The course provides an overarching understanding of the capability and application of defence modelling and simulation systems, underpinned by an appreciation of the domain's underlying technologies and tools. A broad range of applications of modelling and simulation are addressed; including training and education, acquisition, analysis and experimentation.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 27 Aug - 27 Sep 2024
  • Duration5 weeks
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£9,625 for non MOD students.

Course structure

5 weeks. The course compromises a mixture of classroom instruction, hands-on practical work and demonstrations in the Defence Academy Simulation and Synthetic Environment Laboratory (SSEL).

What you will learn

The course is principally designed to prepare selected military officers for future technical and management appointments within the field of defence simulation, but is also appropriate to all candidates from Air, Land, Maritime and Joint domains, including civilians and defence industry.

The course will suit a broad range of delegates working in or alongside modelling and simulation in defence who wish to understand the technologies, methodologies, applications and challenges involved.

Core content

  • The role of models, simulations and synthetic environments within Defence
  • The fundamental principles of Defence models, simulations and synthetic environments
  • The role of hardware and software in the creation of modelling and simulation solutions
  • The key defence modelling and simulation organisations, their structure, capabilities and activities
  • The methods and principles of combat modelling and wargaming in analysis and training
  • Methodologies and techniques used in analysis and experimentation
  • The principles of Computer Generated Forces (CGFs) and Semi-Automated Forces (SAFs)
  • The enabling technologies and methodologies underpinning real time graphics (RTG), including 3D Modelling and terrain building
  • The challenges and opportunities in the use of commercial off the shelf products (COTS) for Defence modelling and simulation, including games technologies and components
  • The role of Defence synthetic environments (networked, federated and distributed simulations), the technology and standards used to create them and the interoperability issues and challenges when so doing
  • Participate in a practical example of the design, develop, construct and use of a synthetic environment
  • Issues in the practical development and acquisition of modelling and simulation through case studies of real programmes and visits to selected sites.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

On successful completion of the formal assessment, 20 credits will be earned, which can be applied towards the Cranfield University Postgraduate programme (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) in Defence Simulation and Modelling, and specifically to the Foundations of Modelling and Simulation and Networked and Distributed Simulation modules.

Who should attend

Though targeted mainly at programme and project managers, the course has a technical element designed to provide a building block on which sound capability decisions can be made.

The course requires no previous experience in defence simulation systems.


This course has a very wide range of industry and MOD speakers but as these often change from course to course, it is not possible to provide details. Previous course speakers have included representatives from: 

  • Joint Forces Command (JFC)
  • QinetiQ's Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR)
  • Army Recruiting and Training Directorate (ATD)
  • Land Command
  • Navy Command
  • Air Command
  • Defence Equipment and Support
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL)
  • Royal Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST)
  • Royal Navy's Technology Based Training Unit (TBTU)
  • Simutec Systems
  • Cassidian
  • Selex
  • Saab Training
  • MBDA
  • Boeing
  • University of Birmingham.
  • Epic Games - Unreal Engine

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.