This module 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.

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

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 11 - 22 Nov 2024
  • Duration10 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£4,450 - Short Course for Credit fee 

    £4,200 - Standalone Short Course fee  Concessions available

Course structure

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

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you 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 a Short Course for Credit, 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 a Short Course for Credit.

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


A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

There are limited places on these modules. You may not receive an offer until places have been confirmed, usually 1 to 2 weeks before the start date.

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

Please complete the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.