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 is intended to teach students the fundamental principles which surround the subject of military vehicles and autonomy and is very timely because of the immense potential of uninhabited vehicles in the battlefield.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 29 Jan - 02 Feb 2024
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost

    £2,350 - Short Course for Credit fee

    £1,925 - Standalone Short Course fee

Course structure

This course consists of formal lectures, key laboratory demonstrations and hands-on experience.

What you will learn

This course aims to:

  • Assist new and experienced engineers and project managers to improve and understand the wide-range of key technological possibilities and constraints presented in order to understand the key issues for designing an effective autonomous vehicle for operations in challenging and hostile military environments
  • Help participants put their own systems specialisation into context, in order to deliver added value in future military uninhabited systems for defence
  • Provide students with the opportunity to visit the Defence Capability Centre (DCC) and have hands on experience with unmanned and autonomous vehicles at our Intelligent Propulsion and Emissions Laboratories and our Design Centre, and to explore and analyse unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) behaviours and UGV endurance.

At the end of the course, candidates will have a better understanding of a number of key issues surrounding military platform autonomy and the interactions of these.

Core content

The course will offer wide and focused laboratory demonstrations of the key design issues and technologies associated with autonomous systems from a systems engineering point of view.

  • lecture-based reviews regarding military UAV taxonomy, 
  • AMV taxonomy, 
  • system sensors, 
  • intelligent propulsion,
  • communications, 
  • system behaviour, 
  • system integration,
  • human factors within UAV systems,  
  • integration issues with existing systems and resources. 

Upgrade to a professional qualification

When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards either the Gun Systems Design MSc or the Military Vehicle Technology MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.

Who should attend

Candidates who are involved managing projects will benefit from this course as it offers a unique insight into the subject of autonomous vehicles and the subsequent debates of the issues and considerations surrounding these.


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.