The aim of the module is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to analyse targets and defeat mechanisms.

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
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost

    Accredited Short Course fee- £3520

    Standalone Short Course fee- £3500

    Concessions available

Course structure

Lectures (taught and interactive), tutorials and range demonstrations.

What you will learn

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


  • Apply the principles in designing appropriate armour systems;
  • Establish the critical factors in warhead design for fragmentation;

  • Appraise the design and performance of directed energy weapons;

  • Assess the loading characteristics from blast;

  • Investigate the penetration characteristics for armour defeat;

  • Critically review the efficiency of alternative protection systems.

Core content

    • Introduction to warheads and ammunition;

    • Introduction to armour design;

    • Wound ballistics and human vulnerability;

    • Fragmentation theory and warheads;

    • Small arms and cannon ammunition;

    • Shell and projectile design;

    • Target penetration and shock events covering subsonic to hydrodynamic regimes;

    • Shaped charge and EFP warhead design;

    • KE ammunition and penetrator design;

    • Mine threat and damage mechanisms;

    • Complex armour, spacing, obliquity, disposition and failure mechanisms;

    • Characterisation and testing of materials for high strain rate loading;

    • Blast effects, blast-structure interactions including internal detonations;

    • Terminal ballistics demonstration.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as an Accredited Short Course, 20 credit points can be put towards the Explosives Ordnance Engineering MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

Students must have successfully completed the Introduction to Explosives Engineering course or have relevant experience in order to take this as an Accredited Short Course.

There are no prerequisites if taken as a Standalone Short Course.


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

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.