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.

This course enables you to understand the issues and challenges in specifying, designing and constructing real-time computer graphics systems, together with their components, with particular reference to interactive virtual environments and simulators as used in Defence.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,925 Concessions available

Course structure

This is a five day course taught by a mix of lecture and computer practicals.

What you will learn

On completion of course you will be able to:


  • Appreciate the architectures and main components typically required when constructing complete visual solutions in Defence, with particular reference to virtual simulator systems.
  • Appreciate the tools, techniques and processes for utilising relevant geospatial source datasets to provide the range of different terrain and environmental representations typically needed in Defence simulation applications, with particular reference to how these are evolving to meet emerging enterprise and systems architecture requirements.
  • Appreciate the range of display options (including emerging technologies such as VR/AR/MR/XR) for delivering visual and associated information to simulation users, in order to evaluate their suitability for particular requirements.
  • Appreciate the need for active adoption and development of relevant standards that enable Defence to coherently re-use and manage its resources in order to improve interoperability and value-for-money at the enterprise level.

Core content

Typical composition of virtual simulator systems – including Display systems and Motion Systems
Relevant architectures and standards such as CIGI (Common Image Generator Interface)
Geospatial data and terrain/environment construction 
Workflow, creation, adaptation and integration of components in virtual simulation solutions
Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality AR), Extended Reality (XR)
Emerging and developing technologies

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards the Defence Simulation and Modelling MSc

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

This course is aimed at young engineers who are starting a career in the defence industry who will be using Matlab and Simulink. An appropriate degree in engineering or science, or relevant experience, is required.


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

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

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.