercial and military Subject Matter Experts. The teaching is conducted in a military environment using static displays to aid the teaching environment. Where possible the knowledge of each taught phase is followed by a practical range session to consolidate the knowledge.

What you will learn

The course is concerned with the design and development of small arms. It aims to provide an understanding of the systems technology employed and the design of discreet key components.

To do this, the course widens out to include the allied areas of study, including small arms ammunition muzzle attachments, sights and human factors integration, to place the design of small arms within their organisational and operational context.

Core content

  • Introduction to small arm (SA) design and doctrine,
  • The infantry section and tactics,
  • Small arms ammunition,
  • Wound ballistics,
  • Gun springs,
  • Small arms operating principles,
  • Barrel attachments,
  • The design of the firing,
  • Grenades,
  • Hit probability,
  • Small arms barrels,
  • Human factors integration,
  • Small arms recoil,
  • Sighting systems,
  • Extractor design,
  • Dynamic design.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 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.

Who should attend

The course is intended to provide engineers concerned with the design and development of Small Arms with an understanding of the systems' technology employed and the discreet design of key components. The course would also benefit to those involved in requirements capture and procurement of automatic weapon systems.

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.