Whether you are involved in establishing or managing capability requirements; engaged in procurement, commercial or contracting activities; or developing and implementing support solutions, this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills required for effective management of defence acquisition.


  • Start dateJanuary
  • DurationMSc: up to five years part-time; PgDip: up to four years part-time; PgCert: up to three years part-time
  • DeliveryA mixture of written assignments, examinations, case study analyses and individual reports
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield University at Shrivenham

Who is it for?

This course is only open to applications from UK MoD personnel.

The course is focused on the wider defence community. Serving military officers and Ministry of Defence civil servants will be well prepared for a range of roles, including the leadership of strategic change; project team leadership and management; commercial and contracts management; resources management and programme scrutiny; engineering management; capability management; and the management of integrated logistic support and supply chain operations.

Why this course?

Whether you are involved in specifying or managing capability requirements; engaged in the procurement of systems, services, equipment and material; managing commercial relationships and contracts; designing and optimising supply chains through better logistics and inventory control; or managing efficient and effective support solutions to sustain large diverse fleets of maritime, land, and air systems through long service lives, this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills you will require.

The course teaches and encourages you to develop the skills to critically evaluate and apply a rich array of management theories, models, tools and techniques to meet your needs effectively in a dynamic national and international context.

Course details

Students are offered a range of modules, of which 11 are compulsory and one is elective. Eight of the compulsory modules are common to all students, and three are determined by the student’s choice of pathway: General Acquisition, Through-Life Support, or Commercial. The twelfth module is the elective.

Success in six modules will earn a student the postgraduate certificate (PgCert). On passing 12 modules the student will earn the postgraduate diploma (PgDip) and be able to go on to complete the thesis to earn the MSc.

Course delivery

A mixture of written assignments, examinations, case study analyses and individual reports

Individual project

The individual research project begins with a one week compulsory module on Research Methodology and the subsequent production of a 20,000 word research-based thesis.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Course modules

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Introductory Studies

Module Leader
  • Peter Masters

    The aim of Introductory Studies is to prepare students for their subsequent programme of study on the assessed modules. It is optional and carries a formal credit rating of zero, although a student’s understanding of the material covered may be tested as part of the assessments for the course modules. Students are advised to participate in Introductory Studies.

    The emphasis in Introductory Studies is on fundamentals and subjects are covered at first-degree level. Topics include:

    archaeology and anthropology,
    computing services and library briefings,
    materials engineering,
    study skills and research methods,
    maths (including statistics),

Intended learning outcomes

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

• revise, consolidate and expand their skill and knowledge base so that they can derive maximum benefit from the course.



Strategic Management and Introduction to Acquisition

Module Leader
  • Stuart Young

    The module will give students a clear understanding of the process of strategy development and the discipline of strategic management within a defence acquisition context together with an appreciation of the complexities of international acquisition.

    Indicative module content: 

    Strategic Management

    introducing strategy and the strategy process,
    strategy development in a public sector setting,
    the strategy process in the MOD,
    the environment and its implications for strategy in the private and public sectors,
    analytical tools and techniques in strategy formulation,
    understanding the organisational competencies and capabilities and the specific case of, acquisition within the MOD,
    the role of stakeholders and stakeholder mapping in a public and private sector setting,
    the significance of organisational structure on strategic thinking and direction.

    Introduction to Acquisition

    acquisition within a through-life and capability management context,
    key acquisition processes and underpinning skill, information and organisational structures,
    comparison with other national acquisition approaches,
    collaborative defence acquisition,
    socio-economic and security context,
    trends in the global defence industry.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

understand the evolution of strategic management as a subject,
critically evaluate the key similarities and differences between private and public sectors in the development of strategy in general and the MOD in particular,
define acquisition in a defence context and identify the implications for skills, information management, business processes and organisational structures within the UK defence context,
analyse the wider socio-economic issues associated with defence acquisition in a UK, international and industrial context,
demonstrate the ability to apply analytical tools and techniques to a problem,
present solutions to problems in both written form and through presentations,
argue cogently in a real time environment.

Financing Acquisition

Module Leader
  • Dr Irfan Ansari

    The module will introduce students to the principles and techniques underpinning Defence Resource Management.


    Introduction to the Working Capital Cycle

    • Controls over stocks, debtors, creditors and cash.

    Basic Financial Statements

    • Operating cost statement
    • Balance sheet
    • Cash flow
    • Adjustments to financial statements
    • Depreciation, cost of capital charge, provisions, accruals and pre-payments.

    Cost Accounting

    • Overhead; collection, allocation, apportionment and absorption
    • Determination of product costs.

    Management Accounting

    • Cost, volume, profit analysis
    • Contribution analysis; make or buy decisions, use of capacity decisions, financial aspects of outsourcing decisions
    • Budgeting
    • Standard costing
    • Capital investment appraisal.

    MOD Resource Management

    • Principles of Resource Accounting & Budgeting (RAB)
    • Defence biennial planning process and its effect upon procurement, supply/support chain management and the delivery of military capability
    • Interpreting and analysing MOD Accounts.

    Introduction to Whole Life Costs/Total Cost of Ownership

    • Concepts and practice; a through life ‘total process’ perspective.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Act as an informed customer in supply/support chain discussions/negotiations within MOD and/or between MOD and the defence industry
  • Identify the key defence financial statements and their relevance to effective management of the supply/support chain
  • Analyse defence financial statements and reports
  • Evaluate the financial performance of the defence supply/support chain, form critical judgements as to past and future performance, and identify and develop financial measures for improvement
  • Evaluate costing, budgeting and capital investment information and make argued procurement and support decisions.

Project & Programme Management

Module Leader
  • Dr John McCormack

    The module will appreciate the role of Project and Programme Management (PPM) in the delivery of defence capability, assess the applicability of the associated processes and tools, and develop more effective management of projects and programmes with particular emphasis on better risk management and decision-making at the project, programme and strategic levels.

    Introduction to Programme and Project Management, its role in the implementation of strategy (including link to Portfolio Management), and its application within a defence acquisition context.

    Key Project Management processes and tools (application and limitations):
    • Project life cycles
    • Project definition
    • Work breakdown structures
    • Project planning techniques
    • Risk and issue management
    • Project estimation
    • Project monitoring and control
    • Earned value management
    • Information management
    • Organisation options for projects.

    Programme Management:
    • Types of programmes and implications for their management
    • Structures and processes
    • Introduction to ‘Managing Successful Programmes’
    • Key programme management enablers and success factors.
    • PPM – Skills and Behaviours, Team and Personnel selection
    • Risk Management in the broader PPM context
    • Decision Making in the broader PPM context
    • Working in the strategic and political context.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Evaluate Programme and Project Management as key business processes
  • Recognise the benefits and limitation of Programme and Project Management in the defence acquisition context
  • Apply Programme and Project Management tools and processes appropriately
  • Demonstrate a critical approach to risk management and decision-making
  • Appreciate the impact of uncertainty and political interference on the programme
  • Monitor and assess the application and implementation of Programme and Project Management tools and processes
  • Optimise the structure and human resources within programme and project teams
  • Evaluate risks and their mitigation taking into account both objective and subjective criteria
  • Develop a structured approach to decision-making within a programme and project context
  • Develop a more effective approach to working in an uncertain and fast moving programme context.

Managing Acquisition Change

Module Leader
  • Dr John McCormack

    This module gives students the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to design and implement organisational improvement strategies that will deliver effective acquisition change.


    The module provides students with the knowledge and skills to act as an effective internal consultant so that they are able to lead a change initiative within a defence acquisition context. The module covers:

    • The strategic acquisition context
    • The role of the internal consultant/change leader
    • Identifying needs - organisational analysis
    • Organisational development tools and techniques
    • Strategic planning and strategy facilitation tools
    • Developing and justifying proposals
    • Implementing change
    • Large change programmes
    • Running workshops
    • Practical problem solving techniques.

    Based around three modes of learning: directed (lecturer presentations); guided (syndicate scenarios and case studies) and supported (individual student activities), the learning approach is designed to facilitate an integrated, interactive learning experience for the student. 

Intended learning outcomes

This module will enable students to act as an effective internal consultant capable of leading or supporting a defence acquisition change initiative. By the end, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate, with reference to  the consultancy cycle, the stages in organisational change and critically analyse the risks associated with each stage
  • Plan the key components of a project to enable effective delivery of a change intervention
  • Manage, diagnose and analyse effectively a wide range of defence acquisition problems
  • Assess options; select the optimum approach to resolution of an acquisition problem and then apply appropriate change management tools and techniques
  • Critically review the range of communication methods available to the internal consultant
  • Define the importance of building effective relationships with clients and outline the techniques required to establish credibility and rapport
  • Present findings, conclusions and recommendations following research, analysis and diagnosis
  • Lead a successful consultancy intervention.

Supply Network Management in Defence and the Commercial Environment


    The module will enable students to analyse critically key logistics and supply network models, theories, and approaches, and be able to analyse their utilities and applicability to delivering more effective and efficient logistics and supply network management in defence.


    Indicative module content: 

    Logistics and Supply Networks - Context, Design, Functions and Purpose

    • strategic context and challenges,
    • efficient and effective supply networks; agile, lean, and hybrid models in defence and in the commercial environment,
    • value chain analysis,
    • comparative logistics and supply networks - commercial and defence,
    • trade-offs in the defence logistics and supply systems,
    • operational logistics and supply network implications of differing support contracting approaches.

    Managing the Inventory Function in Defence

    • the nature of the defence inventory in comparison with that found in commerce and industry and the resultant challenges,
    • the costs and risks of different inventory management strategies (e.g., stockpile versus surge),
    • inventory management to achieve desired service levels and availability.

    Achieving and Assuring an Integrated Defence Supply Network

    • differing approaches to analysing supply networks,
    • managing risk in the supply network,
    • operational coherence and assurance
    • supply network performance management.,

    Information and Knowledge Management in Logistics and Supply Network Management

    • the role of data, information, and knowledge in logistics and supply network management decision making; its critical contribution to established management models,
    • operational logistics information in defence; current and developing systems,
    • business-to-business, business-to-customer, customer-to-customer networks; asset tracking, consignment visibility, FID, barcoding.

Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

demonstrate an understanding of the broad direction of academic research in logistics and supply network management,
contrast the underlying similarities and differences between supply networks within the commercial and defence environments,
critically evaluate the utility and applicability of logistics and supply network management theories, models, and approaches to defence,
critically evaluate and apply risk models to supply networks,
critically analyse and identify the added value of the logistics process in defence and the commercial environment,
analyse and evaluate the potential for improvement in the logistics and supply network management in defence.

Commercial Relationships in the Defence Environment

Module Leader
  • Dr Robby Allen

    To present the range of approaches to contracting for capability and to tie this back to the legal requirements associated with both national and international law.

    Indicative module content:

    key statute law,
    international aspects, including EU regulations and ITAR,
    inter-organisational relationships,
    commercial constructs (incl PPP, partnering and alliances),
    payment mechanisms,
    governance and contract management,
    disputes and termination.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

illustrate the legal framework in which defence contracts are let,
describe what constitutes a contract,
propose appropriate supplier selection and contracting models for a range of capability requirements,
formulate effective relationship managements processes,
categorise IPR issues,
evaluate issue management procedures.

The International Dimensions of Defence Acquisition

Module Leader
  • Dr Pete Ito

    The module will give students a clear understanding of the implications and impact of international dimensions of defence acquisition, using concepts and theories from the disciplines of International Relations and Politics as well as relevant management fields.

    Indicative module content:

    •  key concepts from politics and international relations; sovereignty, dependence, inter-dependence, national interest, linkage politics, regimes, and globalisation,
    •  key theories from politics and international relations; political realism, Utopianism, regional integration theory, and constructivism,
    •  the place of national cultural consideration,
    •  international dimensions,
    •  international trade, co-operation and cross-border supply and support chains,
    •  collaboration as a corporate and governmental activity,
    •  national and international export control regimes, and arms control treaties
    •  Europe: the European Union, the European Defence Agency, OCCAR and the Letter of Intent Framework countries and defence acquisition,
    •  NATO and the transatlantic dimension of defence acquisition,
    •  working with others and learning from others: selected national acquisition 
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

understand the differences between the realist, the Utopian and the constructivist approaches in international relations, and their implications for defence acquisition,
demonstrate awareness of the place of national and international regulation regarding defence acquisition,
appreciate the key elements in debates about the dynamics of co-operation and regional integration in Europe, including the place of spillover processes, in so far as they concern defence,
manifest critical understanding of the place of inter-governmental co-operation and collaboration in contemporary defence acquisition,
appreciate the operation of the defence acquisition systems of key partners and allies of the United Kingdom,
apply concepts and theories from politics and international relations to acquisition issues,
present reasoned and evidenced responses to empirical problems in a written form,
analyse the key dimensions of any state’s defence acquisition system,
compare and contrast the guiding concepts, structures and processes of the United Kingdom defence acquisition system with those of key partners and allies of the United Kingdom.

Cost Estimation and Planning


    The module aims to enable the students to understand the basic principles of cost estimation and its place use within the acquisition and through life support processes.

    Indicative module content:

    the concept of cost estimation and its use within the acquisition process,
    the importance of considering whole life cost,
    the cost estimation process:

    o defining the scope of the study,
    o data collection and management,
    o costing using benchmarks,
    o costing by analogy,
    o parametric cost modelling,
    o verification and validation,
    o sensitivity analysis,

    dealing with uncertainty and risk:

    o use of three-point estimates and Monte-Carlo simulation,

    outputs and uses of cost estimation:

    o balance of investment studies,
    o identification of key cost drivers,
    o budget support,
    o negotiation support,

    through life capability management.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

distinguish between and define different terms applied to cost estimation, e.g. total cost of ownership, whole life costs etc.,
critically evaluate the use of cost estimation methods at different stages of the lifetime of equipment or a service,
compare the strengths and weaknesses of different cost modelling techniques,
critically evaluate the importance of uncertainty and risk and their relative importance in different situations,
apply different methods to define the scope of a cost estimation study,
design a data collection and management plan for a cost estimation study,
use a cost model to cost different options for supplying a capability and to carry out a sensitivity analysis on their results,
conduct Monte-Carlo simulation based on three-point estimates using suitable software,
interpret different outputs from cost models within the context of a particular study.

Efficient and Effective Through Life Support


    The module will enable students to analyse critically the challenges and key issues for the efficient and effective delivery of through life support (TLS) solutions in the Defence environment, and enable them to make better informed through life support management decisions.


    Indicative module content:

    Defence through-life support context and overview

    what through-life support encapsulates: the scale, scope and value of TLS in defence in the UK and internationally,
    how TLS is contracted for and delivered,
    governance; cultures, enablers and blockers; pricing mechanisms, profits, gain share and incentivisation; behaviours; lessons learnt.

    TLS through the lifecycle

    setting TLS requirements,
    support chain design,
    sourcing and manufacturing decisions,
    support systems integration,
    support chain and physical supply chain operations in-service, including spares optimisation, managing SC disruptions, turbulence and volatility, obsolescence, parts counterfeiting,
    end-of-life value recovery and sustainable practice.

    The costs of supporting capability through-life

    cost of ownership, and the contribution of support costs to whole life costs,
    operation and support costs,
    support cost modelling and identifying and managing support cost drivers,
    leveraging better outcomes - linking support cost drivers to defence operational outputs.

    Managing performance in through-life support

    general theory of performance management, outcomes and assessment,
    modelling for operational availability, quantifying and managing the trade-offs,
    modelling for spares availability, quantifying and managing the trade-offs,
    measuring what matters: ensuring the right metrics for the delivery of operational effect.

    Managing information for through-life support

    network enabled capability for TLS: Information needs for asset management and engineering support, commercial and defence practice,
    agreeing and implementing a common language for support: data and information standards, protocols and architectures.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

critique theoretical through-life support good practice and real experience from commercial and international perspectives, and its relevance and applicability to defence,
evaluate the applicability and utility of a range of decision support tools and approaches to  better informed through-life support decision making in the defence context and through the lifecycle,
demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the broad direction of academic research, and of the development of new approaches and processes, in the field of through-life support in defence,
utilise UK and international public and private sector experience and perspectives to identify the determinants of effective and efficient through-life support,
critically analyse specific through-life support solutions in defence, identifying their key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and assessing how they can be improved.

Defence Capability Management

Module Leader
  • Matthew Summers

    Drawing on the relevant concepts, models and approaches considered before and during the Module, critically evaluate the approaches taken to Defence Capability Management in the UK and elsewhere. 

    • The strategic environment - strategic trends, alliances and dependencies, collective security, national instruments of power, policy, strategic thinking, planning and policy, contemporary issues (national and global)
    • Capability based planning - generic and national planning models
    • Capability portfolio - programmed delivery, defence lines of development, balance of investment and trade-offs
    • Capability integration (levels) and generation (readiness and sustainment)
    • Organisational implications - functions and structures
    • Enabling functions and models - operational analysis, concepts, scenarios, decision analysis.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand the principles, concepts and models that enable and shape Defence Capability Management in the UK and elsewhere
  • Recognise, within the strategic environment, those national interests and trends that drive contemporary defence and security strategies
  • Evaluate the approaches to strategic planning and thinking
  • Evaluate the approaches taken to the planning, delivery and generation of military capability.

Research Methods

Module Leader
  • Richard Fisher

    To equip students with the appropriate knowledge and understanding to complete their thesis.

    • Philosophy of social science research
    • Framing the research question
    • Conducting the literature review
    • Research methods: qualitative and quantitative
    • Data analysis and relevant software tools; e.g. SPSS, NVivo, Qualtrics.
    • Writing up research findings.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to conduct a significant piece of primary research in acquisition or related disciplines. This process will involve students in practical engagement and therefore development of a number of specific skills and knowledge sets:

  1. The importance of research philosophy in framing research projects.
  2. How to assess critically social science research outputs in terms of their validity, reliability, and generalisability.
  3. Project management.
  4. Knowledge of relevant sources for key academic work on the topic area.
  5. Interpersonal skills to generate relevant primary data; e.g. by interviews with key stakeholders.
  6. Analytical skills to interpret data against a conceptual framework.


Module Leader
  • Matthew Summers

    To undertake research requiring critical analysis of relevant academic theory in an operational situation. To present the analysis and subsequent findings in the form of a thesis.


    The thesis is a major, final, element of the course. It allows the student to develop particular areas of relevance and interest by providing an opportunity to research an area of the student’s choice and engage more fully with relevant academic theory. The research will have an action-centred focus, and the findings may well influence future thinking in the area. A structured series of Research Methods workshops will be delivered during the programme to equip the student to conduct an effective research and analysis project.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Conceptualise, contextualise, and analyse an issue within defence acquisition.
  2. Integrate the key areas of the programme demonstrating an independent learning ability.
  3. Develop critical perspectives of different research paradigms in order to evaluate future research based outcomes.
  4. Develop a relevant structured approach to research.
  5. Develop, collect and analyse research data using a number of relevant methods.
  6. Demonstrate skill in planning, organising and managing the research and writing of a thesis in line with prescribed requirements.


Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Sustainability in Defence

Module Leader
  • Matthew Summers

    This module aims to develop an understanding of Sustainability and it’s applicability to Defence Acquisition and the wider environment.

    Indicative module content:

    sustainable development: terminology, definitions and interpretation,
    sustainable development: the international perspective,
    characteristics of sustainable thinking,
    UK Government and MOD sustainable development policy and strategy,
    environmental protection/environmental regulation - legal framework,
    sustainable supply chains - risks and vulnerabilities,
    sustainable consumption and production - material availability,
    environmental security – implications,
    energy security – impacts and long term risks (conflict),
    sustainable procurement – considerations and current practice throughout the CADMID cycle.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

identify the key challenges of sustainability in defence,
understand the key drivers of sustainability in defence,
demonstrate an understanding of how sustainability and resilience can impact defence,
illustrate the effective application of sustainability in providing effective capability change management through-life,
demonstrate an understanding of how sustainability considerations impact on the development of defence capabilities across defence globally,
critically analyse discipline boundaries to pursue sustainability,
evaluate the relevance of sustainability and justify their application through-life,
manage sustainable strategies to maximise benefits and minimise potential adverse impacts through-life,
critically evaluate potential challenges, risks and impacts associated with sustainability through-life.

Knowledge in Defence


    The aim of this module is to engage its participants in an evaluation of knowledge, its creation, acquisition, storage and diffusion within a defence organisational context.

    Indicative module content:

    understanding knowledge and what it is- how we think and how we learn,
    concept of organisational learning and knowledge management practice,
    knowledge (information) management strategies,
    impediments to learning,
    communities of practice,
    research practice.
Intended learning outcomes On completion of this module students will be able to:

understand the theory of knowledge; critically examine general classifications of knowledge, and associated organisational typologies,
identify thinking and learning styles,
evaluate organisational learning concepts,
evaluate knowledge management concepts and practice,
evaluate knowledge management strategies and their development.

Human Centric Systems Engineering


    This module considers the importance of people across the systems engineering life-cycle, both within the context of organisations and how they function and the production of physically engineered systems for a range of stakeholders.


    The module considers people as a capability and within a capability context. The main themes are independent and interdependent:

    Organisational Design

    • Socio- technical considerations
    • Enterprise modelling and architecture
    • Competency (tasks and roles)

    Engineering Design

    • Human factors • Human factors integration • Requirements • Model based Systems Engineering

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:


• Explain the relationship between humans and systems
• Differentiate between organisational design and engineering design
• Assess the impact of organisational design on engineering design
• Propose the role of HF competency in an organisational context



• Extend the application of Systems Engineering methods to embrace human considerations
• Interpret specialised HF methods
• Generate valid and verifiable requirements that incorporate human considerations


Decision Analysis, Modelling and Support

Module Leader
  • Dr Ken McNaught

    The aim of the module is to provide students with an awareness and understanding of a wide range of modern analytical methods to support and enhance their decision making for complex systems engineering problems.


    Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk

     Pay-off Matrices: Structuring decision problems using a pay-off matrix to represent the value or utility of each option for each possible state of nature.  Analysing the pay-off matrix under conditions -of uncertainty and risk; sensitivity/robustness of decisions to the inputs.
     Decision Trees: Structuring and analysing decision problems using a decision tree to represent sequential decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty; the application of Bayes' Theorem to update probabilities in the light of new information.  The calculation of the value of perfect and imperfect information.
     Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagram Decision Networks: These modern tools are examples of probabilistic graphical models which offer a powerful framework for reasoning and decision-making under risk and uncertainty.  Structuring and analysing decision problems using Bayesian networks and decision networks.
     Game Theory: Application of classical zero-sum game theory and some of its extensions to decision-making under conditions of competition or conflict.
     Judgement Methods: Elicitation and analysis of individual judgments as part of the decision-making process.  Cognitive biases which affect human judgment, problems of group decision-making.


    Dealing with Conflicting Objectives and Trade-Offs

    • Approaches used in multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) where several, often conflicting, criteria are important to a decision-maker: structuring and analysing MCDA problems using the Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique with Swing weights (SMARTS).

    • Coverage of the Analytic Hierarchy Process and the portfolio optimization approach; scenario planning approaches.


    Practical Exercises 

    • Model building and analysis using decision tree software
    • Model building and analysis using Bayesian network and decision network software
    • Questionnaire-based judgement elicitation exercise
    • Model building and analysis using MCDA software
    • Game theory exercise

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a student should be able to:


• Explain the need for different types of decisions across the system life cycle
• Demonstrate how decisions are made under conditions of risk and uncertainty and where conflicting objectives must be dealt with
• Describe cognitive biases which are relevant to decision making and their effects


• Construct a range of models to represent decision situations and support decision making
• Analyse a range of models to represent decision situations and support decision making
• Organise preferences and trade-offs to arrive at an objective decision

Teaching team

Visiting lecturers from Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), other government departments, ADS, QinetiQ, BAE Systems, Thales, BMT, Rolls-Royce, and Leonardo Finmeccanica.


The MSc of this course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) and we are an Approved Centre for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Your career

This qualification will take you on to career development in the equipment capability area, a defence equipment and support organisation (or other relevant areas such as defence estates), defence manufacturers, commercial organisations or government departments. It also provides a relevant lead-in towards PhD studies focused on acquisition.

How to apply

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.