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

To undertake an independent investigation relating to a specific area of the syllabus. This world normally be experimentally or practically-based but could also be based on a meta-analysis of existing data sets, data from existing archives such as public records or information collected from the internet.

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 you will be able to:

  • Plan a research project, with aims, objectives, risk assessment and time line (Gantt chart),
  • Assess novel areas of research and optimise experimental solutions to forensic related problems, appraising a specific area of forensic science based on their knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concept, principles and theories,
  • Critically review key issues and evaluate and combine information from multiple sources (journals, internet, interview, court proceedings etc.), whilst being aware of the possibility of bias,
  • Evaluate the requirements of a specific test and design, construct appropriate experimental apparatus and critically evaluate the results of experimental work; especially in the light of other published work in that area should it be available,
  •  Prepare a thesis or a paper plus literature review in a clear and concise fashion using appropriate presentation of data and present their project at an oral examination, justifying its relevance and the experimental procedures and present results.

Core content

  • Project planning,
  • Safety assessment,
  • Statistics,
  • Experimental design,
  • Library search techniques,
  • Web search techniques,
  • Technical writing.


  • 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