This module is offered across the Engineering, Leadership and Management, and Technology Streams of the Defence and Security MSc.

This module is a self-directed piece of research applying the principles, practices and processes developed in the course to a real world problem of interest and relevance to the student.

At a glance

  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham

Course structure

This module is a combination of both taught and distance learning. Successful completion of the thesis represents 800 hours of effort. A student’s thesis is assessed on the thesis document.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  • acquire, organise, discuss and assess knowledge associated with complex defence and security problems;
  • plan, organise and undertake a piece of research with appropriate supervision;
  • apply appropriate methods, tools, techniques and knowledge to a complex problem;
  • gather and critically appraise data, and to utilise it within the appropriate academic and practical context;
  • prepare a written submission to effectively communicate findings. 

Core content

The thesis forms a vital element of the programme of study and offers the student an opportunity to develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained from the course to an agreed topic. Students will be allocated an academic supervisor who will guide them in the suitability of topic chosen and conduct of the research.


  • Under respective Stream Course Director

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