This module can only be taken as a Standalone Short Course.


The module will give students a clear understanding of the implications and impact of international dimensions of defence acquisition, using concepts and theories from the disciplines of International Relations and Politics as well as relevant management fields.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 07 - 11 Mar 2022
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham

What you will learn

• Understand the differences between the realist, the Utopian and the constructivist approaches in international relations, and their implications for defence acquisition,
• Demonstrate awareness of the place of national and international regulation regarding defence acquisition,
• Appreciate the key elements in debates about the dynamics of co-operation and regional integration in Europe, including the place of spillover processes, in so far as they concern defence,
• Manifest critical understanding of the place of inter-governmental co-operation and collaboration in contemporary defence acquisition,
• Appreciate the operation of the defence acquisition systems of key partners and allies of the United Kingdom,
• Apply concepts and theories from politics and international relations to acquisition issues,
• Present reasoned and evidenced responses to empirical problems in a written form,
• Analyse the key dimensions of any state’s defence acquisition system,
• Compare and contrast the guiding concepts, structures and processes of the United Kingdom defence acquisition system with those of key partners and allies of the United Kingdom.

Core content

•  Key concepts from politics and international relations; sovereignty, dependence, inter-dependence, national interest, linkage politics, regimes, and globalisation,
•  Key theories from politics and international relations; political realism, Utopianism, regional integration theory, and constructivism,
•  The place of national cultural consideration,
•  International dimensions,
•  International trade, co-operation and cross-border supply and support chains,
•  Collaboration as a corporate and governmental activity,
•  National and international export control regimes, and arms control treaties
•  Europe: the European Union, the European Defence Agency, OCCAR and the Letter of Intent Framework countries and defence acquisition,
•  NATO and the transatlantic dimension of defence acquisition,
•  Working with others and learning from others: selected national acquisition

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

Online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at that time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.


Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.