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 module is delivered as a 5-day face-to-face taught class-based course comprising a mixture of academic lectures, visiting speakers from MOD and defence industry and laboratory practicals.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 08 - 12 Feb 2021
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost

    Short Course for Credit fee - £1,310

    Standalone Short Course fee - £1,750

    Concessions available

What you will learn

The course enables you to understand the application of operational research techniques to the assessment of weapon systems

  • describe the cycle of weapon assessment studies and the measures of performance and effectiveness,
  • demonstrate the application of statistics to weapon delivery errors,
  • discuss the nature of direct fire weapons and demonstrate how to calculate their performance,
  • review the nature of area weapons and demonstrate the use of the damage function and lethal area in the analysis of their effects,
  • use a technique for the analysis of anti- tank minefields,
  • appreciate the different emphasis in the study of guided weapon systems,
  • review the special nature of other weapon systems and the ideas involved in their assessment,
  • evaluate the need and collection methods, for data in models,
  • explain the issues surrounding practical weapon assessment projects including force effectiveness and cost effectiveness analyses.


Core content

  • concepts of performance and effectiveness measures,
  • dispersion of fire,
  • accuracy, consistency and precision,
  • calculation of single shot kill probability for direct fire weapons,
  • modelling of area effect weapons (eg shells, grenades) including using the damage function,
  • modelling of minefields and calculation of stopping power,
  • assessment of direct fire systems examples,
  • methods for modelling of land, sea and air targets,
  • approaches to the analysis of various other weapon systems,
  • force effectiveness comparisons,
  • practical exercises to illustrate the theories,
  • cost effectiveness principles.

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 or the Military Operational Research MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.


Jeremy Smith


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.