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.

To provide an understanding of basic pyrotechnic reactions, the concept of required effects, physical properties of pyrotechnic compositions, simple examples and the associated hazards. This leads to more complex applications of pyrotechnics; provide an understanding of how pyrotechnics and pyrotechnic munitions are manufactured and work, advanced electromagnetic effects, current pyrotechnic advances and research, hands on experience of laboratory manufacture and the demonstration of the manufactured devices

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£2,350 - Short Course for Credit fee 

    £1,925 - Standalone Short Course fee  Concessions available

Course structure

One course per year; 5 days duration per course. Lectures with classroom demonstrations; brief laboratory period to prepare samples of various pyrotechnic compositions; and firing demonstration of the samples prepared by the students.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  • Describe chemical reactions which are used to produce the required pyrotechnic effect and factors which can affect these reactions;
  • Undertake small scale laboratory manufacture of pyrotechnic devices and relate them to their performance;
  • Explain how pyrotechnic munitions work, their advantages and problems;
  • Appraise current areas of pyrotechnic research.

Core content

  • Differences between pyrotechnics and explosives/propellants;
  • The combustion reaction; heats of reaction, rates of reaction, heat flow in reacting body;
  • Required effect, heat, light, smoke, gas;
  • Pyrotechnic mixtures, selection of ingredients, laboratory manufacture and hazards;
  • Practical – manufacture of pyrotechnics and demonstration;
  • Pyrotechnic munition design;
  • Industrial production of pyrotechnics;
  • Storage and ageing of pyrotechnics;
  • Current topics in pyrotechnics.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 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. 

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

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.